A very scenic, very flat course around Ferry Meadows Country Park. The course is an out and back, with a loop at each end, run mostly around the lake and entirely on tarmac paths. There is only one hill and that is over a small bridge, which you cross twice.
There is large car park but, with so many runners, latecomers may struggle, so I’d advise an 8.30 arrival if you want an easy parking experience. The toilets were spacious, clean, free to use and are highly visible between the car park and the start line. The parking system works with numberplate recognition, so no need to take or display a ticket. Parking was £1 (Oct-2017) between 8-11am with the code that parkrun volunteers will provide to you on the day. Don’t worry if you forget the code – there’ll be a queue of runners at the ticket machine and one of them will remember!
The start/finish is outside the café and there is some outdoor seating for spectators. There are usually in excess of 500 runners at Peterborough so it can take a while to cross the start line. Because it’s so popular, it gets a bit cramped at times – particularly one section of the route which goes back on itself, as the runners have to use the same 200m stretch of path in opposite directions. Overtaking during this section is quite difficult. There were plenty of marshals on the day at the main turns/junctions but it would be possible to take a wrong turn without them.
If you’re a fast runner in search of a PB, try to start right at the front because there’s a long queue at the start line. If you finish in the first 30 minutes or so, expect a small queue at the busy-but-well-managed funnel. Peterborough would benefit from a new parkrun starting nearby, to reduce the numbers a little, though the plus-side is that there is a larger pool of potential volunteers and they usually have a full complement. Overall, an enjoyable and not-too-challenging course.
Author: parkrunner, “HP”
Official Event page: Peterborough parkrun
Nearby postcode: PE2 5UU
Hills: 58ft ascent, 67 feet descent
Subjective PB Potential: 9/10 – 100% tarmac, but difficult to overtake