This week we’re off to the West Midlands town of Solihull – more specifically, to Brueton Park. There is a small car park (Malvern Car Park) at Brueton Park itself, but spaces are limited so you’d need to get there early. The other alternative, as mentioned on the course page, is the car park at Solihull Sixth Form College. This is at the opposite end of the park to Malvern Car Park, but still only a 5-minute walk from the start line. If you display a parkrun barcode in your windscreen, you may park for free at the College until 11am. There are no toilets at the park so you’d have to venture onto Solihull High Street, but that’s only a five minute walk from the start line. There are also plenty of shops and cafes in the town centre.
Brueton parkrun regularly has in excess of 500 runners and, as a result, they have a starting funnel where runners are expected to roughly seed themselves and they also have quite a long finish funnel. The route did feel congested at times throughout the course, due to the large numbers, and the paths are only wide enough to fit three people in most places. One particular long stretch of path is used in both directions on both laps, so it does get very busy and overtaking was often difficult.
The course is two laps, with the second lap being just marginally shorter than the first. There was a marshal in place to ensure runners took the shorter route on the second lap. The whole course is on permanent paths and is fairly flat. This is a pram-friendly course and there is also a children’s play area and tennis courts. It’s a really nice park – very scenic and you even run past the River Blythe as part of the course.
There is talk of a second parkrun starting in Solihull, which would certainly help ease the numbers at Brueton. Watch this space.
Official Event Page: Brueton parkrun
Hills: Ascent/Descent metres 21.9
Subjective PB potential: 8/10 – great course, but too congested
Distance Displayed on Suunto Spartan Trainer: 5.11 km