Every Saturday at 9am in Mile End Park there’s this thing called “parkrun”.
Typically, around 200 people gather in front of Mile End Stadium by the Rhodeswell Road entrance to the park and walk, jog or run a 5km course around the park. Some come simply to spectate and encourage folk on their way!
It is a fun community event and gets the weekend off to a refreshing and rewarding start. The whole ethos is to do it on your own terms and you’ll see every demographic there. It is the very definition of inclusive.
During October there is a focus on the “walk” aspect – parkwalk. You don’t have to “walk before you can run”, but it does form a gentle intro to the event; and you’ll come away reassured that everyone is welcome and not judged. And don’t worry – marshals will guide you safely around the route – there is a tail-end Charlie who walks the course every week too.
I was nervous the first time, having not gone for a run in over 30 years (!), but I jogged and walked my way around and bumped into a couple of neighbours where the opening line from both was “I didn’t know you did parkrun?”. I didn’t, but from now on I think will.
The course consists of two laps always running on the left hand side of the double paths. Starting in front of Mile End Stadium through Mile End Park and over the Green Bridge. Along the canal towpath it turns right to loop behind the Art Pavilion then follows the path over the Green Bridge back to the stadium. A “turning point” is marked; turn and repeat for a second lap. Finishing on the grass in front of the stadium.
If you want to find out more about the Mile End parkrun then take a look at their webpage.