A new parkrun to Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, and nicely filling a bit of a parkrun void in the area. Finding the start was easy (use postcode SG6 4PN), though you drive through a housing estate and we weren’t sure we were heading in the right direction, but then we saw the large parkrun flag handily placed next to the road, so we were able to head into the car park. There are spaces for about 40 cars, but there is free parking in the nearby residential roads if the car park is full. The toilets were open both before and after the run. The starting area is a short walk and visible from the car park, so you won’t have trouble finding it. It finishes in roughly the same place. There didn’t seem to be anywhere to buy any refreshments, so you’d probably have to head into Letchworth itself for that.
The course has been self-described on their Facebook page as “mud mud mud”. I can’t argue with that! The course is a combination of grass (mud) and trail paths, with a small section of permanent pathway, and is extremely muddy along large sections of the course. It’s two clockwise laps and the course was very churned up by the second lap – more appropriate for wellies than running shoes! The corners are the most hazardous areas and I wouldn’t mind betting some runners came a cropper, but there were marshals in those spots to keep an eye on things and to warn runners to be careful.
As you’re basically running around fields, you do get some lovely views on the way, though it was hard to look as I was struggling with the mud. Have I mentioned the mud?! It’s a nice, straightforward course and there are marshals at key points. It’s fairly flat with a few gentle undulations, so your main challenge is … the mud! A challenging course, though it may become easier in warmer, drier weather.
Official Event Page: Letchworth parkrun
Nearby postcode: SG6 4PN
Hills (as logged by Suunto Spartan Trainer): Ascent 28m / Descent 42m
Subjective PB potential: 2/10 – quite flat but cross-country and very muddy
Distance Displayed on Suunto Spartan Trainer: 5.23 km
See below for difficulty ranking