Finsbury is a well-established and ever-popular parkrun in North London. The start and finish are next to the cafe within Finsbury Park – typing “Finsbury Park Cafe” into your SatNav should take you directly into the park and to the cafe. There is car parking within the park, on the road alongside the cafe, which is paid for via telephone or online (have a look at the now defunct Pay and Display machines for details). We paid 90p for 2 hours (Oct 2017), which seemed very reasonable. The toilets next to the cafe were of usual public toilet standards, but they were clean and open early enough for the runners. The cafe was shut at 9am but open by the time we’d finished the run. There is also a children’s play area just outside, if you’re taking the family along.
The course is two laps around the park, all of it on tarmac paths/roadways. The first half of the lap is on a roadway (within the park) several metres wide, so it doesn’t feel too cramped, even at the start – the road was not in use by vehicles at the time. The first 0.5k is a gentle downhill, followed by about 0.5k of gentle uphill. It then levels out a bit before a sharp left leading you up a fairly steep hill, which quite a few runners walked up. At the top of the hill it levels out again and is fairly flat as you loop around the lake and back to the start for lap two, which is the same as lap one.
There were marshals at the key turns/junctions in the course and plenty of volunteers at the finish to keep the funnel moving. Although run entirely on tarmac, I don’t think the chances of a PB are very high as the course is quite undulating and there is the hill to contend with (twice!). Overall though, the course has a spacious, open feel to it which is very appealing.
Author: parkrunner, “HP”
Official Event page: Finsbury parkrun
Nearby postcode: N4 2DA
Hills: Ascent 62m, Descent 59m
Subjective PB Potential: 5/10 – 100% tarmac but undulating