A two-lap course around War Memorial Park in Coventry, West Midlands. The postcode provided (CV3 6PT) got us to the Kenilworth Road but not directly to the large, free Park-and-Ride car park next to War Memorial Park, but the car park was well signposted and easy to find nonetheless. The walk to the start line is probably between five and ten minutes but the War Memorial, which is where the start line is, can be spotted from the car park because it’s quite large, so you won’t have trouble finding the start. There was a Visitor Centre on the way to the start, which I had presumed had toilets, but everything was locked up during parkrun. I’ve since discovered that there are toilets behind the tennis courts, near to the children’s play area – not on the parkrun route itself, but not far from the start/finish. I couldn’t see a café either but, according to the course page, there is one behind the Visitor Centre.
The Run Director’s talk was delivered from the top of the Memorial steps, so that everyone could see, and he was accompanied by a signer. This was the first parkrun that has had someone signing during the introduction and is a great example of how inclusive parkrun is.
Numbers are high at Coventry parkrun – regularly in excess of 600 runners – and so it took about 30 seconds to even get across the start line. The course did feel very congested at the start and people were having to run on the muddy grass to overtake people on the path, but it thinned out after the first 0.5km and was fine after that. It’s a nice course with some undulation throughout, but nothing too challenging. This would be a good course for runners with prams. It was well marshalled and sign-posted, but you’d have no chance of getting lost anyway because there are so many other runners to follow. There was one very enthusiastic marshal giving out high-fives to all the runners and most people were happy to oblige.
The whole course is on proper pathways and it’s a really nice park to run around (twice!). Catching the Park-and-Ride bus into Coventry city centre couldn’t be easier either. Though I do feel that Coventry would benefit from a second parkrun, to help ease off the numbers a bit.
Hills: Ascent/Descent metres 40.5
Subjective PB potential: 7/10 – some congestion and undulation
Distance Displayed on Suunto Spartan Trainer: 5.12 km