Thames Path parkrun, 25th November 2023

Lucy Keating sends this report of Thames Path parkrun:

A visit to my in-laws in south east London always includes some parkrun tourism, so I was pleased to visit one of London’s newest events: Thames Path, Woolwich, this weekend. It’s a sign of the continued phenomenal growth of parkrun that I used to have to get a bus to another London borough to get my parkrun fix when visiting, whereas now I can choose from six events within a 5K run of my in-laws.

The run starts near the Woolwich Arsenal pier, from where you can catch a clipper boat into central London. Indeed, I suspect this may be the only parkrun which includes boat and plane (it’s opposite London City airport) in its ‘how to get here’ options. I felt rather unimaginative arriving on foot! It starts near the historic former Royal Arsenal (where Arsenal FC originated, fact fans).

It’s an out and back route along the Thames path, heading east initially. You may think a riverside parkrun would be completely flat, but the route incorporates a splendid ‘curly wurly’ spiral path up and down a man-made hill constructed from housing estate rubble. A nod to our beloved Town Moor and Weetslade hills to make me feel at home!

I managed to keep a steady pace, craving the few sections where the sun found a way through the buildings (I cycled this path to Margate a few years ago and had remembered the lack of sun)! I was pretty pleased with my time after shaking off a sore throat (not to mention Julie’s fiendish interval session on Wednesday…) though I was some way behind the first finisher who ran an impressive 16.01.

Thanks as always to the volunteers, especially on a bitterly cold morning. In fact, there seemed to be a very high number of team members in hi-vis at the briefing, and it took me a while to realise why they were rather statuesque….

Tom Tinsley -