Manchester-based Stretford parkrun begins and ends in Longford Park Stadium and comprises one lap of the track, two clockwise laps of Longford Park and one further lap of the track to finish. The stadium was really easy to find (use postcode M21 9TA) and the car park was free. The car park was large enough for around 100 cars, but come early if you definitely want to park there because runners are asked not to park in the surrounding residential roads and Stretford is a very popular parkrun. There are toilets and changing rooms at the stadium, as well as a counter serving food and drinks.
The whole course is on permanent paths or running track and is about as flat as they come. The course description makes the route sounds quite complicated, but it’s actually really straightforward, with marshals and/or cones to stop you taking any wrong turns. Although it’s a busy parkrun, the paths are wide enough that it doesn’t feel too congested. Longford Park is very pleasant to run around and it’s a good course even in poor weather. It is one of the flattest courses I’ve run and I can’t remember there being any hills or inclines whatsoever. I think it would be possible to get a very good time at Stretford parkrun.
Although I didn’t notice any of this on the way round, Longford Park is home to lots of facilities, including tennis and basketball courts, bowling green and wildlife garden, so there’s plenty to do there on a nice day. It’s also only a 15 minute drive from the Trafford Centre or Manchester city centre.
Official Event Page: Stretford parkrun
Nearby postcode: M21 9TA
Hills: Ascent/Descent metres 7.3
Subjective PB potential: 10/10 – completely flat with wide paths
Distance Displayed on Suunto Spartan Trainer: 4.96 km