March parkrun in based near Peterborough in Cambridgeshire and takes in four clockwise laps of West End Park. The provided postcode (PE15 9LT) takes you directly to the car park and parking was easy as there was a second car park if the first was full. The leisure centre/library car park was free, but I don’t know about the second one. The leisure centre is open early and parkrunners are allowed to go in to use their toilets – though, take your shoes off first if they are muddy! There was no café in the park, but there was a children’s playground.
The briefings take place by the bandstand, which is at the car park end of West End Park. The start line is about 50m from there and starts on grass. Overall, the course is about 60% grass, 10% wood chip path and 30% tarmac. There is also a small flight of about ten steps near the end of the lap, which you have to go up four times in total. Even though it’s a four-lapper and there is therefore a fair bit of overtaking going on, the course didn’t feel too congested. The grassy sections do get very churned up though, so watch your step on those – the wood chip path had recently been laid on one section of the grass to try to preserve it a bit, but I found it a very difficult surface to run on and moved onto the grass anyway.
It’s a well-marshalled and straightforward course and therefore impossible to take a wrong turn. It’s pretty flat, but the amount of grass you have to run on makes it a little trickier/slower. Overall though, a very pleasant run around West End park, with views of the River Nene along the way.
Official Event Page: March parkrun
Nearby postcode: PE15 9LT
Hills: Ascent/Descent metres 8.8
Subjective PB potential: 7/10 – quite flat but mostly ‘cross-country’
Distance Displayed on Suunto Spartan Trainer: 5.15 km
See below for difficulty ranking