London Run 24 : London Borough of Hackney

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Date : 22nd September, 2020

Time : 56’ 52”

Number of runners (total to date) : 7 (7057)

Run map and details :

This blog is dedicated to the memory of Jonathan Crown who, unthinkably and tragically, died of a heart attack last Saturday.

JC was a friend and an exceptionally generous supporter of Run the World* in terms of his advice – he had a wide knowledge and experience of visiting far flung places ; his enthusiasm – a week before his death he sent me a typically kind email about one of the recent blogs ; and his donations.

He was also the founder of the Project Harar charity which works in Ethiopia to help those with severe facial disfigurements and give them back their lives.

I found myself talking about JC before my run in Hackney with the local branch of Run Talk Run. And that’s the thing about Run Talk Run. Yes, it’s a running club. But it’s also a safe space to talk.

Set up by the lovely Jess Robson, its mission is to make both running and mental health support less intimidating, and more accessible. And, judging by its continued growth around the world, its doing a great job. (For anyone who’s interested, here’s a link to Jess’s views on why running helps us to open up.)

RTR Hackney meets at 6.15 pm on a Tuesday evening at the Pub on the Park. Its led by Chloe who took us off south through London Fields before turning east to Victoria Park.

I love Victoria Park. The evening we were there it was buzzing – full of walkers, runners, skaters and pretty much anything else you can do in a park.

Sadly it was also the point I had to leave the run and head back to Hackney Central as I had to meet people that evening.

Loyal readers will know that the aim of the London Borough Challenge* is to run 10 km in every London borough. And, of course, the run from London Fields to Victoria Park is considerably less than 10 km.

Fortunately, my planning and logistical abilities just about stretch far enough to have worked out in advance that this might be an issue. I’d therefore already run 5km in Hackney before meeting up with Chloe and the RTR runners.

I started at Pitfield Street because that’s where our offices were when we launched the Gold Challenge**- something that led to us putting on the pre-games test event for 20 000 people in the Olympic Stadium. And running on the Olympic track which was pretty cool.

But, as so often in these blogs, I digress. Back to the run in Hackney where the next stop was Hoxton Square. Which used to feel like London’s epicentre of coolness before it moved onto….um….er…wherever it is now. The picture below is off the building that used to house the White Cube gallery – famed for being the first gallery to give one person shows to YBAs such as Tracey Emin.

I then ran down Great Eastern street before turning north up Shoreditch High Street leaving the City behind to the south

Past the Box Park

and the Museum of the Home before turning right (east) onto Regent’s Canal.

The canal towpath was packed with runners and cyclists and the canal itself was full of house boats, row boats and big inflatable banana boats..

I turned off the canal to head north up Broadway Market

to London Fields

the London Felds Lido

and onto the Hackney Empire.

As I ran I was struck by how much the borough had meant to me over the years. I’d worked there; I’d socialised there ; I’d run and cycled there. I even go there for every year for the Christmas pantomime at the Hackney Empire where Clive Rowe et al strut their funky stuff.

I was also struck by just what an extraordinary borough it is. Although my run had taken me past, and through so, many great places I was only scratching Hackney’s surface. I hadn’t been to Hackney Marshes ; Hackney’s section of the Olympic Park which includes the Copper Box  ; the Hackney Cut (canal) ; Hackney city farm ; Abney Park Cemetery and much more.

It just remains for me to say thank you to Chloe and everyone at the Hackney RTR for the company. A pleasure meeting you all!


Please like / follow Run the World on Facebook , Instagram and Twitter because it would be great to stay in touch and because, however silly it may sound, it makes all the travel and running that little bit easier if you think people care!

*A little bit of background. I’m currently undertaking a challenge – Run the World – to complete a 10km run in all 206 countries in the world. (I’ve run in 183 countries to date.) I’m doing the challenge to raise funds for Cancer Research and to promote the importance of an active healthy lifestyle.

In addition to completing a 10km run in all 206 countries in the world, I’m also doing 44 runs in the UK. Taking the global total to 250 runs.

Why? Because 250 runs is equivalent to running 2 500 000 metres. Which is a metre for every one of the two and a half million cancer sufferers in the UK.

All well and good but the question we asked ourselves at Run the World HQ is : where should those 44 UK runs take place? And part of the answer – three-quarters to be exact – is that 33 of them will take place in London. One in each of the 32 London boroughs plus one in the City of London.

We’re calling this the ‘London Borough Challenge’ and I’m hoping to run with as many people – and social running groups and crews and clubs –as possible!

** Gold Challenge launched in late 2010 and ran an Olympic and Paralympic inspired challenge in the run up to London 2012. Gold Challenge partnered with the British Olympic Association/Team GB, Paralympics GB and Sport England and was part of the official London 2012 mass participation legacy programme.  Gold Challenge also worked closely with LOCOG and hosted one of the pre-Games test events in the Olympic Stadium.

The challenges were highly successful with over 105,000 participants. More than 200 schools and 100 corporates took part including large employers such as GlaxoSmithKline, Atos, EDF, Cisco, John Lewis and Coca Cola. In excess of £1.5 million was raised for Gold Challenge’s 150 charity partners who included household names such as Cancer Research UK, Oxfam, the NSPCC and Help for Heroes.

About Run the World

I'm running 10 km in every country in the world - a total of 205 countries - by the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. I'm doing the Run the World challenge to promote the benefits of sport and physical activity and to raise money for cancer research following the death of my mother from cancer. If you'd like to donate to Cancer Research - - then I know they'd be very grateful.
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1 Response to London Run 24 : London Borough of Hackney

  1. Marit says:

    First of all, shocked to learn about the sudden death of your friend JC. Why do The Good die so young? Glad to see you had the company of other runners. Makes lighter work of it. Love seeing the photos. “Keep on running”. There’s a song there somewhere. 👍❤️👍

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