Victoria Park is a magnet to runners, but our guide to the best running clubs, groups and routes near Roman Road gives inspiration for some less-trodden options too.
We look at park runs on our doorstep, charities getting young people on track and talented local teams for our area’s aspiring athletes. From casual jogs around trusty hotspots like Mile End Park and Vicky Park, to 10k endurance runs across East London ending with a signature Brick Lane bagel, there is a route and a community for everyone.
The Outrunners in Hackney Wick
BEST FOR: Youngsters and adults seeking the right track
The Outrunners is a youth charity and adult running club that has stomping grounds just a short hop away in Hackney Wick and Victoria Park. The charity has twin purposes and functions as a charity for young people aged 8-18, as well as an adult running club. Regular beginner sessions for adults start at 9am on Saturdays with improver classes at 7pm on Tuesdays from Hackney Bridge. Alongside these sessions, the club provides mentoring and helps children develop their confidence, leadership skills and career prospects.
The Outrunners HQ can be found at Units DG04, Hackney Bridge, E15 2SJ and for more information go to theoutrunners.co.uk
Mile End Parkrun
BEST FOR: A trustworthy 5k on your doorstep
For those familiar with the ‘Couch to 5k’ the Mile End parkrun is ideal and provides a relaxed start for budding runners. Their regular 5k sets off from Mile End stadium on Saturday at 9am and they also organise a 2k junior parkrun on Sunday at 9.30am, but organisers encourage people to arrive half an hour early for a chat and a warm-up. Do not fret if you are not the next Mo Farah, you can simply turn up to watch and enjoy a cup of coffee or a brisk stroll. You may even surprise yourself to find you are indeed fleet of foot.
Find Mile End stadium at 190 Burdett Rd, London E3 4HL and for more information go to parkrun.org.uk/mileend
East London Runners
BEST FOR: A run and a Brick Lane bagel
East London Runners, based in Wandstead, has over 250 members and welcomes all abilities. They organise regular runs across the East End, including routes that go through Victoria Park, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and a route from Leytonstone to Brick Lane for the adventurous among you. After a rugged run, participants can enjoy a well-earned bagel typical of the street. The first three sessions are open to all and club members can partake in races ranging from 5ks to ultra-marathons on road and cross country.
East London Runners is based in Redbridge Lane West, Wanstead, E11 2JZ, but monitor their ‘What’s On’ page for local events near Vicky Park and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. To get involved and for more information go to eastlondonrunners.org.uk
Victoria Park Harriers and Tower Hamlets Athletics Club
BEST FOR: Aspiring athletes and ambitious beginners
A charitable trust open to all aged nine and above with a growing membership of around 400, from beginners to team GB athletes. Whether you are one of the East End’s fiercest roadrunners or a rookie seeking training, the club caters for all. Based out of St. Augustine Hall in the north-east end of Vicky Park, participants can partake in track, field, road and cross country runs in a friendly environment.
Find the club at St Augustine’s Hall, Cadogan Terrace, E9 5EG and more information at vphthac.org.uk
Run4Rene at Victoria Park
BEST FOR: A carefree jog and a friendly chat
Run4Rene has its roots in tragedy but prides itself on contributing to a tangible social good. Set up in 2017 by Stefanie Savri after the suicide of her younger brother Rene, aged just 22, the community group aims to improve mental health through exercise. One of their weekly meet-ups is outside Victoria Park’s Pavilion Cafe for a Saturday session at 10am, run by crew leader Shah Alam. Not only does Run4Rene provide spirit-lifting exercise, but also a vital space for warm discussions as a means of combatting social stigma and isolation.
Run4Rene meet outside Vicky Park Pavilion Cafe on Old Ford Rd, London E9 7DE. Find out more at run4rene.com
BEST FOR: Runs and fun socials
Friendly Runners is a community group that meets on Fridays and Saturdays, with all abilities and levels of experience welcome. They assemble at 7.15am at Victoria Park Pavilion for a 5k run on Fridays, and 9am on Saturdays at Lodestar Coffee in Hackney for a 10k. The group has previously held summer socials so expect them to live up to their name with future events, whether that’s a testing cross country or a sprint to the boozer.
Friendly Runners meet at Vicky Park Pavilion Cafe and you can find them on social media at instagram.com/yourfriendlyrunners
Come Run With Me in Hackney
BEST FOR: supreme running technique
Come Run with Me in Hackney holds weekly groups for beginner and intermediate runners on Tuesdays. You can train for fun, for races such as their 5k parkruns, or even for the Hackney half marathon. All their leaders are qualified with England Athletics, the nation’s governing athletics body, and their sessions focus on efficient running technique. The group has previously run in Limehouse Basin, Vicky Park, Lea Valley Canal and London Fields and is open to all fitness levels and abilities.
The group currently meets at Princess of Wales Pub, 146 Lea Bridge Rd, Lower Clapton, E5 9RB on Tuesdays at 6.45pm. They are planning a Sunday session in another East London location. Keep an eye for updates at groups.runtogether.co.uk/ComeRunWithMe/Runs
Route: London to East London canal paths & Victoria Park
BEST FOR: A picturesque East End tour
Why not take a scenic run around our finest canal paths and through glorious Victoria Park? Begin in Bethnal Green, dash past Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to hidden gem Fish Island and breeze along to Bromley-by-Bow before a quick, or slow, finish in Mile End. This running route gives you a condensed view of our beloved patch while administering a euphoric adrenaline burst.
The route starts in Bethnal Green – to plan your dash check out mapmyrun.com/routes/fullscreen/978009743
Have a look at another of our articles about the best fitness classes around Roman Road.
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