Rutland Water parkrun
Based in the East Midlands, Rutland Water parkrun is a straightforward out-and-back along the scenic reservoir. There is a very large car park so there should be space for everyone, though the SatNav will not quite get you there, so I would suggest using “Rutland Water car park” on Normanton Road in your SatNav. If you’re arriving from 8.30am there should be plenty of other cars to follow. Parking is £1 all day if you take your ticket to the fishing tackle shop (underneath the café) to be validated with your parkrun barcode. The café is large and has nice, clean toilets which parkrunners may use. There are also some public toilets located closer to the car park, but they weren’t quite so nice. At the start line, there was also a hut selling refreshments and an ice-cream van, though you may not be so lucky if you go out of season.
The start line is a few minutes’ walk from the car park and is roughly adjacent to the picturesque Normanton Church (formerly, St Matthew’s Church), on the water’s edge. It’s a flat course and is entirely on tarmac, though the paths are quite narrow and, with runners going out-and-back, it can be a bit of a squeeze at times. Luckily, there is the option of running onto the grass during the busier times. This is a definitely a good course to try for a fast time.
Because it’s a straightforward out-and-back, it’s impossible to get lost. There are a few marshals along the way, to keep an eye on things and for added encouragement, but you basically just run to the obvious turning point (a cone and a marshal) and then head back. Rutland Water parkrun has a friendly team and the views of the church and the reservoir are really lovely. It was scorching hot when we ran and there is virtually no shade, so I would suggest that spring is a good time to go.
Official Event Page: Rutland Water parkrun
Hills: Ascent/Descent metres 11.6
Subjective PB potential: 10/10 – flat, tarmac
Distance Displayed on Suunto Spartan Trainer: 5.07 km