Newtown parkrun is based in east Wales, close to the border with England. There’s an enormous car park at the start, so no need to get there early if you’re driving. There are also public toilets which were open before and after the run. Parking is via pay-and-display and we paid £1.30 for two hours (March 2018). The start line is at the corner of the car park so you won’t have any trouble finding it and, as the parkrun is just on the edge of Newtown town centre, it’s only a short walk to the shops and cafes.
We were told that the Newtown parkrun route has changed a few times, depending on weather and ground conditions, so you won’t necessarily be running the course shown on the webpage. The route we ran was different to the one shown online – we did one out-and-back, followed by one lap of the perimeter of the park, finishing with the out-and-back again. I don’t think it makes a great deal of difference to the experience as you’ll still cover all sections of the course at least once. Just listen to the instructions at the start and use the marshals as your guide and you shouldn’t go far wrong.
The course we ran was about 80% tarmac and 20% grass, but I think the usual route is more like 50/50. The paths are a decent width so it’s not too congested – the only tricky bit was the entrance to the bridge which is only wide enough for one person and, with runners coming both ways over the bridge, you might have to wait for a moment there. It’s a nice, flat course, with only a bit of undulation. There is a wide section of the River Severn running through the middle of Newtown parkrun and it’s lovely running alongside it. There are also some great views of the hills and it generally feels very rural, even though it’s so close to civilisation. The volunteers were very welcoming, friendly and enthusiastic. Overall, very enjoyable.
Official Event Page: Newtown parkrun
Nearby postcode: SY16 2NZ
Hills (as logged by Suunto Spartan Trainer): Ascent 7m / Descent 7m
Subjective PB potential: 6/10 – fairly flat, but some grass and a small wait at the bridge
Distance Displayed on Suunto Spartan Trainer: 5.09 km