By Jess

Clinton and I were so pleased when we found out a new parkrun had sprung up at the London Royal Docks. We go there to swim quite regularly and to have a parkrun there was ideal. It meant that we could run and do an open water swim and still get home for breakfast!

The Victoria Docks parkrun is located next to the docks (as you would expect!) and has a storeroom where there is a loo and free refreshments. The course is pancake flat (as flat as it can be) and is basically an out and back along the docks one side, then a shorter out and back the other side before finishing. I like this kind of course as you get to see other runners and you know who is chasing you and who you’ve got to chase! You also never feel that far away from the finish so mentally it feels a bit easier. The only hindrance I felt were the cobbles on the pavement that were every so often. Running slower I’m sure I wouldn’t have noticed, but running at a fast pace on cobbles really throws your balance off!

Alex said he’d pace me to a sub 20 so we started off with a hard tempo effort (for me) of sub 4 min/km. The first km felt easy, but as we moved to the second km Alex was beginning to pull out in front and I was having to push just to maintain an even pace and keep up with him. It got progressively harder – I was having to push harder just to maintain the same pace. The last km felt like a sprint that went on forever… Alex kept shouting at me telling me to go faster but I just felt like I was dying! As I got to the finish funnel I stopped my watch and looked at it to see 19:53!

My Garmin said I only ran 4.9km so course was probably 100m short but parkrun counted it as an official time!!! HONESTLY COULDN’T BE HAPPIER! Thanks Alex for pacing me! 🙌🏻

On a separate note, Clinton finished with another sub 18 parkrun – another fantastic result!

– Jess

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