It’s all going on in Stratford Park tonight

This evening, seeing as the weather was still so nice I decided to go to my local sweatshop stores running club. I went to this for a while last year before getting pregnant and quiteenjoyed the 5K route, which went from Westfield in stratford to Forest Gate and back again, and fancied some of the same. However when I got to the store I found out that there is actually a beginners group, so I joined that.


On paper it made sense, but in reality 8 beginners doing laps in Stratford Park on a barmy summers night…well it had to be eventful right?

The park was packed. The start of Wimbledon had kickstared the annual interest in tennis, with both tennis courts in full use. The MUGA (multi use games area) had a game of footie going on, there were the Lituanians showing off their dogs, some asian lads playing table tennis, a church group fliering the park users, a scouts group playing run outs, commuters walking through the park to their posh houses near West HamPark, a few drunks in clusters around the fountain, seriously like 100 young boys many on bikes or with dogs, oh and a random vagrant having a kip on a bench.

I suppose we just added to the craziness of it all.

The plan was to do 4 x 10 minutes of running with 3 minutes of walking in between, but it didn’t really pan out like that. After a very short warm up we started off and after the first 10 minutes the run leader sounded the whistle which I could just about hear over the traffic, the hulabaloo of the park…and of course the music playing out of my lovely new yurbuds earphones which I am testing this week.

So I did my 3 minute walk to recover, and then I was off again. I got lapped by one lady, and I lapped another one of the group, but other than that I didn’t really see much of the other runners.

On my 5th or 6th lap just as I was approaching the tramp, sorry I mean vagrant on the bench I heard the whistle again, and so did he it seems as he fell completely off the bench almost to my feet, he was as bewildered as me but looked ok, no cuts or bruises…his layers of clothing seemed to cushion his fall and as he got to his feet he managed a “well done” as I ran out of the park onto the road part of the route.

As I ran back into the park I noticed the hoddie wearing teenagers in the park had multiplied somewhat, and as I thought about how I would describe these teenagers in tonights blog – hoodies, hodlums, scallywags, hoodrats….I actually nearly stepped on a real life rat which scurried away under a bush. That will teach me.

As I circled the tiled area in the middle of the park which is kind of like an ampetheatre I noticed the boys in blue had arrived too, about 8 of them bravely attempting what looked like stop and serches on a few of the youngsters as they were very much out numbered by the teenagers. I’m not sure what had happenned, if anything but I kinda lost my running flow, probably out of noseyness and I walked for a bit…not sure if I had missed the last whistle or not.

I began running again and then noticed the rest of the runners had congrigated in the middle of the green. That was the end of the session. The most peculiar of training sessions I have ever done.

I attach the data from my Garmin from tonights run, make of it what you will.


2 Responses to “It’s all going on in Stratford Park tonight”
  1. A very colourful posting, well done though, I do feel sorry for the vagrant/hobo though

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