Dalbeattie 10K Half Marathon 2016

Dalbeattie 10K Half Marathon 2016

Frank's Valentine Run 2017

Frank's Valentine Run 2017

Dentdale 2017

Dentdale 2017

Criffel Hill Race 2017

Criffel Hill Race 2017

Devil Takes the Hindmost 2017

Devil Takes the Hindmost 2017

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News items and Articles

To submit news items and articles for inclusion on the website, please email the News Team at news@dumfriesrunningclub.org.uk

DRC Grand Prix Competition

The latest standings in the Club Grand Prix competition can be found here:

  Grand Prix Tables
London Marathon 2016

London Marathon 2016

Highland Fling Relay 2016

Highland Fling Relay 2016

Carlisle Urban Trail 2016

Carlisle Urban Trail 2016

Moffat 15k 2016

Moffat 15k 2016

Screel Hill Race 2017

Screel Hill Race 2017

parkruns

Club parkrun competition:

This is a competition which compares all runners on a level playing field by using a gender and age grading system. Members should email their name, result and the venue of any parkrun that they have taken part in to standards@dumfriesrunningclub.org.uk for inclusion in the competition.

The latest standings and results from last year can be found via the following links:

 

Parkrun Trophy 2015

 

Parkrun Trophy 2014

Parkrun Trophy 2013

 

Course Descriptions

Also on this page club members can submit (to news@dumfriesrunningclub.org.uk) a description of a parkrun they have run, along with a recommendation of the best type of shoes to wear, so that other members can look here for advice before attending that Parkrun themselves.

 

Venue: Ayr

Course: Ayr may seem to be a flat place, but the parkrun course is a twisty, testing one consisting of 1.5 laps of Rozelle Park. The course starts on a track adjacent to the rugby pitch before entering the adjacent trees. 30 metres later there is a very sharp left turn and runners head down towards a pond (complete with ducks and swans). The pond is skirted in a clockwise direction on a narrow tarmac path before the trail is rejoined to head back towards the start (and hence uphill this time). The runners remain on a narrow trail as they pass by where they started, but must be very careful to avoid tree roots underfoot and branches overhead. They skirt round the perimeter of the park and then head back to complete the first lap (round the pond) again. As runners start the second loop again, a marshal will direct them off onto the grassy playing fields and in to the finish funnel.  The trail is beautiful as it winds through the trees, but does undulate significantly down to the pond and can be very muddy. There is a cafe in Rozelle House which serves amazing cakes and breakfasts. 

Shoe recommendation: Trail shoes are definitely the footwear of choice.

Club fastest time: 19:52

Reviewed by: JZ

 

Venue: Basingstoke

Course: The Basingstoke parkrun course is all about variety. It takes in a woodland areas, a grass section as well as using the tarmac paths around the park. The course starts just south west of the car park and runs right round the open area beside a band stand and an aviary. It the goes through some trees on a narrow path, past the car park and then opens up to the grassy section sandwiched between a cricket field and skate park. You then go back under the trees up the back straight before starting another lap. The run lasts for approximately 2 and a half laps.

Shoe recommendation: There is only a v short grassy section so road shoes would probably be best.

Club fastest time: 18:33

Reviewed by: JZ

 

Venue: Blackhill

Course: The Blackhill parkrun rundirector describes the course as being "like a rollercoaster", ie all up or down. It starts with a long steep ascent from gates at the bottom of Blackhill and Consett Heritage Park to the very top. Runners then turn right and start 3 laps incorporating the top half of the park as far down as the halfway bandstand, and some neighbouring playing fields. The paths within the park are tarmac but can be slippery if wet (and if there are fallen leaves) due to their steepness, while the playing fields are circumnavigated on gravel paths. Runners have an option of a short section of grassy bank or some adjacent steps at the far end. When you pass the bandstand for the 4th time, you turn the opposite way and descend back towards the starting gates to the finish funnel. Coffee, tea, biscuits (+-cake) is then available in the bowls club for £1.

Shoe recommendation: Road shoes are recommended.

Club fastest time: 19:13

Reviewed by: JZ

 

Venue: Bushy Park

Course: Apparently this is where it all started.....the original parkrun......and is situated in a fantastic part of London (Surrey)  in suburbs adjacent to Hampton Court where there is much history regarding Henry VIII.
The course is a flat, single clockwise lap, very fast on paths and grass....the going is very good. There is always a strong field with over 800 runners including a sprinkling of Kenyans.....

Shoe recommendation: Racing shoes unless wet, when a lightweight trail shoe may be better.

Club fastest time: 17:57

Reviewed by: KB

 

Venue: Cannon Hill (Birmingham)

Course: This Birmingham parkrun course is a quick one, unless there is ice/snow. It starts on a tarred path near a little toy train shelter (where you can leave your top for afterwards) called Cannon Hill Station. There is then a hairpin bend to the right as you start a clockwise lap round the park, over a little bridge and along the lake.  On the second lap, a marshal directs you down a left hand turning just before the bridge along an out and back section (with a small triangle to run around at the end). Runners keep left to avoid those coming in the opposite direction and then turn left to rejoin the original loop just by the bridge. Carry on round the lake and past the "station" to the finish funnel on the grass on the right hand side.

Shoe recommendation: All on tar so road shoes would be best.

Club fastest time: 17:34

Reviewed by: JZ

 

Venue: Carlisle

Course: The Carlisle parkrun course consists of 3 laps, run in Chances Park. It starts and finishes right outside Morton Manor where there are toilets, a cafe and a hall to leave clothing.The course is not a fast one due to the varying surfaces (almost 50% in on grass) and tight corners but it provides great training potential. After a short gravel section at the start, runners head for the centre of the park on a tarmac path, where a marshal directs them off onto a downhill grassy section (which can be rough as it winds amongst young trees). At the bottom of the park, they run back up on tarmac to turn sharp right around a bin and head back towards another exit. A further rough grass section round this corner puts them back onto tarmac to head up to the start of the second lap. At the end of the third lap, there is a short finish straight back up to the Manor.

Shoe recommendation: Unless it has been very dry or cold and the surface is frozen, trail shoes are advisable, as it could get muddy on the grassy sections.

Club fastest time: 18:26

Reviewed by: JZ

 

Venue: Riverside (Chester-le-Street)

Course: Riverside parkrun is a 2 3/4 lap run situated near to the Emirates International Cricket Arena, overlooked by Lumley Castle. The course starts by a wooden boat just near to the toilets and cafe. Runners then run round the back of the ornamental gardens and are directed to Chester Burn where they make a sharp right hand turn, down the slope to the River Wear. Another sharp right sees them running alongside the river, with swans, geese and ducks often landing along the water beside them. 10m of sand bring them back up onto the park paths away from the river and heading towards the road. A marshal then turns the runners off the path along  a short coned section of grass (which can become slightly muddy) to the carpark. Another righthand turn back onto path sends them back to the start line. This loop is repeated for a second time but on the third lap, there is a sharp right handed short cut (after the sand) into the finish funnel towards the wooden boat. 

Shoe recommendation: There is only a very short grassy section so road shoes are best.

Club fastest time: 17:41

Reviewed by: JZ 

 

Venue: Delamere

Course: The course begins at the top of a small incline causing most runner to start off down the slope rather fast. After a few hundred metres you take a series of 3 well spread out left-hand turns (with a marshal on each turn) down to the lake path. Runners then complete a full circuit of Blakemere (with the lake always on their right hand side) on a trail which can make you duck under branches, while watching for roots underfoot, though the going is generally very good. After the lake circuit is completed, runners leave the shoreline and retrace their steps with a series of right hand turns back to the start, though obviously there are a few sneaky short inclines to surprise tired legs.

Shoe recommendation: The course is entirely on forest roads and paths, which can get v muddy, so trail shoes are recommended.

Club fastest time: 18:16

Reviewed by: JZ

 

Venue: Durham

Course: The course begins at the start line of the 100m on the athletics track to the rear of The Graham Sports Centre. After completing nearly a full lap of the track, you travel once around the cricket pitch in a clockwise direction. After running along a narrow riverside path (where you cannot overtake) you cross a (potentially slippy) wooden bridge onto the football fields and go clockwise around the whole of the football and rugby pitches keeping to the outside. On arriving back at the wooden bridge you follow the riverside path all the way along to Baths bridge. Now on tarmac, you cross Baths bridge and turn left to finish just after the sculpture of the Durham Ox, just before the bandstand. There is a great cafe back at the Graham Sports Centre by the car park/start.

Shoe recommendation: Due to the variety of terrains, trail shoes are recommended.

Club fastest time: 18:06

Reviewed by: JZ

 

Venue: Eastleigh

Course: Eastleigh parkrun is one of the few courses that is run entirely on grass (and mud)....with Fleming Park also the venue for the Hampshire cross country championships.
It is a 3-lap course with a return close to the start in the middle of each lap like an elongated heart. The first half of the "heart" is flag and fast, while the second half involves a steep climb up and longer descent off a hill. The uphill section can become very muddy and slippery.

Shoe recommendation: Several of the faster runners wear cross country spikes, so off road shoes are to be recommended unless you like skating around in mud in your road shoes.

Club best time: 18:53

Reviewed by: JZ

 

Venue: Eglinton

Course: The Eglinton parkrun course is all about trail running, consisting of a mixture of footpaths, tracks and mud through the gardens and woods of Eglinton country park.

It starts on a tarmac path up a steep slope, before a right run takes you onto track, through a bog, into the woods (avoiding tree roots as you descend) and back out across grass towards the start point. Crossing the path you started on, you then run over a bridge and a small cobbled patch to head out for a loop around the edge of the park, skirting the loch. If it has rained this trail can hold large puddles that cannot be avoided. Runners rejoin the end of the initial loop to repeat the muddy section, followed by the bridge and cobbles. On this occasion, instead of directing you back up towards the loch, they'll wave you over another bridge and up a steep tarmac hill (where you are separated from runners on the large loop by a row of trees) so that the final fast descent to the finish is the very same one you started up almost 5km ago. of the field on the east side of the loch before heading back towards the start of the loop.

Shoe recommendation: Even if it has been dry, there is a section of ankle deep mud, bog and tree roots that must be run twice, and very little tarmac, so trail shoes are best.

Club fastest time: 18:29

Reviewed by: JZ

 

Venue: Fellfoot parkrun (Windemere)

 

Course: Fellfoot parkrun is held at Newby Bridge, at the very southern end of Lake Windemere, in a park owned by the National Trust. The run starts with a short flat section on grass, before a steep narrow path takes you down to the lake shore. Runners then turn left along an uneven trail to a marshalled gate. Once through the gate, there is an undulating lap of a large wild flower meadow (with the path having been mown in, so watch out hay fever sufferers). Back through the gate, you retrace your steps along the lakeshore (being careful to avoid runners coming in the opposite direction) towards the cafe, where a short sharp tarmac climb takes you back to the start. The loop of the wild meadow is then repeated with the final sprint being along the lake shore.

 

Shoe recommendation: As this is effectively a cross-country course, off-road shoes are recommended, though if it has been dry, you could get away with road shoes.

 

Club fastest time: 18:58

 

 

Reviewed by: JZ

 

Venue: Frimley Lodge

Course: This sounds like a very complicated course from the description, but is very well-marked, and people can choose to complete 2 laps for the 5K or just do 1 lap of 2.5K. It starts with half a lap of a football field near to the Pavilion, and then heads up a steep slope onto the canal path (which tends to be muddy). Look out for a bench hidden by other runners in front, and watch out for low lying posts on your left. At 1.2K a marshal directs you to turn back alongside the railway to the Dog Exercise Sign. Then you cross the field, swing right through a wooded area, round some more football pitches before joining the main path. After passing round the Pavilion turn right and the first loop ends just after the start point. On the 2nd loop you exit right and head to the funnel in front of the picnic tables.

Shoe recommendation: No tarmac - all grass/mud/trails so trail shoes are best.

Club fastest time: 18:13

Reviewed by: JZ

 

Venue: Fulham Palace, (London)

Fulham palace parkrun is an anticlockwise 'almost' 3 laps of Bishop's Park, alongside the River Thames across from the boathouses of Putney. The briefing is held in the central court and then runners walk to the startline.

Many runners start on a narrow path, so if fast runners do not start at the front, then it may take them most of the first lap to weave round people and get up to their final speed. Shortly after the start the route goes left along Fulham FC stadium and then left again on the path along the river where rowers can be seen out training. Another two left turns sees runners on the path alongside Fulham Palace, past the finish and on to the start again. Runners do this lap 2 times and on the 3rd lap finish back in the central court.

Shoe recommendation: As the whole course is on sealed paths, road shoes are ideal.

Club fastest time: 18:55

Reviewed by: JZ

 

Venue: Gateshead

Course: The Gateshead parkrun course is described as "undulating"........ie it's hilly! It takes place in Saltwell Park, which is reported to be the finest Victorian park in the UK, and features a dene with waterfalls, a boating lake complete with swans, several Grade II listed buildings and even some caged birds and animals. 

Starting by the South Pavilion shelter at the top of the Northern Field, runners complete an anti-clockwise lap of the top field, bringing them back to the shelter where they continue straight ahead. They must keep right at the next junction to follow the path downhill past the dog walking enclosure, around the western side of the lake, and through the bowling green. Keeping left, the path is followed back along the eastern side of the lake, to the origianl junction where runners double back to complete a further two laps of this circuit. On reaching the junction after 3 laps of the lake, runners continue ahead, veering right up the hill to take them back to the start/finish line at the South Pavilion shelter.

Shoe recommendation: All on tarred paths so road shoes are best.

Club fastest time: 18:17

Reviewed by: JZ

 

Venue: Gibside (nr Newcastle)

Course: Gibside parkrun can certainly put forward a good case for being the most beautiful parkrun course (entirely on a National Trust property), even if it is one of the tougher ones (total elevation gain/loss being 325 feet). It is an out and back loop which starts and finishes on the Avenue, a forest road parallel to a tree-lined grassy stretch showcasing Gibside chapel at the far end. After a deceptively flat initial 400m, there is a 90 degree turn, and the course then climbs up a hill through a wood. There are beautiful views of the valley below, if you have the time to look, and carved wooden animals can be spotted along the route (along with the odd real squirrel or deer).  What goes up must come down and so the second half is rather quicker than the first half, with a final flat run back along the Avenue.

Shoe recommendation: All on rough gravelly/grassy roads (which are reportedly always wet whatever the weather) so road shoes are best.

Club fastest time: 19:29

Reviewed by: JZ

 

Venue: Glasgow

Course: The Glasgow parkrun course is another one that could be described as "undulating"........ie it's hilly! It takes place in Pollok Country Park, and starts at the top of the Burrell carpark (so runners can grab a coffee in the Burrell Museum cafe afterwards). The route consists of two laps of the North Wood.

The route may sound confusing but is well-marked by both marshals and coloured cones put on the ground to block off wrong turns, though course variations may occur due to unforeseen circumstances (eg on this occasion a fallen tree blocked the usual route so a 300m diversion was added on). 

From the start, runners follow the access road until just after the carved woodpecker, when they bear left into the North Wood. The first turning on the right goes up a short steep hill to join the main path through the North Wood. The path heads down the hill to a sharp left turn at the bottom (just before the Glade), and runners head along the left side of the Glade.

At the top of the Glade, they keep going left, following the winding path up the hill to the shelter. Unless finishing early, they follow the path around and down to the left, then bear sharp right at the base of the hill. Another couple of marked left turns brings people to the start of the second loop.

On the second loop (at the top of the hill behind the shelter), runners take the first right and sprint 200m down the steep hill to the finish.

Shoe recommendation: All on tarred paths so road shoes are best, though due to the nature of the park, there can be a lot of wet leaves, mud and puddles.

Club fastest time: 19:05

Reviewed by: JZ

 

Venue: Hackworth parkrun (Shildon)

Course: This is a small friendly parkrun in the NE of England. The course basically consists of three clockwise loops, each returning to the start, and then a half kilometre straight run to the finish. The start is flat and straight, but then runners must turn right through a narrow gate into a children's play park. A couple of hairpins later and the runners exit from the top if the play area, take a sharp left and ascend the short but steep "col du Shildon" to the highest point in the park. The descent takes the form of three sides of a square and care must be taken as tree roots form lumps in the tarmac path. When back at the bottom of the hill, runners turn 90 degrees to the left and run back to the start along the edge of a field, the other side of some trees to the opening straight. The 180 degree turn at the start area is taped to avoid shortcuts, so you then repeat this loop 2 more times. Only on the final loop, there is a long straight run into the finish (passing the gate where you previously started your climb).

Shoe recommendation: There is only a short section of each loop (where you return to the start) on muddy grass, so on the whole, road shoes are recommended.

Club fastest time: 18:48

Reviewed by: JZ

 

Venue: Keswick

Course: The Keswick parkrun follows an out and back course along the Old Railway Path from the bollards just beyond the old station (where you can find free-to-use toilets) to a turnaround cone (and marshal) at the metal bridge. It is described as flat for Keswick (!) but don't let this fool you as the run certain undulates, with runners gaining and losing 140 feet over the 5km. After an initial incline, a section of downhill twisty boardwalk must be navigated on the outward leg, but returning runners know that when they reach the top of this boardwalk, they can enjoy a faster run down into the finish straight. The route is tree lined and more or less follows the river, so can be very beautiful on a sunny day.

Shoe recommendation: Although the trail path can certainly be rather rough underfoot, road shoes are fine for all but the wettest conditions (take care on the boardwalk section, though a covering has been laid down to provide extra traction).

Club fastest time: 18:41

Reviewed by: JZ

 

Venue: Kingston (London)

Course: The Kingston parkrun course follows a "P" shape and starts on the towpath behind the Hawker centre in line with the end of the chainlink fence. It then follows the paved upper cycle path to Teddington lock. At the lock you run under the footbridge and continue on the towpath past Thames Young Mariners and continue on the rough track until you see a marshal who will direct you onto a small loop on Hamlands. The route of this grassy loop is marked with sawdust (or flour on occasions). This returns you to the towpath at Thames Young Mariners, from where you follow the outward route back to the Hawker centre. The finish is just off the path to the left in line with the second gate into the centre.

Shoe recommendation: There is only a v short grassy section so road shoes would probably be best.

Club fastest time: 18:11

Reviewed by: JZ

 

Venue: Newcastle

Course: The course begins at the boundary between Exhibition Park and the Town Moor and runs parallel to Claremont Road. It then bears right across the town moor to Grandstand Road where you pass through a marshalled gate and turn right to run along Grandstand Road and back onto the Town Moor through a second marshalled gate. The route bears left here and follows alongside Great North Road, running back towards Exhibition Park, bearing right and continuing around behind the back of the military museum. The course turns left at the cross roads and passes through a gate which is tied open for the duration of the run. The course turns left and then bears left again along to the finish line.

Shoe recommendation: All on tarmac so road shoes are best.

Club fastest time: 18:20

Reviewed by: JZ

 

Venue: Oak Hill parkrun (East Barnet)

Course: The course consists of two and three quarter anti-clockwise laps of Oak Hill Park in North London. The start is on the path next to a pavilion with runners heading north alongside a stream through the park, taking a left over a bridge, and then turning right to continue to the bottom end of the park. A hairpin left hand turn along the path parallel to the road, followed by a gentle incline enables a welcome descent towards the tennis courts, play parks and bowls club. This is the finish on the final lap, but before then runners must pass through 2 other times, taking a left, back onto the start straight. 

Shoe recommendation: The whole course in on tarmac so light road shoes are recommended.

Club fastest time: 18:29

Reviewed by: JZ

 

Venue: Pennington Flash

Course: The course begins with a 400m run along a bridleway to a gate and then there are usually 3 laps of a clock-wise loop consisting mainly of a gravel trail with a grassy downhill section towards the end of the loop. Every 20th run, the course is run in reverse, so runners start with the uphill section in every lap. Runners then finish with the same 400m run down the bridleway back to the start/finish. Anyone running the Pennington Flash parkrun for the first time will be amazed with the great views of both the park and Flash. If you are (un)lucky enough to be at Pennington Flash parkrun when they are running the course in reverse, you will find it a rather long 5k as the start point in moved back 100m to prevent people running times that they cannot try to beat for another 19 weeks.

Shoe recommendation: This is entirely run on trail and paths so trail shoes would be best, though you could get away with road shoes in dry conditions.

Club fastest time: 18:26

Reviewed by: JZ

 

Venue: Penrith

Course: The route consists of two anti-clockwise laps of the Frenchfield Sports Centre site. Starting outside the pavilion the route heads north and follows the perimeter of the site before being led through an area of trees and vegetation down to the River Eamont (which can flood the course). After following the river bank you turn up ther edge of the field and cross a small bridge to head onto some more boggy trail like terrain. The route then heads on to a tarmac surface for 250metre before leading back on to grass. A switchback takes you back towards the Pavilion and the second lap commences. The finish is 100metres beyond the pavilion.

Shoe recommendation: The route is almost entirely on grass/mud (except for 250m/lap) so trail shoes are a must (not XC spikes due to the short tarred section).

Club fastest time: 19:58

Reviewed by: JZ

 

Venue: Richmond

Course: While running this 1 lap course in Richmond park, South London, it is possible to see many deer (and large antlered-stags) as well as other runners and cyclists enjoying the open space. After an initial uphill start (through the finish line) on a multiterrain trail, there is a deceptively fast 2k to be run on a tarred footpath. Many runners shoot off too fast here, as the gradient is mostly downhill, but are then caught unawares by the cheeky second half of the run. The middle kilometre is run on grass alongside a road from the centre to one of the park gates, while the final 2K are run on rough undulating paths back up through trees for a final uphill sprint finish (if you have anything left in the tank).

Shoe recommendation: Although the course is a mixture of terrains, the drainage is good, so that even after overnight rain, it is suitable for road shoes.

Club fastest time: 18:59

 

Reviewed by: JZ

 

 

Venue: Rondebosch parkrun (Cape Town)

Course: This is one of several parkruns in Cape Town, South Africa. NOTE, there is an 8am start for all South African events. Not including the congested start, this is a flat and fast 2 lap course around Rondebosch Common, with stunning views of Devils Peak. It is run (or walked) in an anti-clockwise direction as there are usually South-Easterly winds blowing, and this is purported to give you a benefit on the back straight. 

Shoe recommendation: The whole route is officially on a tarmac path (though you may find yourself starting in the grass to avoid the crush) so road shoes are recommended.

Club fastest time: 19:04

Reviewed by: JZ

 

Venue: Sedgefield

Course: This is a two lap course which starts and finishes at the visitors' centre (parking is free until 11am if a barcode is left on the car dashboard). From the start, follow the path alongside the main car park and then turn right down a (muddy) track and right again into the Temple field. A left in the field has you back on a path that then skirts the lake in a clockwise direction. Run straight up the promenade and around the Roman pond before turning sharp right and right again to cross a small humpbacked footbridge. After following round the edge of the smaller lake in the park, there is a steady offroad climb through woods to join the old road. Turn right at the old road and continue to the end to turn right towards the visitors centre. Lap one completed; repeat for a second lap.

Shoe recommendation: Road shoes would usually be fine, but it can become very muddy after rain, in which case trail shoes would give much better traction (and you will end up decorated in mud!!)

Club fastest time: 18:42

Reviewed by: JZ

 

Venue: Southwark (London)

Course: This is a scenic run following an anti-clockwise, 3 lap route around one half of Southwark Park. The first section of the route follows a tarmac path around a children’s play area before circling the beautiful duck pond for 400 meters (what out for moorhens/ducks/pigeons underfoot). The route then continues with a switchback of 300m under the shade of rows of large trees, so runners can see others ahead and behind them. The final third of the lap follows the perimeter of the park past a nursery school and a running track before a sharp corner leads you back to the start line.

Shoe recommendation: The route is entirely on tarmac so road shoes are ideal.

Club fastest time: 18:25

Reviewed by: JZ

 

Venue: Strathclyde Park

Course: Only about an hour and 15 minutes drive from Dumfries, the course is run within the grounds of Strathclyde Country Park, close to Hamilton and Motherwell. The start is next to the furthest car park from the water sports centre (plenty parking available) and follows a Tarmac path round the side of Strathclyde Loch before a little loop on gravel paths takes you back the way you came to the finish which is at about the same point as the start. The route is flat and fast although it can get wet and flooded in some parts after heavy rain. As anyone who has run the Tom Scott or other races here will know, the paths can get busy with walkers, other runners, bikes, dogs etc. At 9.30 in the morning, it isn't too much of a problem. Showers are available at the water sports centre where there is also a cafe. A nice, friendly event with PB potential, close enough to be back in Dumfries before the morning's out.

Shoe recommendation: Mostly tarmac with some gravel path so road shoes are best.

Club fastest time: 17:11

Reviewed by: MD

 

Venue: Tollcross (Glasgow)

Course: "Hilly" is rather than understatement for this 2.5 lap course. While not a course for setting a PB, it is a great for a testing training run. The route is run anti clockwise and starts adjacent to the Winter Gardens near the mini bandstand. Although there is a tough uphill start, you soon reach the top perimeter of the park which affords wonderful views of Glasgow and beyond. After some more undulations there is a sharp downhill past the allotments and  a 90degree right turn towards the edge of the park. Runners never seem to be on a flat bit of ground as they follow  the perimeter of the park  parallel to Tollcross Road. The steepest downhill is cheekily followed by a breathtsapping incline around the rose gardens. A right turn returns you to the Winter Gardens and so the start of the second lap. The second lap is identical to the first, but on the third lap you carry straight on after the first sharp downhill to the finishing funnel on the grass. Beware of the finish, as it is further on the grass than it looks, but tired runners are rewarded by fresh milk, homebaking and a trip to the cafe in the Leisure Centre (the venue for the swimming at the Commonwealth Games).

Shoe recommendation: All on tarmac with some mud/puddles possible.

Club fastest time: 18:33

Reviewed by: JZ

 

Venue: Tymon (Dublin)

Course: Tymon parkrun is a much quieter sister run near to the busy Marley parkrun in Dublin. It is run completely on sealed paths within the park but does involve some "slightly undulating" sections and tight corners. Runners start off with a fast downhill section and then take a series of left turns to climb back up and run through the finish line. Instead of stopping they carry on up a small slope to run around the very edges of the park. After briefly joining the initial route, they don't take the turn back to the finish, but instead carry on to make a much larger loop of the whole of the rest of the park, with a long relatively straight run in to the finish.

Shoe recommendation: As the whole course is on sealed paths, road shoes are ideal.

Club best time : 18:21

Reviewed by: JZ

 

Venue: Warrington

Course: The route follows an out and back course (with slight variations) starting and finishing in Victoria Park, Warrington. The first kilometre undulates as it traces paths within the park, but then runners head out onto the Trans Pennine Trail, which is also tarmac underfoot. A small slope to the left takes everyone across an open field and around a rugby pitch. A short section (rougher underfoot) follows the Manchester Ship Canal, before you find yourself retracing your steps on the Trans Pennine Trail. Some runners find themselves counting down the three bridges that they run under on both the way out and the way back. To finish the run, the initial paths within the park are navigated again, before heading into the finish funnel on a stretch of grass.

Shoe recommendation: Almost on tarmac with a very short section on grass, followed by trail.

Club fastest time: 18:30

Reviewed by: JZ 

 

 Venue: Winchester

Course: At a first glance, this would appear to be a very fast course, as it is completely flat, but the tight u-turns and trees that must be negotiated on each of the three laps, conspire to slow runners down. The course is almost entirely run on grass at the North Walls Recreation Ground, less than half a mile from the centre of Winchester. There are 3 fields to be circumnavigated in each lap - intially a smaller field, then across a bridge over a stream to run round a larger field, then over another bridge to run round the initial field back to the start. This course must be completed 3 times, so there are plenty of places for spectators to support (or feed the ducks in the stream). Several overhanging tree branches must be dodged, and their roots negotiated underfoot. This course can be subject to significant flooding, at which time an alternative route may be used.

Shoe recommendation: Almost all on grass, with a few tree roots to negotiate so be guided by recent weather conditions.

Club fastest time: 18:43

Reviewed by: JZ 

 

Venue: Workington

Course: Starting from Workington Leisure Centre, the route follows an out and back course on a flat tarmac cycle path, and for those who might consider it important, has the potential for a fast run.

The first few hundred metres are around the perimeter of the car park beside the town's Fire Station which allows the field to thin out before entering the narrow and somewhat twisty start of the cycle path. (Avoid the temptation to follow those who shortcut the corners!) Once on the path it is a case of running until you are told by a marshal to go back the way you came, with the social advantage in that you are able to see everyone else at some point in the run. The finish is back at the side of the Fire Station at the point where you first entered the cycle path.

There is no cafe at the venue but the organisers provide coffee at the Centre where there are also changing facilities available.

Shoe recommendation: The route is on tarmac so road shoes are best.

Club fastest time: 17:50

Reviewed by: DB

 

Venue: Worsley Woods parkrun (west Manchester)

 

Course: This is one of the many parkruns in the Greater Manchester area and, as the course does not alter, there are permanent km signs along the route. Due to the nature of the course, it is not suitable for buggies or wheelchairs (though an alternative route is available for such participants). The first part of the course is a fast flat run straight along the tarmac loopline, but then the fun starts. Runners head into Worsley Woods for a multiterrain loop, which can become rather muddy, with not just the one, but three flights of steps to be negotiated. The payoff for this is another fast flat run back to the finish along the loopline again.

 

Shoe recommendation: Shoe choice is difficult due to the variety of the terrain, but if you don't mind them getting muddy, road shoes would probable be best.

 

Club fastest time: 18:09

 

 

Reviewed by: JZ