48 events and counting…

Aberdeen

Aberdeen_Course

 

aberdeen 94

 

Course  The Aberdeen course lies to the North East of the city centre and is an out and back course using the upper and lower esplanade. The start is located beside the Donmouth nature reserve and there is an abundance of parking available along this stretch of the esplanade. For my visit to Aberdeen I lucked out to an extent as the local Metro AC had a volunteer take over and offered up a whopping 17 pacers. One for every minute between 17-34. An outstanding effort and a sight to behold as they staggered themselves amongst those waiting to run. The route is all tarmac path based with some dustings of sand covering the lower esplanade. From the start there is a slight S bend before the esplanade that then follows a gradual turn to the right. From here on its a flat straight course out to the turning point. Like Edinburgh, Greenock and Strathclyde the course is flat and open with definite P.B. potential but it definitely helps if nature is one your side. At the turn you descend to the lower tier. A course where the majority of your route lies in plain sight, so just a case of getting on with it. On the return leg just before you reach the end of the lower esplanade you turn left and have a short climb which brings you out back at the sweeping corner from earlier. Only now in reverse and heading left, before the slight S bend takes you to the finish line.

Type – Out and back.

Elevation – About as flat as it gets, only slight slope when going from upper to lower esplanade and back up towards finish.

Elevation Grade – 1/5

Terrain – Concrete paths, some dustings of sand alongside the beach

Scenery – Sea, beach, golf course and Pittodrie.

P.B. Potential – 9/10

Strava – Aberdeen parkrun

Additional Info – Staying in the city centre and jogging to the start might not leave you as fresh as you might hope. Its possible to run out into a headwind and hoping you’ll feel the benefit on the return home only to be sheltered on the lower esplanade…

 

Alness

Alness_Course

 

alness 34

 

Course – Alness was the most Northerly parkrun in the U.K., having taken that title from Elgin, but has since passed the mantle over to Bressay. A beautiful, flat out and back course, with a few pretty much single-file style narrow sections. A constantly changing mix of terrain – nothing too challenging, but enough to keep your focus and attention.

The route starts on grass, leaving Averon park before you join a riverside path via some wooded sections. The woods begin to thin and you head under a bridge supporting the A9. From here its across an old airfield and sections of concrete flagging (bit similar to Montrose in that respect) heading for the Yankee pier. Possibly a bit deceptively longer than it at first seemed, but it does offer stunning views of the Cromarty Firth. Turn around a cone, thank the marshall and enjoy the retracing the route in reverse with the finish line in the park arriving slightly closer than the start line, bonus!

Type – Out and back.

Elevation – Almost entirely flat.

Elevation Grade – 1/5

Terrain – Mix of grass, dirt track and part concrete abandoned airfield.

Scenery – Stunning, the reward of seeing the rigs in the Cromarty Firth and the trip out and back to the Yankee pier is definitely one to remember.

P.B. Potential – 8/10

StravaAlness parkrun

Additional Info – Up there as one of my all-time favourites. Few narrow sections between woodland and A9 bridge, never for too long though.

 

Aviemore

Aviemore_Course

 

aviemore 297

 

Course – Aviemore parkrun lies on a simply stunning stretch of the Speyside Way. Runners arrive and assemble (mostly) via the industrial estate entrance onto the way. The first timers/tourist briefing takes place here before a couple of hundred metres walk under a bridge and up a small hill to the start. From here the course is a pretty epic out and back that undulates but in never too venomous a fashion. Starting off in woodland, with some glimpses onto the nearby Spey Valley golf course. Leaving the woodland you pass into a short section of sustainable forest which then fades into heather moorland. Around half the course is then run following a very light gravel path as it meanders across the moor. The moorland is open and expansive but feels somewhat enclosed by the Cairngorms in the distance. Following the path you will eventually reach the marshall/cone signalling the half way point. A wee thank you and a wave and you’re on your way back. If you thought the views on the way out were good, the return is even more spectacular (I’d say breathtaking but that could be that you’re at about 3.5k at this point). Retracing your steps, moorland to forest, forest to woodland. When arriving back into the woodland its here the bumps of the course are most noticeable. A few of the climbs/twists are reminiscent of the start/finish section and whilst you’re not far its worth knowing that there a few dips and bumps till you’re home.

Type – Out and back.

Elevation – Gently undulating, in the truest sense.

Elevation Grade – 2/5

Terrain – Light gravel path

Scenery – Stunning. Scotland at its finest. Run through woodland, forest and heather moorland with the Cairngorm mountains offering an epic backdrop.

P.B. Potential – 7/10

Strava – Aviemore parkrun

Additional Info – Easy to bag a freedom run, simply run from red post to red post and back again. Has a hint of a false finish about it, worth leaving something in the tank. Another course that shares my all time favourite status.

 

Ayr

Ayr_Course

 

ayr 249

 

Course – Rozelle park is home to the Ayr event. It’s (like Vogrie) a course that is run entirely off tarmac on woodland trail, grass and some dirt/mud track. The route itself is a sort of horseshoe shape which you complete once entirely before tackling one half of again. The start lies just North of a pavilion alongside some rugby pitches. After a short straight section you join the main trail on which the majority of the course is run. The route takes a left turn and heads down into a dip before rising out the other side. A marshall will direct you left and you follow the trail around a couple of ponds. Having looped around these you rejoin the main trial path you were on before, just a hundred or metres so beyond where you left it. You now head back in the opposite direction retracing your steps towards the start passing the dip as you go. Staying on the trail path that’s at the parks perimeter you pass the start and then later the finish area getting glimpses of both between the trees. About three quarters of the way along this straight section there is a marshall that will eventually direct you to the finish. For now though they’ll cheer you past as you continue onwards. The course gradually turns right before delivering you to a fork in the path, here you’re directed left. This section of the path/trail was some of the muddiest on the route. There had been some recent rainfall but underfoot conditions where enough to make you ease off and be a bit wary of your footing. After a couple of hundred metres you are directed to turn right and head back in the direction you’ve just come from, but have now joined the other path you’d seen at the fork junction. This path is closer to the inside of the park and after a couple of hundred metres you pass once again through the fork junction. This section of the course that follows is gently winding trail with some exposed tree roots to be mindful of and mid event is busy with runners (and other park users) going in both directions. Following the path back around to the left you rejoin the longest, straightest section of the course. Heading back down adjacent to the start completes the full circuit. The remainder of the course is the first half again and on your return to the straight section its a case of making it to the marshall who will then direct you through a gap in the trees onto a grass section. You turn a sharp right and then just a couple of hundred metres before the finish line and funnel.

Type – 1.5 lap horseshoe.

Elevation – Undulates throughout, notably at the opposite sides of the course.

Elevation Grade – 3/5

Terrain – Mainly dirt/mud track with a small concrete path section around the pond and the start/finish on grass.

Scenery – Predominantly woodland trail paths beside grassy areas/rugby pitches and a small loop around a pond.

P.B. Potential – 4/10

Strava – Ayr parkrun

Additional Info – Not a course to wear shiny new shoes to. Trail shoes wouldn’t be out of place.

 

Bressay

Bressay_Course

 

bressay 148

 

Course – Scotland’s and the UK’s most Northerly Bressay parkrun is a bit special. Usually try to stick to a course review but feels necessary to flag the slightly epic nature of what was required to attend. This isn’t your average event. From a central Scotland base there was a drive to Aberdeen the day before, a 12hr overnight ferry (found this to be much cheaper than flying in and then having the subsequent 25 mile trip from Sumburgh to Lerwick) with a sleeping pod booked. Arriving into Lerwick at 7am there followed a short walk of a mile to catch the 7minute ferry trip across the water to the isle of Bressay. Here regulars and tourists alike convene and trade respective parkrun war stories. It’s then just a short walk via a waiting room/toilets to the MaryField House hotel where the event starts.

A really warm welcome and special mention is made and given to anyone that has spoken to the event team and they really do appreciate the efforts of those that have made the trip. From the start you lead out a short section of tarmac path that quickly becomes the main island road and this crests and offers a downhill section within the first couple of hundred metres. The course then takes a turn right and you head out in a Southerly direction. The course all being on live roads is a bit of a novelty as everyone on the island is well aware of the event and during the 5k I was passed by one 4×4.

The route continues to gently wind past some houses before reaching a turn left and a short climb. Here you pass a marshal standing at the shop who directs you right and this is near the finish so it’s nice knowing from here it’s essentially an out and back now. At this stage you have some great views out over the water to Lerwick and of the radio masts on the highest point of Bressay in the distance. This stretch is relatively straight and encompasses the main climb of the route. Whilst not the most challenging of climbs the ‘out’ section was being down in mid 20mph winds so it kept it interesting. Just as the hill levels out you wind your way amongst a collection of houses in downtown Grindiscol. A further straight road lies ahead and as you pass a farm the sound of may a cow moo’ing their (hopeful) approval and cheer helps keep you going. Ahead lies a red phone box at a junction and this is your marker to turn right and head a few hundred metres down a reasonable descent to an awaiting marshal and cone to turn around. Bressay is another of Scotland’s more intimate venues numbers wise and with it being an out and back course you get the chance to cheer and say hello to everyone else taking on the course. From the cone you retrace your steps and the climb back to the main road is a little bit cheeky.

After the reasonably strong headwind on the way out I was hoping it would feel like afterburners being on for the return but it felt strangely still until passing Grindiscol again. No reasonable explanation for this, just thankful to have the moo’ing on the way back to cheer me home. As you pass through Grindiscol a welcome descent awaits and you can see that the shop and then the finish at the Speldiburn Café (former primary school) are within sight. It’s probably about half a kilometre with just a slight incline to the finish line/funnel that awaits clearly marked with in the blue fences of the old school playground. A really scenic course and with the return ferry to Lerwick being 10:30 or 11:30 a great chance to relax and grab a bacon roll (vegetarian and vegan options available) and a blether in the café with the Bressay team and fellow runners. Not your average parkrun and definitely worth the adventure of getting there.

Type – Out and just over half back.

Elevation – An undulating course that winds and weaves its way down the Western edges of Bressay. There are a couple of more notable climbs one being a straight stretch that arrives about half way into the out section. The other being straight after the turning point where you’ve to return to the main’ road and reverse of the descent you’ve just enjoyed.

Elevation Grade – 2.5/5

Terrain – All on closed island roads. Passed by a whole one car during the 5k.

Scenery – Stunning views across the water to Lerwick and the roads of the course wind and weave down the Western edge of Bressay. A couple of large radio masts are to the South East on the highest point of Bressay

P.B. Potential – 6/10

Strava – Bressay parkrun

Additional Info – Incredibly warm welcome and reception made to anyone making the journey to the Bressay event. Great chat (and bacon roll) in the Speldiburn café (the old primary school) that’s where the event finishes. If you’re attending the event you jump on the 9am ferry that is a 7 minute crossing from Lerwick to Bressay and is filled with regulars and tourists. Think more often than not the course is a bit blowy.

 

Camperdown

Camperdown_Course

 

camperdown 425

 

Course – Camperdown park lies in the North Western corner of Dundee. A course that is best described as properly undulating. Compromising some long steady ascents and descents. The route follows a rough figure of eight but sitting on its side. From the start you are straight into a downhill section that gradually sweeps to the right. The course was altered in early 2018 due to concerns over numbers and safety. The outwards section now takes place on the wider, flatter more permanent trail path. The path is fairly muddy and has a variety of puddles (it had been relatively dry of late as well). As you head Westwards you pass the wildlife centre and a playpark. Arriving at the crossroads in the course you turn to the left. Here the surface changes to a tarmac road that takes you down to the most Southern and lowest part of the park. Then transitioning onto a woodland trail the path skirts the Southern park boundary before a right turn and a steady climb takes you up to the highest part of the route passing the golf course to your right. The climb continues as the path begins to sweep to the right and you then once again transition to the tarmac road. Heading South and downhill you reach the crossroads from earlier. After the course alteration you now turn left marginally earlier left and head out Easterly on a grass/trail path. In the eighteen months between visits this path has become more established and felt easier underfoot. The alteration also meaning this section is run/walked with a more spread out field which makes a considerable difference. As you retrace a similar distance to the earlier ‘out’ section you arrive back to where you joined the muddy path. You take a right turn and continue to descend across an open park/meadow area to the South East corner of Camperdown park. Having reached this point its a case of heading back to the start and this is done via another steady ascent on a woodland trail path twisting its way back uphill. About three quarters of the way up through the woods the path takes a jink to the left and you’re returned to the path/grass near the start. The finish funnel is now in sight. Formerly the toughest finish yet encountered at a parkrun, but what a course. If you’re lucky enough to call Camperdown your home run then you may have a weekly challenge, but a rewarding one at that.

Type – Figure of 8

Elevation – Yes, plenty.

Elevation Grade – 4/5

Terrain – Mix of grass, tarmac, woodland trail & slightly muddy paths throughout.

Scenery – Woodland, grass expanses and a slightly heath like area.

P.B. Potential – 2/10

Strava – Camperdown parkrun

Additional Info – Previously the toughest finish to a course yet encountered. Recently top trumped by Crathes Castle. Leave something in the legs. The little kicker through the trees, just when you thought it was over… one hundred metres more.

 

Crathes Castle

CrathesCastle_Course

Course – Crathes Castle is a 16th-century castle near Banchory in Aberdeenshire in North East Scotland. The event is held on National Trust for Scotland land and the courses start and finish are in the literal shadow of the castle itself. At the time of typing (event 20) the course being run is still an alternate route to that of the intended proper route. Some work to paths on the most Northerly and Eastern parts of the route mean a slightly revised out and back section is in place.

Currently the event starts a short walk down a hill from the finish line and funnel (this is worth remembering). Heading out along a tarmac path in a Westerly direction a short climb soon gives way to a straight and pleasant descent for a shade over half a mile. Just long enough to contemplate when will the turning point ever appear? A marshal a cone and a set of pride rainbow style dimple cones await. Proper sexy, coordinated cone action a gogo. Turning 180 degrees you retrace your way back up the climb for half a mile. At the initial crest of the hill you’ve encountered you take a right turn and head now onto a well maintained trail path that has a sweeping chicane as you descend a fair amount, and relatively quickly (this is also worth remembering).

As the course flattens out you continue to run on good trail paths and pass marshal point three and you’re directed to take the path that heads off to the right. Whilst not pancake flat this section of the course possibly offered the best opportunity for some respite and rhythm. You continue to follow the path and signage that have you completing a short anti-clockwise loop. Completing the loop has you heading back along the path where a keep right policy operates as there is likely runners/walkers going in both directions now.

Things now get interesting heading for home the last half mile of the course is essentially hill and climb that just keeps on giving. A couple of initial turns to the right see you starting to climb a more intense section similar to the second descent encountered. Having scaled this the gradient eases off, but not by too much. Historically in Scotland Camperdown has probably laid claim to the toughest finish to a course. Honourable mentions to Crichton & Dunfermline. Crathes though – game changer. Definitely an opportunity to find out what you have left in your legs (or not). On the final climb there is a moment where you catch a glimpse of the castle through the tree line. That offers a great chance to gauge how far the remaining climb stretches as the funnel is positioned alongside the castle. An enthusiastic team of volunteers cheer you home as you head towards the awaiting funnel. There is grass and space available if you need some time and moment(s) to recover. Fist bump or high five someone as if you’ve hauled yourself round a beautiful but challenging course you’ve earned this notch on your run count.

Type – 1 lap, kind of a figure of eight.

Elevation – The alternate route offered a quick wee climb that led into a solid half mile of descent. Only to then become a half mile of climb as you retraced your steps. A chicane of steeper woodland descent took you to a flatter woodland trail loop before cranking things up several notches as the steeper climb is tackled as you wind back round towards the finish (beyond the start back up the hill beside the castle). Although the hill eases it definitely keeps it interesting.

Elevation Grade – 4/5

Terrain – Tarmac paths and well maintained trail paths.

Scenery – Crathes Castle and beautiful manicured gardens and many a woodland trial and path to explore.

P.B. Potential – 2/10

Strava – Crathes Castle Alternate

Additional Info – £3 car park charge. Textbook event for the mantras of – don’t go off too fast and save something in the tank for the finish. The finish that keeps on giving.

 

Crichton

Crichton_Course

 

crichton 157

 

Course – Currently Scotland’s Southern most event the Crichton in Dumfries became Scotland’s 34th event. The course is entirely run on closed campus/roads with a very short hard packed trail/gravel section through a walled garden. The start and finish are located beside the Crichton Memorial Church. From the start you head up a short climb to then loop around the church and to head downhill on a road with a few gentle twists and turns. At a junction you turn left and proceed along a straight section to an awaiting marshal. They direct you to turn left and head up a steady straight climb. Surrounded by a mixture of business park units and university buildings. As the climb crests out you turn right and get a slight downhill section that leads you into a sharper left turn and a short brief climb. A right turn takes leaves you following the road as it snakes through a tree lined section with more college buildings. The road turns gradually through 180˚ as you begin to head North Easterly twisting and turning through buildings that are a bit more agricultural. A definite left and then right turn leave you with a straight back to the marshal from earlier. They direct you to the right to repeat this same loop.

On the second time of arriving at the marshal they direct you to continue onwards where you retrace your earlier steps away from the start just now in the opposite direction. As you near the road that leads to the Church you instead turn left and head downhill to the lowest point of the course. At the bottom there is a right turn and you follow the road to the most Northerly part of the course. As with the Southern tip the route takes a gradual 180˚ turn. As you head back in the opposite direction you leave the road onto a short hard packed trail/gravel path that winds through a walled garden. A lot of the Dumfries course had felt quite similar in terms of views but this short section helped to mix it up with plenty greenery on display. Leaving the garden a testing wee climb kicks in and continues as you head now back towards the Church. Arriving back at a junction where you’d headed downhill the finish is now relatively close at hand as you turn left and continue to climb up the finish funnel alongside the Church.

Type – 1.5 laps

Elevation – A course that felt like it had more net climb than descent. Few drawn out steady climbs (one repeated). Cheeky last kilometre with a climb leaving the walled garden and then an uphill finish, reminiscent of Camperdown (not as severe).

Elevation Grade – 3/5

Terrain – Primarily tarmac (closed) estate roads, short section of hard packed gravel winding through the walled garden.

Scenery – A church, a mix of various university buildings and a short section through a walled garden.

P.B. Potential – 4/10

StravaCrichton parkrun

Additional Info – Not clearest from the course map but the Southern half of the course is a loop that you tackle twice before then continuing Northwards to complete the top loop and then head for home. Spotless toilets available in Neuro’s bar & spa from 7am on parkrun days.

 

Drumchapel

Drumchapel_Course

 

drumchapel 455

 

Course – And then there was Drumchapel… Scotland’s hilliest course is a bit of a tester. Usually one of the cosier events attendance wise. The course comprises three continually undulating laps of the bluebell woods with a short start and finish section leading to the main loop. Underfoot is a mix of rough & loose gravel and some woodland trail. After the start section you take a turn left and quickly encounter a pretty sharp descent (with some loose gravel to be mindful of). This descent twists a little as you go and at the base a sharp right turn awaits which is worth taking real care over with the momentum gained. The route then heads out Westerly, rising and falling over some climbs to then descend into what becomes a right turn and a fairly substantial climb. The hill is still going (just) as you turn right out the top of it, before then getting the chance for some respite/recovery on a downhill section. You head straight in an Easterly direction before turning right to take on the sharp, twisty descent for the second time. Repeating the same loop twice more. On your third lap when you’re heading East and homeward you just keep going straight ahead, retracing your earlier steps to the start. This has now become the finish line. Having crossed the line, BREATH. Recover. But also take joy and pride in the fact that’s as tough as it gets in Scotland (for now). Just 5k, like all the others, but a real badge of honour if you’ve tamed the bluebell woods.

Type – 3 laps with a short start/finish section.

Elevation – YES. Lots. Most climb of any course in Scotland.

Elevation Grade – 5/5

Terrain – Mix of tarmac paths and light/rough gravel throughout. Be very careful of loose gravel on tarmac on the steeper descents/sharper turns.

Scenery – Predominantly woodland with views across the lands below and opposite the Bluebell woods.

P.B. Potential – 1/10

Strava – Drumchapel parkrun

Additional Info – I thought Camperdown/Dunfermline & Tollcross were a shift and a half until I visited Drumchapel. One of Scotland’s more ‘cosy’ attendance wise.

 

Drumpellier Country

Drumpellier_Course

Course – Drumpellier Country park is located in North Lanarkshire and located between Gartcosh and Coatbridge. The course is a two lapper with an out and back section to take you to the two loops. A pretty scenic and busy park which offers plenty parking, wide accommodating paths and a pretty supersized childrens play park (The Crannog).

The start/finsh area is located beside the Crannog which is a couple of hundred metres walk from the larger East car park. Starting on a tarmac path of about a single vehicle width you head Southerly around the edge of Lochend Loch. Approaching a junction (from which you will reappear later) you turn right and head West to continue running/walking alongside the loch. After four hundred metres a marshal and a sign direct you to turn left into the woods. The path surface changes from tarmac to a really hard packed trail but could only ever imagine running on road shoes unless it had been snowing. The path remains fairly wide and it’s a pleasant five hundred or so metres straight ahead. There is a gradual incline but very much of the, yes it’s a climb but doesn’t really register. Slight memories of Hazlehead in that sense but Drumpellier is tamer still. As you head up through the woods you’ll pass through a crossroads but this is dimpled coned off as you continue straight ahead. You will eventually reach a pretty sharp switch back turn whilst not quite being a full 180˙, isn’t far off. 165˙ anyone?

Turning left the path begins to gently wind itself snaking right, left, right, left and right again. Think this is also where you should get some downhill but like the uphill it doesn’t really register. The whole course feeling like a flat one. The woods offers nice views and feels quite spacious and open. I’m sure generally it offers more shelter than not but when visited for a freedom run was surprised just how blustery it can be in the middle of the woods. After you’ve followed the snaking path you follow a straighter section that passes some buildings before returning you to tarmac path. There is a turn left that brings you to the junction passed earlier. Here you retrace the full loop again for a second time. When you return to this junction for the second time (in this direction), you turn right and head for home. The finish and abundance of high-vis can be seen on a couple of hundred metres away. Exiting from the junction the finish felt like the perfect sort of distance for being able to unleash anything you have left. Really nice and welcome addition to the Scottish events and one that can see being really popular week in, week out.

Type – 2 Laps.

Elevation – Pretty much flat.

Elevation Grade – 1.5/5

Terrain – Mix of tarmac path and hard packed trail.

Scenery – Lochend Loch side views and a nice woodland straight, then winding loop. Start and finish beside the Crannog (children’s play area)

P.B. Potential – 8/10

Strava – TBC.

Additional Info – The whole route is on relatively wide and accommodating paths be these tarmac or hard packed trail. So although being two laps never feels crowded or hemmed in.

 

Dunfermline

Dunfermline_Course

 

dunfermline 426

 

Course – The course I now call ‘home’. Dunfermline comprises three laps around Pittencrieff park and remains refreshingly challenging but enjoyable. A scenic park with ever changing panoramas and park features as you go. In a genuinely unbiased view, one of the warmest welcomes going in all of parkun.

The route itself starts out not far from the carpark and a childrens play park. A short straight up a wee hill leads into a right turn and a steady downhill section where approaching a crossroads you will be guided to turn right passing in front of the Glen pavilion. A wide path continues on, turning left for some more downhill and the solitary course hazard of a solitary speed bump. The path continues left and you arrive at a second crossroads once again being directed right. The longest downhill stretch of the course follows. Completing this section takes you to the base of the park. Being at the bottom of the park there really is only one place to go. A steady climb beckons with the first half being sharper ascent wise than the second. On reaching the top a left turn brings you onto a glorious flat straight allowing some recovery as you traverse back across the park. Returning to the second of the crossroads from earlier, you turn right and a small climb along a straight awaits. Arriving now at the first crossroads encountered you turn right to begin a short loop around behind the toilet block and rock garden, turning left just before Pittencrieff house. This first left reveals a short sharp descent, the second left revealing a short sharp climb, up and under a bridge. After passing underneath the bridge you’ll see a sign (and cheering marshalls) directing you to the left to complete the main lap section twice more. On your third time passing under the bridge you turn right and head for home. There may be just a little more hill involved but the finish line/funnel is in sight. A testing, but rewarding course, despite being three laps it never feels repetitive (week in, week out) as there is always a next section of the course to contemplate.

Type – 3 laps with a start and finish section.

Elevation – Undulating.

Elevation Grade – 4/5

Terrain – Tarmac paths throughout, one speed bump.

Scenery – Mix of park vistas, Glen pavilion, famous trees and great views to South of the now three Forth bridges (weather dependent).

P.B. Potential – 3/10

Strava – Dunfermline parkrun

Additional Info – Warmest of welcomes. Course is run in reverse twice a year when the clocks go back/forward.

 

Edinburgh

Edinburgh_Course

 

edinburgh 9

 

Course – Edinburgh parkrun is located in the North West corner of the nations capital at Cramond. A pancake flat, pan and handle course that is run for the majority on wide tarmac paths alongside the Firth of Forth. Regularly the biggest event in Scotland seeing its numbers swell especially during the festival (August).

From the start you run out in an Easterly direction with the wide paths helping to alleviate crowding and allowing the field to spread pretty quickly. There are km marker signs along the course to help guide you as the path gently meanders alongside the beach/water. As you reach the Gipsy Brae Recreation Ground you are directed to the left to start a short loop on narrower tarmac paths. This loop is in a clockwise direction so after always turning right you soon rejoin the wider main path to start heading homeward. The km markers helping to keep you on track as despite glimpses of the finish in the distance there is still a few km’s to go. Towards the end of the route you’re directed onto a narrower path to the left of the main path and you follow this for a couple of hundred metres into the finish line/funnel. Being herded in and requested to keep progress through the funnel steady and flowing to help the large numbers of runners and walkers crossing the line.

Type – Small pan, long handle.

Elevation – Flat as a pancake.

Elevation Grade – 1/5

Terrain – Tarmac path throughout.

Scenery – The Firth of Forth, some sculptures and planes coming in to land at the airport.

P.B. Potential – 10/10

Strava – Edinburgh parkrun

Additional Info – Regularly Scotland’s largest event attendance wise. Wide paths ensure the pack spreads relatively quickly.

 

Eglinton

Eglinton_Course

 

eglinton 308

 

Course – Eglinton Country Park is loacted near Irvine and Kilwinning. The route is unlike any other (yet) encountered. It’s a mix of tarmac and trail paths and uses mostly the Northerly sections of the Country park.

The start and finish sections are located on a path that’s bordered with an avenue of trees leading to Eglinton Castle. From the start you head in an Easterly direction up a hill before arriving at a turn and being directed right. The path then switches from tarmac to some trail as you head down through some woods back towards the Café and visitor centre. Just before you reach these though you’re directed right and bordering some trees you follow the course around and behind where you started. The ‘tournament’ bridge lays ahead (can be slippy) and you cross the burn and turn right to run on path alongside the burn. You follow the burn as it leads its way to joining Eglinton Loch. Passing a bridge to your right (more of which later). The majority of the course is now a big loop following a path around the loch and adjacent fields. After completing the full clockwise circuit you return to a part of the course you encountered earlier. On rejoining familiar territory you proceed to then retrace your route from before. Through the woodland, bordering the trees, tournament bridge and then alongside the burn. Continuing along through this section you find the bridge from earlier and turn right to cross it. The path then climbs up and around Eglinton Castle. Passing this you then have a drop down onto the tree lined avenue where the finish awaits. Similar to Kirkcaldy it’s a case of holding onto the momentum gained for a couple of hundred metres.

Type – Unique.

Elevation – Undulating course but nothing too brutal.

Elevation Grade – 3.5/5

Terrain – Mix of tarmac and trail paths.

Scenery – There’s a castle, a bridge and a loch. More of a rugged park than a manicured one in general.

P.B. Potential – 4/10

Strava – Eglinton parkrun

Additional Info – The course changes direction and terrain quite a lot so always keeping you thinking. The tournament bridge section can be quite slippy so would watch your footing. You come off a hill into the finish (similar to Kirkcaldy), so try to keep as much momentum as you can.

 

Elgin

Elgin_Course

 

elgin 101

 

Course – Cooper park is located in the centre of Elgin and is home to a flat two lap, pan and handle course. Formerly the most Northerly parkrun in the U.K. The entire course is run on tarmac paths (with some mild tree root bobbles/pot holes in the Cooper Park section). The start is adjacent to the River Lossie and a small skate park. The lap begins by heading North, the pan section being a clockwise loop with views across the park and of the nearby cathedral. Just before you complete the loop passing a pond on your left and then turning left to head to the out and back handle section. There is a slight dip and narrowing of the course as you head under a road bridge. This section of the course is run on fresher/smoother tarmac and gently twists as weave your way to a marshall and turning point down located near the Moray Leisure Centre. Turn and it’s a case of retracing your steps back and under the bridge and back into Cooper park. After reentering the park you take a left and follow the path around to the start and begin your second lap. Repeat the lap in its entirety again and enter the finish funnel awaits just shy of where the run started. A pretty scenic and peaceful park.

Type – Two laps, pan and handle.

Elevation – Predominantly flat course with only memorable ‘bump’ a dip down and under a road bridge.

Elevation Grade – 2/5

Terrain – Tarmac path throughout.

Scenery – Pretty contained in Cooper Park with views offered of the River Lossie, the ponds you pass and the nearby Elgin Cathedral.

P.B. Potential – 8/10

Strava – Elgin parkrun

Additional Info – Formerly the most Northerly parkrun in Scotland/U.K. until Alness took that claim. Slightly unusual in that its a course where you can always clearly see where the route ahead lies, never really an ‘unknown’ stretch.

 

Ellon

Ellon_Course

 

ellon 190

 

Course – The Ellon event is a pan and handle course that runs alongside the River Ythan before encompassing a small loop around the perimeter of Gordon Park. The start and finish (with an abundance of parking) are located next to the Ellon Swimming Pool & Community Centre. Not shown on the satellite image above but a modern campus and pretty hard to miss. From the start line you head North down a hill descending towards a bridge over the river. You cross this and follow the path around to the right then passing under the bridge. The descent at the start of the course can lead to quite a quick start, gravity being on your side. A quick watch check of your pace may be advised if you’re taking it seriously as you approach the first KM. Heading West on flat tarmac paths you pass under a road bridge. From this point on the course narrows (especially near the back of a supermarket) and its requested you run single file with a keep left policy. Respecting fellow runners and everyone else as always. After this there is a short section that leads you into Gordon Park. A marshall directs you to follow the main path around the perimeter of the park in a clockwise direction. There is a slight rise towards the back of the park but immediately get the resulting down slope as the loop starts to point you in the direction for home. Exiting the park you are soon back at the single file section so just heeding a bit of extra caution and consideration. From this point on it’s just a matter of retracing your steps. At the point of returning to the bridge a steady climb towards the finish awaits. This is around 500 metres and a little bit of a cheeky finish but in fairness it does make for a pleasant start.

Type – Tiny pan, long handle.

Elevation – Predominantly flat course alongside River Ythan, there’s a steady descent from the start line (waiting for you on your way to the finish) and some climb in Gordon Park at the pan section of the course.

Elevation Grade – 2/5

Terrain – Tarmac path throughout.

Scenery – Lovely run alongside the River Ythan before a loop around Gordon park and you retracing your steps.

P.B. Potential – 7/10

Strava – Ellon parkrun

Additional Info – The course narrows at some points and requires you to run single file in order to respect fellow parkrunners and anyone else out sharing the course. Because of the downhill start you can set off pretty quickly… On your return the same stretch feels longer when gravity isn’t on your side.

 

Falkirk

Falkirk_Course

 

falkirk 362

 

Course – Callendar park is the home to Falkirk parkrun. A pan and handle route (just a rather twisted handle). Alternate Summer/Winter course options apply and affect the start position and finish. Summer months seeing a start further back down the path joining the crescent and then a route that cuts across grass before joining the tarmac path. In Winter the start line is slightly further forward on the crescent but you stick to the gravel/puddled path avoiding the grass, then joining the tarmac in front of Callendar house.

The route then proceeds straight in an Easterly direction passing Callendar Lake before turning right and leaving the tarmac path onto woodland trail. Another right turn and a slow steady climb sees you move onto more of a trail/gravel path that takes you from one end of Callendar woods to the other. Halfway along you’ll pass a usually vocal marshall at a crossroads directing you continue straight ahead. The course then starts to descend gently and after a sharp turn right at the woods end which can be slippy. Heading East once again the trail soon leaves the woods transitioning back to tarmac (with the marginal gain option of continuing on grass). Passing over a bridge alongside the pitch and putt golf course the path widens. There are a series of speed bumps to be mindful of. After passing a childrens playpark on the left you turn right and you begin the ascent of what’s fondly known as ‘Heartbreak Hill’. Coming at just over 3k into the run you soon know about it. The hill has been relatively recently tarmacked has become slightly easier, but not a lot. A steady climb where after the half way point gets steeper before cresting out and returning you to the crossroads from earlier. That same marshall directing you to your left and from here it is a case of retracing your steps and route back to the finish. A chance to fill your lungs after the ascent knowing it’s literally all downhill from here. When returning to the tarmac road now in a Westerly direction there is every chance you may well be faced with a prevailing wind. When you arrive back to the area near Callendar house Summer events will see you head to the right to run into the funnel area on the grass. In the Winter you leave the tarmac onto a mud/gravel path to the left that then channels you to the rear of Callendar house.

Type – Pan and handle that’s nearly a figure of 8

Elevation – Tale of two hills, one gradual, steady climb into Callendar Woods and ‘Heartbreak Hill’ just after the 3km.

Elevation Grade – 3.5/5

Terrain – Mix of gravel, grass, tarmac and woodland trail. The gravel/grass areas are short and at the start/finish.

Scenery – The course starts and finishes beside Callendar House. You take in Callendar Lake before the majority of the course is woodland trail. Catching views of a Mausoleum, pitch & putt golf course and children’s play park as you head round the route.

P.B. Potential – 5/10

Strava – Falkirk parkun

Additional Info – Has a different start/finish depending if it’s deemed to be conditions for the Summer/Winter course. The Summer course sees you using a grass section and the Winter course keeps you on gravel/tarmac and takes you into a funnel to the other side of the road. Heartbreak hill has been tarmacked and it’s a hill that can make or break a time. There are tougher hills out there but never take it for granted.

 

Fort William

FortWilliam_Course

 

fortwilliam 246

 

Course – Fort William parkrun is located at the Nevis Range and is about seven miles North West of the town. The route is one clockwise loop that is pretty much an out and back course. From the start you proceed almost immediately up a short climb to the left which fortunately rounds off pretty quickly. The entire ‘out’ section is run on wide forest roads with the surface being hard packed grit and is pleasant and spacious to run on. This section undulates but from half a mile in for about three quarters of a mile has a long steady downhill. Shortly after this you reach a marshal directing you to turn right and short zig-zag section means a quick descent and you turn right again onto the start of a few sections of raised wooden planks. These wind their way over boggier ground and are covered in chicken wire to help ensure no slipping. As you continue to turn right to head towards home a serious of steady climbs begin to kick in. Somewhat reminiscent of the steady climb found at Hazlehead. After the wooden boards the path becomes single track and more of a well worn mud/stone trail. The paths wind a lot more and the journey through the woods is great.  You arrive at a turn left and head over a bridge where another marshal points you right and you continue for home. Around the 2.5 mile mark the climb seems to kick in a bit more. As this rounds off you are again directed right by a marshal onto a slightly muddier section of path that starts with a welcome descent and then winds and dips over a few choice bumps (mountain bikers must enjoy it). From here you exit over a bridge and to a clearing which from the course map looks like the finish… sadly it’s not. The finish is the start line and you have to continue on up a short cheeky climb which returns you to the initial climb after the start. From here the finish lies about 50 metres ahead.

Type – One clockwise loop.

Elevation – Undulating in the truest sense of the word, few cheeky climbs. Some longer descents and ascents as well.

Elevation Grade – 3.5/5

Terrain – Mostly forest road (compacted grit rather than stony fire track), woodland trail with a couple of short raised wooden platform stretches that are covered in chicken wire. Near the end of the course the single path trail becomes a bit more bumpy and mountain bike friendly.

Scenery – Plenty woodland nestled at the base of the Ben and next to Nevis Range ski centre. The course is predominately gently winding forest trail.

P.B. Potential – 2/10

StravaFort William parkrun

Additional Info – Found the course a bit chilly and breezy in the car park pre run. Went safe and stuck a jacket on. Wished I hadn’t as the course offers plenty shelter and soon warmed up. Although a trail course would personally favour a road shoe for the course except in cases of biblical rain or snow.

 

Ganavan Sands

GanavanSands_Course

 

ganavansands 422

 

Course – Located just to the North of Oban lies the beautiful and pretty unique course of Ganavan Sands. One of Scotland’s cosier events numbers wise, but all the better for it (likely to have been the one and only time I’ll manage to be first back). A run at Ganavan is a bit of a challenge but its done in a stunning part of the country. The start is located beside the Ganavan Bay car park providing great views across the water to Mull. From the start line the course, run entirely on a road style tarmac path quickly rises through a couple of twists. Just when you think the worst of it is over… •spoiler alert• it’s not. There is however just one last little summit before some respite. The course is run on the road out to Dunbeg and that’s where you’re headed on a route that twists and turns rising and falling as it goes. What’s nice (for this course) is that you get to see some of the route that lays ahead but never too far, gradually revealing each twist and turn as it unfolds. The initial leg takes you all the way out to just shy of Dunbeg where a marshall and cone await to turn you back around. Having run the full length of the course you then retrace your route back through about 80% of the route to the blue pin nearest the start/finish on the map above. This means taking in many of the lumps and bumps but saves you from the initial climb (just). Here another marshall and cone await to turn and direct you back out towards Dunbeg once more. On this stretch you get to about halfway along the course before the final marshall turns you back towards the start/finish. Passing the second marshall again but being ready to fully embrace the ever so welcome descent and revenge of that earlier initial climb. The finish line is in sight from a distance and the encouragement of the volunteers welcomes and champions you down the hill. Because of the out and back and out and back nature of the course you’re continually passing fellow runners/walkers at various stages of their respective 5k and it was an event and course that really embodies the community and supporting nature of parkrun.

Type – Out and back and out and back.

Elevation – Undulating. Ganavan felt in parts like running along an older Big Dipper style of roller coaster.

Elevation Grade – 4.5/5

Terrain – Tarmac road.

Scenery – Starts in beautiful surroundings of Ganavan Bay just North of Oban with stunning views out across the water to Mull. From here you’re taken inland on a scenic twisting and turning road to the edge of Dunbeg (and back).

P.B. Potential – 2/10

Strava – Ganavan Sands parkrun

Additional Info – Another of Scotland’s more ‘cosy’ events numbers wise but feels more appropriate in that feels like a bit of a hidden gem.

 

Girvan Prom

Girvan-Prom_Course

Course – The Girvan Prom course is two essentially identical laps run along and down the prom initially North to South before taking in a slightly ‘scenic’ anti-clockwise loop of Stair Park. From the start it’s a straight 0.5 South along the prom. After the 0.5 mile a marshal directs you to your left onto a short tarmac/gravel section that runs adjacent to the Southern edge of Stair Park. Shortly after another marshal directs you left in and onto the grass of the park. From here you followed the coned route that takes you up the Eastern side of the largely flat park. The cones gradually turn you to the left at the end of the park and then cones begin to signal a left turn inside the park. There is a monument in the centre of the park and you head in that sort of direction. There is a small rise/bump in the middle of the park so whilst you cant initially see the cones that lie ahead, after a short distance you see them and get a fix on where to head. The cones that lie ahead channel you into a right hand bend that takes you out towards the corner of the park and where you left the prom. Taking a right turn you rejoin the prom and it’s the straight 0.5 mile in the opposite direction. When you make it back to the start there the finish has now been laid out but shortly before this there is a cone to run around and then it’s a case of completing the same lap again.

Received a warm welcome in Girvan, before arriving I’d had the course described to me as a cross between Troon and Perth. Not going to disagree, prom section is similar to Troon and the Stair Park loop is a bit reminiscent of the far end of Perth’s course. Being on the West coast the event is very open to whatever nature throws at you. The day I visited featured a pretty strong breeze which made for a test on the way out but a joy heading for home with a tail wind. The finish (well the banner) can be seen from a distance away, so worth heeding might not be as close as may at first appear.

Type – 2 Laps, Squinty pan and handle

Elevation – Almost entirely flat.

Elevation Grade – 1/5

Terrain – Tarmac and short monoblock sections on the prom, grass in Stair Park section.

Scenery – Views out across the Firth of Clyde to Ailsa Craig.

P.B. Potential – 8/10

StravaGirvan Prom parkrun

Additional Info – Arguably a 9 on the PB potential, all depends on the wind and how dry (or not) the grass is in Stair Park. Toilets at the nearby Harbour Facilities are 30p.

 

Greenock

Greenock_Course

 

greenock 55

 

Course – The Greenock course takes place on the towns esplanade and is an out and back course with an added out and back loop within this. The course is slightly reminiscent of both Aberdeen and Ganavan Sands in some respects. The event starts at the East end of the esplanade where it offers views out across the sea. Leaving the start line you effectively run nearly the full length of the Esplanade. Towards the end there is a slight rise and incline as you head towards the boat club. Here a marshall and cone await to turn you 180˚ and send you back towards the start. Just over the half way point of your return you reach a large yellow beacon pole and another marshall. You turn 180˚ again to head back up to the boat club. When you reach this turn as before it’s a 180˚ turn back on yourself but this time you run almost the full length of the esplanade. The finish line and funnel being a hundred metres or so short of where you started which feels like a welcome bonus. Other than the slight rise at the West end of the course Greenock is a real chance to run at a ‘steady’ pace throughout and had real PB potential if the weather is on your side.

Type – Out and back and out and back.

Elevation – Pretty flat course with only a slight gradient towards the far end of the course leading to the first/third turning point.

Elevation Grade – 1.5/5

Terrain – Concrete/tarmac path.

Scenery – Views out over the River Clyde and the houses that run along the front.

P.B. Potential – 9/10

Strava – Greenock parkrun

Additional Info – A pretty fast, flat course that like Edinburgh & Strathclyde can have real P.B. potential depending on the wind. Salty air to fill the lungs with as well. The out and back and out and back nature of the course has similarities with Ganavan Sands.

 

Hay Lodge

HayLodge_Course

Course – Peebles parkrun, or Hay Lodge as HQ decreed it should be known is a three lap course set in Hay Lodge park to the Western edge of the town. The start is in the South Eastern corner adjacent to the rugby clubhouse. From here you follow a relatively narrow tarmac path for 600 metres to the Western edge of the park. Here a marshal directs you left and to follow a path near to the river Tweed. This path follows back round and shortly after you are retracing your steps back through the start. On the way there taking a short cut over some grass to avoid the tarmac paths heading to the bridge over the river.

Passing back through what was the start you turn a pretty sharp left up a mini climb and then shimmy through a wee chicane of gentle turns to arrive at the path alongside the Northern edge of the park. The path here is narrow and climbs as you go. A couple of park benches are moved during the event but one is permanently fixed and has a marshal atop it to keep you clear. After a couple of hundred metres you reach the highest part of the course and turn left to begin a descent that’s a little steeper than the more gradual climb. The tarmac here is a bit more uneven and looser so just being sure to keep an eye on your feet is worth while. The descent gradually turns left and you rejoin the original path from earlier on. The first and second times you arrive here post descent you turn right to go and begin the lap again. The second loop is very much the same as before just without the first couple of hundred metres.

On arriving at the bottom of the hill for a third time you turn left (all this is sign-posted/marshalled). You head back along the path for a short distance before moving off onto the grass to the left. There is a short but not insignificant slope to bring you back up to the level of the rugby pitch that the finish funnel is located alongside. Very much a cheeky cross country style ‘bump’ just to keep you keen right to the end. The funnel lies only twenty to thirty metres beyond this.

Type – Three never quite the same laps.

Elevation – A course that feels half flat and half hill.

Elevation Grade – 3/5

Terrain – Tarmac paths with some short stints and a finish on grass

Scenery – Views across the park and over the meandering Tweed.

P.B. Potential – 3/10

Additional Info – Please don’t park in the hospital car park. The path is very narrow in places and would just advise care when passing other parkrunners/public throughout the course. On the three times passing along the Northern wall be sure to keep away from the bench, that would be a sore one to collide with.

 

Hazlehead

Hazlehead_Course

 

hazlehead 322

 

Course – Laying on the Western edges of Aberdeen is Hazlehead park. Another of the real favourites I’ve encountered due to the scenery and the terrain offered. The course is run on good clear woodland trail. The route is an out and back course with slightly different start and finish sections that lead in/out of a section of park containing a children’s play park. Unusually for a course the first half is essentially all up hill. This doesn’t sound like the most fun, but the climb is slow and steady rather than daunting. On leaving the start the path gently meanders its way up and around the nearby golf course. Some gentle turns and changes in direction follow, each offering up a fresh panorama. Crossing a clearing before then being able to see a crematorium (bit random) in the distance. The trail continues to gently wind its way through more woodland before you reach a more open section towards the last leg before the turn for home. A couple of hundred metres more and just short of some permanent park signage a marshall and cone await to direct you back towards home. It’s a great feeling knowing its virtually downhill all the way back. A chance to fully embrace gravity, and if ever there was an opportunity for a negative split, the time is now. The paths are generally spacious with just a few narrow sections, but like any other event just being aware and courteous of fellow runners and park users helps as you pass each other. As on the way out the return offers various changes of direction but at regular enough intervals to allow for some good rhythm and then a change of view/direction. Open to woodland, to clearing, back to woodland again. On returning to the initial woodland section about halfway back towards the start you reach the a fork junction and you head left to take you towards the finish section. There is a couple of hundred metres of woodland left before arriving to the park clearing at the end. From here its roughly a hundred metres or so to reach the finish line and funnel.

Type – Out and back.

Elevation – Unusual in that the entire course felt like one steady gradual climb to the turn and then downhill all the way back. Elevation didn’t feel as severe as graphic above implies.

Elevation Grade – 3.5/5

Terrain – Woodland trail

Scenery – Stunning woodland trail starting and finishing near a golf course, views of a crematorium!? Before once again running near the golf course after winding through woodland.

P.B. Potential – 5/10

Strava – Hazlehead parkrun

Additional Info – Another course I rate as a favourite. Was fortunate to take it on in perfect early Summer conditions and winding through the woodland was bliss. Turning and knowing its pretty much downhill the entire way to the finish is a great feeling.

 

Inverness

Inverness_Course

 

inverness 53

 

Course – As course descriptions go they probably don’t get much easier than Inverness. It’s three laps of Bught Park on grass with a small section of dirt track. Starting at the Southern edge of the park you head anti-clockwise around the outskirts of Bught park. Turns are clearly marked with cones to ensure no corners are cut and there is a section where you’re directed around the Inverness City FC pitch. Three near identical laps with only the third lap being slightly shorter as you hit 5k a couple of hundred metres short of where you started. There is also a nearby alternative course for when Bught park needs rested or there is an event on – would advise checking the event page for updates.

Type – 3 laps.

Elevation – Relatively flat course that is three laps of Bught park.

Elevation Grade – 4/5

Terrain – Grass throughout with some sections slightly more worn than others.

Scenery – Scenic area alongside the River Ness. Bught park itself is pretty much just flat and playing field like.

P.B. Potential – 7/10

Strava – Inverness parkrun

Additional Info – Conditions underfoot can be slippy depending on weather. The park is where the Loch Ness marathon finishes. Think they have a nearby alternative course if the original route needs a rest.

 

Kirkcaldy

Kirkcaldy_Course

 

kirkcaldy 354

 

Course – Two laps around the outskirts of Beveridge park with the addition of a second shorter loop around the boating lake during lap two. The route starts in the South East corner just South of the carpark. From here you follow the main tarmac path North turning left when there is no park left. The course continues passing a marshall and cones where you’ll be diverted later on lap two. From here the route takes a gradual turn to the left before starting to climb steadily up a hill. It’s a hill and a bit of a climb but there are definitely harder climbs out there. Once at the top, catch you breath and its straight back down the other side. Taking in a slight chicane as you do so. Levelling out onto what next time round will be the home straight you follow the main path around to the left passing the start line for lap two. It’s a case of same as before only this time turning left to loop around the boating lake when directed to do so. Complete the loop in a clockwise direction, you then rejoin the main path to complete the remainder of the lap. The descent of the hill this time leaves you a few hundred metres to the finish line so just a case of trying to keep up the momentum gained.

Type – 2 laps with a smaller additional loop around a boating lake on the second lap.

Elevation – Predominately flat course with the Western side of the course being a hill with a relatively steady ascent and descent.

Elevation Grade – 3.5/5

Terrain – Tarmac paths throughout.

Scenery – Contained park which passes sports pitches, gardens as well as the pond and a children’s park.

P.B. Potential – 5/10

Strava – Kirkcaldy parkrun

Additional Info – The second lap being longer can be frustrating but definitely better to have the field spread for circling the lake section. Coming off the descent of the hill for the second time you have straight run of a few hundred metres to carry the momentum you’ve gained.

 

Kirkwall

Kirkwall_Course

Course – Kirkwall helps to give the Orkney islands a parkrun event and follows relatively shortly after Bressay on Shetland started up. Located in a small park beside the Peedie Sea, harbour and Pickaquoy centre. The route comprises of three laps with involve two out and back sections that are at either sides of the main loop. For the first two laps you complete both and then on the final lap you only need to complete the first out and back section.

From the start (which also doubles as the finish) you head Southwards on tarmac paths turning a pretty sharp left to head out towards Tesco’s. A marshal and a cone await and you turn round this to head back along the path in an East direction that gradually turns to head North. The paths aren’t wide and after the start with so many running this can get crowded and would urge caution/care. Heading Northwards towards a pertol station you pass through a short avenue of trees with the Pickaquoy centre off to your left-hand side. Just before the petrol station you to take a right turn and head East towards a junction with another marshal. At your first time of passing you continue East towards the edge of the Peedie Sea. Here another marshal and cone await and running/turning around this you head back towards the previous marshal at the junction. When you reach them you take the path to the left and follow the path for a couple of hundred metres back to the start. Having done this another full lap exactly the same awaits. On your third lap after taking the right tun as you head towards the petrol station when you reach the next marshal you turn right and head for home. It’s a welcome relief to know the final lap is a little shorter and it’s only a couple of hundred metres to go.

The area where parkrun is located is really open and although catching the course in great conditions it was a bit breezy. I think depending on weather and conditions there could be a fair number of events where you’re being aided/fighting the wind.

Type – Three laps, two with two out and back sections, the final lap is just the first out and back encountered.

Elevation – Next to none, one wee hump/bump near the start and finish.

Elevation Grade – 1/5

Terrain – All on tarmac paths.

Scenery – Various views of Kirkwall around the Peedie Sea, the model boating lake and a short avenue of trees.

P.B. Potential – 7/10

StravaKirkwall parkrun 1 lap

Additional Info – The map doesn’t reflect a last minute change of course that needed to be implemented. The run begins/finishes where the route is nearest the Southern tip of the circular model boat lake in the centre of the park. From the start where you head out to the first out and back around a cone to the Southern edge of the Peedie Sea, this is very narrow when all the runners and others enjoying the area it can be a bit busy. Especially within the first couple of minutes of the event.

 

Lanark Moor

LanarkMoor_Course

Course – Lanark Moor is a newer event but one that can easily see becoming a real favourite. Normally I’d try and describe the route as you run but there are just so many twists and turns as the route winds its way around Lanark loch and the nearby mountain bike trail, it’s probably easier to describe the sections in turn. The start/finish is located next to ample free parking. From here you begin a 0.5 mile loop in a clockwise direction that zig zags downhill (remember this bit) and arrives quite steeply and sharply into a right turn to then run loch side. Take that descent carefully as being near the start it can be busy and a Saturday morning dip in the loch is probably going to slow you down. Following the edge of the loch the path remains relatively narrow so just need to be careful and considerate of other park users. You’re soon directed to turn right up a hill by a marshal and this takes you back through the start and you’re half a mile in.

Form here you go back down through the zig zag this time turning left. This takes you over a short boardwalk section, passing a play park you end up on a wider flat dirt track. There are good views out over the loch to your right and to your left Lanark golf course appears. A warning danger of golf balls sign reminding you to pay attention through this short section. The path continues loch side, now getting another great view and different vista back across the loch from earlier.

Arriving back to where you turned right to the start earlier you take a left turn and begin a short straight climb up a gravel path. At the top some marshals direct you into a left turn. An UBER SHARP left turn as I found out (nearly in some nettles). You’re then into a proper dirt/mud trail section that starts off with a welcome drop. The trail itself is clear and more easy than not underfoot. Not particularly technical but what this section does is twist and turn and climb and drop. No climb in itself is too daunting but just the repetition and variety offers little chance for recovery or respite. The earlier parts of the course had offered up some bumps but this is where things get really interesting. The trail section is effectively a kind of long thin (clockwise) out and back loop. On the return leg a few trails/paths can look like where you’re meant to go but there is plenty signage and just have to be mindful to follow this. At a first visit did feel like slightly lost my bearings as to where in the trail section I was but the signage kept me right.

Exiting the trail where you entered you turn right to go down the straight gravel section. Turning left at the bottom you then retrace your earlier loch side route from the initial 0.5 mile loop. Pretty sure it didn’t seem as far first time round though… Eventually a marshal and a left turn bring you back to yes, that zig zag hill. I’m now affectionately going to remember this as the zig zag killa hilla. Like much of the course it’s not outrageous but coming at the end of such a route and about 200 metres short of the finish it’s a bit of a cheeky finale. Would say potentially reminiscent of Camperdown or to a lesser extent Ellon for the little sting in the tail.

What a course though. Described to me before arriving as having ‘a little bit of everything’. Very much agree and it’s such an enjoy… enduring experience! Ultimately enjoyable though. Really friendly and welcoming team behind the event as well. Will definitely be back, not sure if it’s a course that lends itself to knowing what lies in wait. Revisit is going to hopefully be sooner rather than later though.

Type – A wee loop, a loch loop, a trail loop and half a wee loop. Loopy.

Elevation – No outrageous climbs, but climbs it has and these you pretty consistently (especially in the trail section).

Elevation Grade – 3.5/5

Terrain – Hard pack, tarmac, gravel, muddy trail, a little bit of everything.

Scenery – Great views out across Lanark Loch from different sides. Some really good forest and trail sections.

P.B. Potential – 2/10

StravaLanark Moor parkrun

Additional Info – Warning danger of golf balls. It’s a sign to heed as you pass but fortunately no cries of fore were heard. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by the first half of the course. When you enter the trail section the course cranks up a notch.

 

Linwood

Linwood_Course

 

linwood 103

 

Course – The Linwood event is situated next to the On-X sports and leisure centre and takes in a predominately flat two laps of roughly 60/40 mix of woodland trail and tarmac paths. The course is a pleasant and relatively straight-forward one. From the start point heading straight, keeping the artificial pitch to your left before a relatively sharp left turn takes you to the start of a gradual right turn into the trail section. The start section and some of the earlier woodland sections are quite narrow so if you really care about your time/position then probably worth starting nearer the front. The trail section takes a loop around the woodland with two left turns which have you running back in a now Westerly direction. Leaving the woodland you return to tarmac and a gradual left brings you close to some houses before a sharper left turn leads you back to the start.

From here the second lap commences but this time you go left on a path around the opposite side of the artificial pitch from earlier. Shortly after picking up the path from before and repeating the same lap. After passing the start line a second time you continue on, this time heading to the right hand side of the artificial pitch where the finish line/funnel awaits.

Type – 2 laps.

Elevation – Relatively flat course with a few minor lumps and bumps through the wooded section.

Elevation Grade – 2/5

Terrain – Tarmac paths onto woodland trail.

Scenery – Pretty self contained park next to the ON X sports centre. Most of the course is spent on gently twisting paths through woodland. Plenty planes around due to vicinity to Glasgow International airport.

P.B. Potential – 7/10

Strava – Linwood parkrun

Additional Info – Paths get quite narrow in some of the woodland sections. There are permanent marked distance signs relating to the route not linked to parkrun.

 

Livingston

LivingstonNEW_Course

 

livingston 249

 

Course – *EDIT* The course has changed since ran there. The map above is the new route.

Course – The Livingston course is located in Almondvale Park and runs alongside the River Almond for most of the route. Starting next to the Civic Centre (the satellite map above isn’t so up to date). The course consists of a wee loop, followed by a bigger loop and then a return to complete the wee loop. The start section is one of the narrowest encountered so if times/positions are really your thing then it would be advised to start nearer the front. Starting on a tarmac path you head West away from the Civic Centre before a sharp left turn takes onto a path that runs alongside the River Almond. Following this path as it turns left and you are now headed East through a section of Almondvale park with some gardens. At the end of the park there is a sharp left turn that faces you back in a Westerly direction and you run back along towards the Civic Centre and start line. A right turn brings you back past the start section and you head forwards towards a blue bridge. Just before reaching this you turn right and follow the path to the North side of the river. This is the start of the bigger loop and the Northerly paths contain the most notable elevation on the course. The paths become more trail in nature and you dip and rise through some wooded sections. The path narrows as you pass under a bridge. After a short section of woods you return to a tarmac path and run through a more open grassy park section this rising slightly towards the most Westerly point. Upon reaching a footbridge you cross the river to the South side. The path has a steady descent and you gently wind back alongside the River Almond. Upon reaching the bridge the path again narrows and you then run past the car park and pitches close to the Almondvale Stadium. Following the path around these brings you back to the blue bridge from earlier and you cross this to complete the big loop section. Turning right rejoins the earlier wee loop and you retrace your earlier footsteps completing the wee loop again. As you arrive back around to the front of the Civic Centre the finish line and funnel await.

Type – Two wee loops and one big loop.

Elevation – Undulating but nothing too strenuous.

Elevation Grade – 2.5/5

Terrain – Tarmac path and trail paths.

Scenery – Run in the park surrounding Almondvale stadium home to Livingston FC. The paths felt new and it was pretty scenic following the course of the River Almond.

P.B. Potential – 5/10

Strava – Livingston parkrun

Additional Info – The start can be pretty busy and narrows as it turns into the first smaller loop. There is an alternative course that I think is twice around the bigger loop. This being used when some areas of the route are unavailable.

 

Loch Leven

LochLeven_Course

Course – A pleasant enough, but testing course that lies to the North Eastern corner of Loch Leven. Sited beside Loch Leven’s Larder there is ample parking and quite a fancy café/gift shop awaiting you.

The course starts about 400 metres away from the café down the hill adjacent to a cricket pitch. From the start you follow a gravel path up to and round and behind a pavilion. This right turn then becomes a left as you head up to the edge of the café and briefly through a gap in a fence to turn right and right again through another gap a fence to begin a descent to the left towards a row of trees. The path flattens out and continues past the eventual finish that is set up on grass to the right. The route continues on this flat and featured a head wind coming in over the loch as we headed Southwards. The path is a pretty good quality gravel path grip wise but not the smoothest of tracks to run on. As you near the Southern edge there are a row of bushes that obscure the route briefly but it becomes apparent the right turn you take is a short distance beyond them. This turn places you briefly on the Loch Leven heritage trail (the main path around Loch Leven itself). Another right turn has you heading Northwards and what is essentially a long steady drawn out climb. The further you run up the Western edge of the course the more the elevation gradually cranks up. There is a brief shorter sharper section of climb (when the road is adjacent to to the field on the left). The path then shortly offers a stretch of respite/flat as you head to the where the path from the start joined. From here it’s a case of repeating the same loop again. When reaching this point again for the second time you again head up past the pavilion and then past the café before a final descent and short flat finishing section before peeling off to the finish on the grass to the right.

Type – 2.5 Laps.

Elevation – Mix of hill towards North Eastern corner and flat towards the Southern end of the course towards Loch Leven.

Elevation Grade – 3.5/5

Terrain – Gravel path throughout with short finish section onto grass.

Scenery – Stunning views out across Loch Leven and surrounding area/hills.

P.B. Potential – 4/10

StravaLoch Leven parkrun

Additional Info – A consistently relatively narrow path that is comfortably wide enough for a couple of people. The start can/will be busy so may take a while for everyone to spread out. The return uphill is a long steady drag from the South Western corner that gradually winds up and gets steeper the further you go.

 

Lochend Woods

LochendWoods_Course

Course – Lochend Woods is very much a course of two halves, but it’s two laps so maybe that should be four quarters. The start and finish are located beside the Hallhill centre. The start itself is on grass between the rugby pitch and car park. Leaving here you run for fifty or so metres before turning right around a fence at the edge of the pitch. From here you are directed ahead across grass in a Westerly direction where you then join a tarmac path that you follow in a clockwise direction around some astroturf pitches. At the most Westerly point when turning right to head North you meet one of the two slight climbs of the course. Nothing severe but enough to notice. Heading up this section before another turn right heads you Eastwards back towards the Hallhill centre. As you approach the building there is an open gate and marshal where you leave the tarmac to return to grass. This turn has you now heading South where you’ll run past the finish funnel towards a road that is specially closed off for the event.

The road crossing has a specifically marked coned off section to ensure everyone is crossing in the same place (this becomes two way as the event progresses). Leaving the road you now enter the trail section which is all pretty hard packed and not particularly technical underfoot. There is a longer straight section that leads you down to the main loop in the Lochend Woods. The course here isn’t too wide and operates a keep to the left policy as again soon enough will soon have runners/walkers passing in either direction. At the end of the straight section there is a sharp left turn, followed immediately by a sharpish right turn. This was the only section of the course where there was some mud/puddles and so just taking a bit of care or picking a safer line round the edge seemed to be shrewd thing to do. The loop that follows is a well marked winding route that to run is undertaken in a clockwise direction, but viewed on the map above would look anti-clockwise. There are numerous other paths that criss cross the route but as well as traditional signage the event also placed some tape on trees similar to how various ‘race’ events do. Towards the most Southerly section of the course just before turning to face and return North there is another slight slope in the woods. Much like the earlier incline it’s noticeable but nothing severe or taxing, but again noticeable. As you begin to wind your way Northwards there is a short chicane of turns that have you crossing a small bridge. Continuing onwards you soon return to the sharper turns that led you into the woods section. Exiting the turns you take a right and keep to the left as you up the longer straight back to the road crossing. Crossing the road towards the finish line you are directed left to pick up the tarmac path and to begin the second lap. The same full lap is completed as before. When you cross the road for the fourth time but the second time in a Northerly direction you can run the last two hundred metres or so to the finish funnel ahead.

Type – 2 near figure of eight style laps.

Elevation – Two separate minor but steady climbs. One on the most Western section of the course on tarmac and the other just before the most Southern point/turn of the course in the woods.

Elevation Grade – 2/5

Terrain – Mixed – grass, tarmac paths and woodland trail.

Scenery – Views of some sports pitches and many a passing train on the East Coast mainline. Then a contrast of twisting and winding woodland trail .

P.B. Potential – 7/10

Additional Info – Lovely and welcoming team. There appears to be a lot of way-finding signage around the course but it’s all easy to follow.

 

Lochore Meadows

LochoreMeadows_Course

Course – The Lochore Meadows event is a one lap anti-clockwise lap around most of Loch Ore and is affectionately referred to locally as the Meedies. The start funnel is located on grass beside the Willie Clarke Visitor Centre. A short run across some grass brings you onto the main hard-packed fine gravel path you will run on for the majority of the course. As you begin be aware of the abundant wildlife, many a duck and a friendly swan came over to say hello pre event. The path winds its way along the banks of Loch Ore along it’s Northern edge. Flat, not too narrow and potentially making for a quick start. As you reach the Western edges of the course you enter some wooded areas offering a little more shade and shelter. There is a short loop not shown on the course map where you go a short trip around part of a nature reserve. This is where the inlet from the River Ore is on the map and is probably a couple of hundred metres in either direction. The route then returns closer to water but the Southern path is a little more inland and raised above the water. There are a couple of notable bumps on this side of the loch, nothing crazy but certainly not pancake flat like the Northern shore. With this path being raised there are some great views out over the water and towards the start (and what I imagined was the finish). Fortunately this seemed quite a long way off and this proved to be the case. The finish is roughly just after the where the route reaches the Eastern most tip of Loch Ore. You run into a wooded section and the funnel and warm  welcome awaits.

Type – Anti-clockwise loop

Elevation – Predominantly flat with a few lumps and bumps during final mile.

Elevation Grade – 2/5

Terrain – Dust/light gravel trail type paths for majority.

Scenery – Views out across Loch Ore and variety of woodland and nature reserve lands at far end of course. Caught on the right day beautiful mix of water, greenery and gorse in full bloom. Friendly wildlife!

P.B. Potential – 8/10

Strava – Lochore Meadows parkrun

Additional Info – Mind the swans.

 

Meadowmill

Meadowmill_Course

Course – The Meadowmill course had been described as having a little bit of everything. That’s a fair shout. The event starts in the North Eastern corner on the outskirts of the lower grass pitches. You run Eastwards staying inside the marked course keeping you towards the edges of the pitches, minor right, left and a final right turn feature. You then pass briefly onto a tarmac path as you head South past the finish funnel and head on towards the Southern edges of what becomes the upper grass pitches. While visiting on quite a wet day the Southern edge was the only really muddy section and shoes will no longer be pristine if you visit in such conditions. Following the perimeter of the pitches West becomes North West as you head towards a marshal and the start of path that leads to Prestonpans railway station.

It’s about 0.25 mile out and funnily the same again on the way back. The path starts with some noticeable descent but it’s not too severe and also not for too long. Surface of the path is a mud/dirt/stony/trail combo but was in good state in wet conditions. Heading West the cone/marshal at the turning point sit mere metres before the steps leading to the train station. This whole section is quite narrow and single file, keeping to the left is advised. If you wish to overtake reminders being made to show common courtesy (and common sense) to fellow runners of members of the public. On the way back you encounter the short hill you’ve come down as you follow the path back up to the pitches. The marshal now directs you to your left and a path that goes up another short hill onto an old railway siding.

Running along the top of the siding amidst some gorse you can see the Prestonpans Battlefield viewpoint in the distance and that helps you gauge how far you have to go as the path your own continues to there and then runs in front of the viewpoints base. You turn right to head onto this section and head very briefly into a path through some woods where there is a marshal to direct you towards a right turn. If you’ve arrived by car this probably looks familiar as you’re beside the car park and near the entrance to the leisure centre. The route continues to take you alongside three sides of the centre as you skirt round in an anti-clockwise direction. On leaving the third side you go down a short grass bank to rejoin the tarmac path that you were on earlier having just passed the finish funnel. There are two very clearly colour coded dimpled cone routes to follow. After one lap you head left to complete the exact same full loop from that point onwards. On returning to this point a second time you take the right coned section and have a final 25 metres or so to the finish funnel.

Type – 2 laps.

Elevation – Predominantly flat with main elevation being the entering/exiting of the out and back section and then onto the railway siding. Cheeky wee grass mound/bump to dink down at the end of a lap.

Elevation Grade – 2/5

Terrain – Grass (sport pitches style), mud/dirt/stone narrow track and tarmac.

Scenery – Views across the pitches and onto the nearby railway line at parts of the course. The course is bordered with gorse and railway sidings. Views into Edinburgh from atop the Prestonpans Battlefield Viewpoint (not part of course – thankfully)

P.B. Potential – 7/10

Strava – Meadowmill parkrun

Additional Info – Very welcoming team. Single file and overtaking advised with caution on the out and back section towards Prestonpans railway station.

 

Montrose

Montrose_Course

 

montrose 28

 

Course – Montrose is a flat pan and handle course located near the coast and offers up a mix of terrain around an old aerodrome. The start of the course can be found across some playing fields from the nearby carpark. From the start line of a loose gravel path the course then turns slightly left before a sharp right turn takes you onto a grass section. One of the quirkier parkrun hazards of rabbit holes are something to watch out for (the worst examples being coned). Following a fence you reach a turn left where you cross over onto the concrete flagging, remnants of the old aerodrome. This section leads you to the pan loop which is a clockwise, almost square route around some fields. Underfoot becomes a mix of gravel and dirt path on a well used cycle path. After two ‘sides’ of the square you skirt a parking area and continue on. The final side of the pan sees you running alongside a wooded area which mixes up the scenery a bit. After exiting this side you cross through a coned grass section to direct you back onto the concrete flagging. From here its a case of retracing your route back to the start. Being sure to pay close attention for errant rabbit holes on the fence stretch. A sharp left turn then leaves you with just a couple of hundred metres to the finish line.

Type – Pan and handle.

Elevation – Flat course, mixed surfaces.

Elevation Grade – 1/5

Terrain – Mix of gravel path, grass and concrete flagging.

Scenery – Flat and open throughout the duration of the course. The handle section is field like and the pan sections pass alongside some woods.

P.B. Potential – 8/10

Strava – Montrose parkrun

Additional Info – Watch out for the rabbit holes. Can be windy, being open, exposed and located on the coast.

 

Perth

Perth_Course

 

perth 45

 

Course – A flat pan and handle course that runs alongside the River Tay. Starting not far from the Live Active Bell’s Sports Centre, the course heads out beside North Inch golf course towards a T junction. Arriving at this you take a right turn and then a left shortly after at the flood barrier. From here a fairly long straight section follows beside the river on tarmac with some raised root ripples to watch out for. Passing a marshall who will direct you straight on you’ll arrive at the far end of the course. Here turning left onto a grass section, then quickly thereafter turning left again to head back in the direction from which you’ve just come. This section being on grass and in Scotland means it can get quite muddy, at any time of year. When muddy just picking the best line through it, and it’s over sooner rather than later. Returning back to the tarmac it’s then a case of simply retracing your route to the start (now finish), being mindful of other runners and other park/path users as you go.

Type – Pan and handle.

Elevation – Very flat course with a few gentle bumps, runs mostly alongside the River Tay.

Elevation Grade – 1/5

Terrain – Mainly tarmac path with a few rooted bumps alongside the river. There is a short grass section on the return leg of the ‘pan’. Can get a bit muddy.

Scenery – Views along the river and across the North Inch golf course.

P.B. Potential – 9/10

Strava – Perth parkrun

Additional Info – Always found it to feel like quite a sheltered inland course so lends itself to making the most of the flat straight stretches. Had the opportunity to run the course with a healthy covering of snow that had sadly claimed about 80% of the other Scottish parkruns. Great and beautiful course in such conditions. Really enjoyed the far end of the course being firmer (but still cushioned) underfoot.

 

Plean

Plean_Course

 

plean 308

 

Course – Plean Country Park lies to the South East of Stirling and to the North West of Falkirk. A more rural feeling park than some with good paths but definitely more of a trail course with some tarmac sections. The route is essentially three separate loops of decreasing size. Starting to the South side of Plean House you head briefly Eastwards before following the path around to the left (past the eventual finish) and climb the first gradual ascent as you head onto a straight section – North drive. At the end of the drive you are directed right onto a narrower trail path that contours and skirts around the edge of the park. Having followed the path till you are now headed back in a Southern direction there is a little zig zag of a left and then right turn with a short sharp descent as you do so. The right turn leads you onto the bing section and this is essentially a half mile of steady downhill taking you to the bottom of the park the the Eastern most edge. About three quarters of the way along this section there is a slightly steeper descent that leads into a turn left to reach the turning point. Having reached the Eastern most point its a case of turning and beginning a long gradual ascent of South Drive. The course although trail is wide and open and Plean burn runs alongside you to the left. Continuing the gradual climb you reach a fork in the path and with it being your first time passing this point you’re directed to the left leaving the main drive to join a horse trail. This section winds through some trees before you exit with a sharp turn right, quickly followed by a left. Back on one of the more main tarmac paths in the park you continue uphill to a second fork in the path. Again with it being the first time you head left to follow around the edge of the walled garden. As you pass the garden the path skirts the edge of an overflow carpark before turning left into woodland. Shortly after entering this section you arrive at a fence/gate of sorts which requires you simply to slow and zig zag through. The path continues Southwards and arrives at a left turn that then has you tracing the Southern edge of the park. The path here is straight for just under a quarter of a mile. A marshall directs you to take a left turn quickly followed by a right that takes you onto a more technical trail section. There are many trees and roots to navigate your way around with the path/trail frequently splitting into two to give you options. This section was quite exciting but definitely one to watch your footing on throughout. Not buggy/pushchair friendly!

The more technical section finishes with a steep sweeping descent to your left as you return to the gradual climb of South Drive from before. Fortunately this time reappearing over half way up this stretch. As you continue onwards its a case of the two fork junctions, taking a right at both. Doing so at the first keeps you on the main South Drive path where you run through what was earlier the start line but in the opposite direction. The second fork arrives shortly and the right turn here peels you off to the right. The path then gently winds its way back down towards Plean House – visible through the trees and giving you a good judge of distance knowing the finish lies at the other side. Passing a play park as you go the winding path offers a good opportunity to offer up a finish for anything you have left. As you turn the final right corner you arrive to the open space of the wildflower meadow a short section on grass (forty metres or so) you arrive into the finish line/funnel.

Type – Three loops of descending size.

Elevation – Guilty. A mix of long steady descents and longer feeling steady ascents. Few (fun) short sharp downhills in there as well.

Elevation Grade – 3.5/5

Terrain – Predominantly muddy trail with some tarmac sections and a memorable technical style section with tree roots. Also a wooden fence/gate you have to slow to zig zag through at a one stage– a gence or fate?

Scenery – Bonny rural country park with a mix of terrain and park types around the course. Woodland, park, bings, trenches, walled garden and open areas all featuring. Start and finish are beside the dilapidated Plean House.

P.B. Potential – 3/10

Strava – Plean parkrun

Additional Info – Trail shoes/trainers you’re not scared of getting filthy recommended. Parking is limited and definitely advise leaving the car outside the park and taking a couple of minutes to walk in, bit like Pollok. Just benefits everyone. Definitely a course that will lend itself to repeat visits in terms of pacing, knowing the route and whats in store.

 

Polkemmet Country

Polkemmet_Course

Course – Polkemmet Country parkrun is a pretty pleasant, leafy green two lap course. Starting adjacent to the bowling green you head Easterly down a gravel/hard packed trail path. It’s a steady descent out towards the first of two 180 degree turning points per lap. The path isn’t at it’s widest and narrows further on passing a bridge to your right hand side which you’ll soon cross. The straight out and back is coned and effectively single file for a couple of hundred metres. On the return a left turn takes you up and over a narrow bridge. As noted on the course page it’s an event only suitable for single buggies and those that are under 30 inches wide. Crossing a sturdy wooden bridge the paths widen and you begin to gently (as it feels on the first lap) wind your way up a hill alongside the golf course to the second coned and marshalled 180 degree turning point. This stretch feels pretty airy and never felt like being in any imminent danger despite being next to the golf course. The path gently meanders as well so you never really get a clear full view ahead to the turn (which I liked).

Once you’ve passed the turn you retrace your way back down the hill and take a left turn and head ‘down to the bridge’. Unfortunately the down isn’t quite so imminent and you have to climb a bit more albeit in a different direction. The path levels out and after a couple of gentle bends the car park and Owl centre can be seen in the distance. The path then descends and swings to the right heading towards the aforementioned bridge. The bridge itself is slightly arched so coming off the descent just have to check your footing as the down into the up changes relatively quickly. Crossing the bridge the finish funnel is in sight but remains up a short, sharp climb of around fifty metres. As it’s the first time round you turn right and rejoin the course where you started. It’s another full lap the same as you’ve just run, the climb up to the second 180 degree turn feels steeper and longer than you’ll likely remember. Not exactly like the drawn out climb at Plean but certainly a little reminiscent. Much as the course has a tough wee finish it’s good that once you reach the final bridge for the second time it’s not much further. The sort of distance to throw whatever you have left to get you up and into the awaiting funnel.

Type – 2 laps.

Elevation – A fairly consistent mix of downs and ups. Felt like doing one or the other more than being flat. Cheeky finish!

Elevation Grade – 3/5

Terrain – Gravel/hard packed trail paths throughout.

Scenery – Woods, nearby golf course and the ‘Teletubby’ horn thing you can see when passing on the M8.

P.B. Potential – 5/10

Strava – Polkemmet parkrun

Additional Info – Just a course to possibly be mindful of the second lap. The second time round the climb to the second 180 degree turn is pretty sustained and drawn out. Short sharp climb towards finish funnel as well.

 

Pollok

Pollok_Course

 

pollok 383

 

Course – The first parkrun course in Scotland was originally simply – Glasgow parkrun. Responsible also for Scotland having the slightly more civilised start time of 09:30. Due to the opening hours of the café apparently. Much as the amount of daylight throughout the Winter months (September – April) or that collectively as a nation we’re just too hungover. Pollok is one of Scotland’s bigger events but one that has arguably benefitted from the introduction of other Glasgow events.

The course itself is a two lapper with an extended start/entry section to the main loop and then also a finish section. The start is from a funnelled section near to the entrance to the Burrell Collection, the start is on a still active road so you just have to be careful/patient with any non runners or late comers. The team actively encourage runners to park outside the park and to enjoy the short walk/jog in (it’s SO much easier when leaving as well). The funnel can be busy and much as its a run not a race if you really care about your time I’d suggest not being too far back. The initial straight is downhill and has speed bumps to be mindful of and sometimes featuring many a puddle (it is Glasgow after all).

The loop is an undulating tarmac path that takes you through the some woods and past a pond. There’s a descent followed by a turn left, which can get a bit muddy underfoot. From here the course takes you round to a proper wee tester of a hill. Not overly brutal but enough to have you questioning your Saturday morning choices. The hill has a little corkscrew style twist to it. Plateauing out on top before a turn left leads you round to start the second lap. After making it round the loop and up the hill a second time you’re then rewarded with one of the great ends to a parkrun. The finish lies at the end of a 400-500 metre stretch that is mostly downhill and sweeps gradually round to the right. The finish line and funnel appearing just as the momentum from the slope begins to fade.

Type – 2 laps with a start and finish section.

Elevation – Undulates throughout with one corkscrew type hill you do twice towards the end of each lap. Sustained downhill towards the finish line.

Elevation Grade – 3.5/5

Terrain – Tarmac paths throughout, puddles a regular feature and speed bumps to watch out for.

Scenery – Scenic park with the route based beside the Burrell collection. Most of the course is the path twisting its way through woodland passing a pond.

P.B. Potential – 4/10

Strava – Pollok parkrun

Additional Info – The start is funnelled and can be busy and narrow. If a time is important to you definitely a course to get nearer the front ready for the start. Parts of the course are used n the Great Scottish Run half marathon. Possess one of the truly great finishes to a parkrun course. Leave something for coming off the last testing hill as it’s a great downhill, swinging down and round to the right to the finish line. Usually Scotland’s second biggest event.

 

Portobello

Portobello_Course

 

portobello 126

 

Course – Portobello is a three lap course run in Figgate Park. The start and finish area are located at the East end of the park. The park itself felt quite self contained and almost in its own wee valley surrounding the burn and pond. Compared to the weather elsewhere this seemed to offer shelter on my visit to Portobello. The entire route is run on tarmac paths. You begin by heading West skirting around the edges of a pond. The paths at the start can be a little congested till the field spreads. If you really care about your time and position, another course where getting some early space can help. Having skirted around the edge of the pond you turn to the left as you run now along the Southern edge of the Figgate Burn. Continuing to head West the path narrows when you pass under a road bridge. The course rises gradually as you head towards the Western tip. Arriving at a bridge, crossing it (can be a little slippy) and gradually descending Eastwards. Continuing to follow the path you pass once again under the road bridge where it again narrows. Beyond this its a couple of hundred metres before you reach another smaller bridge. Turning left to head around the other side of the pond the paths head towards the corner of the park (and eventual finish). Just before this though you turn right to start your second lap, repeating again for lap three. At the end of your third circuit you follow the path straight ahead where the finish awaits.

Type – 3 laps.

Elevation – Gently undulating with a slow steady climb up to the bridge across the burn on each lap before the descent back to down a new lap or the finish.

Elevation Grade – 2/5

Terrain – Concrete path throughout, few narrow sections under bridges and near the start. Worth watching your footing on bridges crossing the burn.

Scenery – Very much a contained park in its own wee valley which offered a bit of shelter on the day I visited. Blowing a hoolie, so it was.

P.B. Potential – 6/10

Strava – Portobello parkrun

Additional Info – An event to the West of Edinburgh helped to spread the numbers of parkrunners to the benefit of each course. Grows seasonally (like Edinburgh) especially throughout August when the festival is on.

 

Ruchill

Ruchill_Course

 

ruchill 403

 

Course – Currently the most recent addition to the Glasgow parkrun circuit, Ruchill is a course comprising of three big loops and two smaller loops. Another of the more cosy Scottish events numbers wise. The course is entirely run on tarmac paths.

From the start the course heads gradually round to the left to begin a steady climb up a hill to reach the highest part of the course near High Park Primary School (see what they did there). From here you turn right to head down a relatively steep descent into another right turn. The course then continues straight running parallel to Leny Street and Benview Street. At the point where these two streets meet these is an entrance to the park and there is a slight but noticeable dip/change in surface as you cross this. Continuing on, the course then rises up and to the right to rejoin the path not far from the start. Heading left (and keeping left throughout this section of the course at all times) you set off towards the smaller loop – the ‘tail’. At the end of the tail there is a short incline as you go around the small triangle area before heading back to the start. From here you then proceed to complete the bigger loop, the smaller loop and then finally the bigger loop again. On your final climb up from the Benview/Leny Street straight you turn left as before, the finish then lies downhill peeling off to the left from the main path beside where you started.

Type – The ‘Whale’ 3 laps of the body, and 2 of the tail section.

Elevation – A bit of hill at either end of the course on the respective loops. Main climb is longer and steady with a steeper descent. The tail section has a cheeky bit of climb around the triangle at the end.

Elevation Grade – 3.5/5

Terrain – Tarmac paths throughout.

Scenery – Very much park views with some of the city viewable from the top of the park after the first climb.

P.B. Potential – 3/10

Strava – Ruchill parkrun

Additional Info – A newer addition to the Scottish roster and one of Scotland’s more ‘cosy’ events. The course is a whale, any other courses shaped like animals?

 

Springburn

Springburn_Course

 

springburn 314

 

Course – Springburn Park is located to the North East of Glasgow city centre. A park with many a path and the all tarmac parkrun course essentially follows the main perimeter path in a clockwise direction for two and a half laps. There are short start and finish sections leading to the main loop. The start is located in the centre of the park near the James Reid statue. Heading South you descend for couple of hundred metres before following a gradual right turn to meet the main perimeter path. The park isn’t flat but also isn’t too intimidating elevation wise. The main climb and descents of a lap are encountered on the Western and Eastern edges. Following the path around the Western edge you climb steadily passing the derelict Winter Gardens. Continuing on the path there is a turn right and immediately after a turn left as you head around past Mosesfield House. Passing the house the Northern edge of the park is a gently winding path through some wooded areas. Continuing along the path then gradually starts to turn to the right and you exit the woods to a more open area of park. The path now turns left and right thereafter as you encounter the downhill equivalent of the Western edge. A straight section on the Eastern edge brings you to the Southern edge and you turn right to head along past the Springburn Park Synthetic pitches. The path passes through a car park where there is a nearby entrance/exit so something extra to be mindful of. After passing the pitches there is only a couple of hundred metres before you reach the point where you originally joined the main perimeter path. One full lap complete you do the same again. On reaching this point for the second time you continue on again up and around past the Winter Gardens. At the turn right just before Mosesfield House instead of taking the immediate left you instead continue ahead and take a right turn shortly after. This right turn takes you onto a straight section of path and the finish line is just a couple of hundred metres ahead.

Type – 2.5 laps with short start and finish sections.

Elevation – Undulating nothing too severe, but definitely not flat.

Elevation Grade – 3/5

Terrain – Tarmac paths throughout.

Scenery – Views around the park of the Winter Gardens, Mosesfield House and the Springburn Park football centre.

P.B. Potential – 5/10

Strava – Springburn parkrun

Additional Info – Glasgow’s median type event, not the biggest, not the smallest. They have a P.B. bell and aren’t afraid to use it.

 

St. Andrews

StAndrews_Course

 

standrews 278

 

Course – St. Andrews parkrun takes place within Craigtoun Country Park located to the South West of St. Andrews town. A pretty and scenic park with various sights including gardens, a boating lake and miniature railway. A three lap course run almost entirely on a light gravel paths with a short section on grass. The course now starts from a point on the main perimeter path adjacent to the car park. This extra distance means the finish section is reduced to be essentially the funnel. The main lap loop is run in an anti-clockwise direction so begins heading in an Easterly direction passing the miniature railway line and boating lake. The route takes a slight left then immediate right turn as you head towards the nearby café and toilets. The course rises as you turn right leading onto a stretch through some woods towards the North Eastern corner. A left turn awaits and you encounter the last of the climb on the lap as you head back into a more open area towards the centre of the park. Staying on the perimeter path this then gradually follows around to the right before arriving in the North West corner. A left turn, some downhill and a short transition onto a grass section await. An old scout hut awaits at the end of the grass section as you return once more to the light gravel path. Returning to heading in an Easterly direction you cross a small bridge before passing the car park and the start line. From here it is a case of completing the same loop for laps two and three. After completing your third full lap you continue you on as before as far as the section approaching the café. Where you’ve previously turned right to pass around in front of these you take a left where the finish line and funnel awaits.

Type – 3 laps

Elevation – Gently undulating.

Elevation Grade – 3/5

Terrain – Light gravel with a short grass section.

Scenery – Tidy and scenic park with gardens, pond, greenhouse and a miniature railway.

P.B. Potential – 5/10

Strava – St. Andrews parkrun

Additional Info – Course I think has been slightly revised from map shown. Starting further West adjacent to the car park which eliminates most of the highlighted finish section.

 

Stonehaven

Stonehaven_Course

 

stonehaven 396

 

Course – Located in Mineralwell park the Stonehaven event is a three lap affair with a brief start and finish section off the main loop. Each lap of the park is very much in two parts the first half all flat and the second being a climb into the highest corner and then the descent back down again. The start is located in the centre of the park on a portion of dirt/ash track. From here you follow a path in a South Easterly direction before a sharp left turn onto grass (this gets muddy). Staying inside the tall hedges that bordering the park. You continue on grass following the hedge around the park in an anti-clockwise direction. Being sure to avoid coned areas and park/sports furniture as you go. The course then charts a path around the football pitch staying on grass until you join a dirt path in the most North Westerly corner. From here there are a few minor but steady bumps and climbs as you head in a direction that takes you back towards the start. The path rises and a sharp right turn leads you up and into a wooded section where the elevation angle increases the further up the climb you go. It’s a definitely a bit of a tester but having reached the top a sharp left turn takes you on a near parallel path that winds its way downhill and out of the wooded area. Emerging back into the open there is a right turn where the path surface briefly thins before returning you to the section where you first joined the loop from the start. It’s now a case of repeating this loop another two times. On the third lap you continue to follow the hedge up towards the football pitch, before that though the finish funnel is well marked and awaits for you peeling off to the left.

Type – 3 laps.

Elevation – Half the lap is flat, the other half leads up to a relatively short steep hill, and then back down again.

Elevation Grade – 4/5

Terrain – Grass and light gravel path, can be muddy in places.

Scenery – Views around the park from down low and up high. Can also get a snapshot of the course if you’re heading North or South on the nearby railway.

P.B. Potential – 2/10

Strava – Stonehaven parkrun

Additional Info – One of Scotland’s more ‘cosy’ events.

 

Strathclyde

Strathclyde_Course

 

strathclyde 3

 

Course – Strathclyde parkrun takes place in Strathclyde County Park which lies between Motherwell and Hamilton and just off the M74 motorway. The course is a pan and (twisted) handle but by the thin nature of the pan is also essentially an out and back course. The park itself is really busy for other sports and events and so it’s always worth checking the event page in case of an news on that front. The start and finish are located North West of a series of carparks located after the Scottish Rowing centre and gym. A virtually pancake flat course with only a tiny rise at the North West most tip as you leave the loch side briefly. It’s a course that offers PB potential although this could be nature depending as the park is open to the elements. Worth checking with the event but I think they have a pacers week once a month to help if you’re striving for a particular goal/time.

The route itself starts (and finishes) on a section of grass initially to the left of the main tarmac path you’ll follow. Due to the park being busy and in constant use its worth noting the importance of keeping the main path clear before the event starts allowing everyone right of way. The initial funnel can be crowded and busy and so it’s another event where if times/positions are really your thing, probably safer to try and position yourself nearer the front. Having started it’s a very flat straight route out in a North Westerly direction with views across the water to M&D’s (Scotland’s Theme Park!?). The course has KM signs to help you judge the distance as it can be deceptive. After about 2k the course travels slightly inland to pass around the top end of the loch. After a short section through woodland you arrive at a marshall who directs you to your left to begin the pan loop. The path your on being the more inland side and you usually pass many a bootcamp group being beasted. After roughly half a kilometre of running South Easterly you turn right onto a path beside the loch. Following this straight ahead after half a kilometre you finish the pan section, heading back through the short wooded section at the top of the loch. Reappearing into the open you can see the finish line in the distance. It may seem close and insight but the reality is that it’s a little over 2km to go. From here it is simply a case of retracing the earlier path whilst continuing to be mindful of other park users. As you approach the finish there are 400m & 200m metre markers and you’re directed off the main path onto the grass to the right of the path where the line and funnel await.

Type – Thin pan and twisty handle.

Elevation – Pancake flat with only a marginal rise around the head of Strathclyde Loch. Meant to be Scotland’s flattest course and joint #3 in all the U.K. parkruns.

Elevation Grade – 1/5

Terrain – Tarmac path throughout with short start and finish sections on a grass area adjacent to the main path.

Scenery – Open views across Strathclyde Country Park and the loch. Usually plenty other activities and events on both on the water and in the park.

P.B. Potential – 10/10

Strava – Strathclyde parkrun

Additional Info – The start is funnelled and can be quite busy. Strathclyde country park is always busy as well with other park users, dog walkers and cyclists so very much a course to enjoy but be courteous to other users (in ear headphones not ideal). On the return you can see the finish from a long way out, but it’s still roughly 2km away. They have a pacers event once a month if you want to go for a P.B.

 

Thurso

Thurso_Course

 

thurso 31

 

Course – Thurso’s event is located right beside the Thurso swimming pool towards the Southern edge of the town. The route encompasses a short loop around a boating pond before then heading South to complete three loops of the paths to either side of the River Thurso. The loops are completed by crossing a bridge at either end of the loop and these are run in a clockwise direction. The route is rounded off by heading back around the Western edge of the boating pond to the finish funnel but this is only about half the distance of the original route around the pond.

Despite being primarily three loops Thurso is a pretty scenic run on good paths down either side of the river. Because of the size of the loops you usually have a bridge in sight (or soon enough) so either heading North or South you can see where your turning point is. Felt this alongside it being a predominantly flat course with the ramps leading to the bridges being the only memorable elevation allowed to run what felt like a relatively steady pace. The ramp to the second (Northern) bridge on the West bank is a little zig-zaggy compared to other ramps so just a fraction more caution/care is required. You lose a little time slowing to take the corners but this is made up for with the long straight sections.

The initial stretch around the boating pond is quite narrow and it was quite a bunch start so for this early section would just advise caution. The tarmac paths here as well are a little patchy, but this contrasts with the rest of the course being kept in great condition.

Type – Handle & 3 laps of the pan.

Elevation – Not much, pretty flat with only memorable inclines are the ramps leading to and from the bridges over the River Thurso.

Elevation Grade – 2/5

Terrain – All on tarmac paths, start/finish section around the boating pond is quite narrow and a bit patchy in places. Decent wooden planks on the bridges. and very short section across grass to eliminate a sharp bend with park furniture.

Scenery – Really scenic views of the River Thurso and a you can see a lot of runners stretching out around the loops of the course across the three laps. The bridges are modern and offer good targets to run/pace towards.

P.B. Potential – 7/10

Strava – Thurso parkrun

Additional Info – Currently (and likely to remain) the most Northerly parkrun on mainland UK.

 

Tollcross

 

tollcross 447

 

Course – Located in the East end of Glasgow Tollcross was the second parkrun to start in the city. One of Scotland’s tougher events elevation wise. The course consists of two and a half laps following tarmac paths that are pretty much follow the perimeter of the main central park area. The park pretty much sits on three distinct levels and there is a transitional hill between each plateau. Starting on the middle level near the bandstand and the Winter Garden you head North climbing almost immediately. The path does a little jink to the left and the climb eases off as you reach the top level of the park. Heading East to West beside some housing you turn left over a wee crest and get ready for some earned descent. On a clear day you have a view out over the East of the city. Proceeding downhill a turn to the right awaits along a tree lined path with a slight rise towards the parks Western edge. On reaching this point, turn left and enjoy more descent heading now down towards the base of the park. Traditional sandstone Glasgow tenements stand to your right just outside the park. Following the path around the base of the park you turn left and a climb that leads you back to the middle level of the park awaits. A couple of gentle turns and you arrive back passing the start line to begin your second lap. It’s a case of doing it all over again for another lap. After crossing the start line for a second time you complete the top section of the course again. When you get to the first significant descent you now head straight ahead and continue onto the grass section where the finish line/funnel awaits. This is a couple of hundred metres and the only time where you leave tarmac on the course.

Type – 2.5 laps.

Elevation – The park is kind of on three tiers so there are sharp scents and descents but joined by flat sections in between. Second most elevation in Scotland.

Elevation Grade – 5/5

Terrain – Concrete paths throughout with a finish section that’s roughly 200 metres of grass.

Scenery – Views over the surrounding area from the top of the park. There’s the bandstand, greenhouses and gardens in the park.

P.B. Potential – 1/10

Strava – Tollcross parkrun

Additional Info – A course that’s challenging but enjoyable, bit of thinking involved in order to best judge pacing throughout. Feel like you could/should be due more downhill. Good finish section off a hill and onto the grass. Tends to team up with the nearby Strathclyde for a New Years Day Doubler (though other nearby courses now run at varying times as well). The course also has KM marker signs but because of the lapped nature of the course you don’t pass these in a chronological order – so best just do keep an eye on what KM marker the sign was for.

 

Troon

Troon_Course

 

troon 10

 

Course – Currently the newest addition to the Scottish parkrun cannon, Troon is an out and back and out and back course beside the towns South beach. The course is as flat as they come but like any coastal event has the potential to be a bit blowy. Should you catch Troon on a calm day though… definitey has the potential to be one of the quickest courses out there. The route is scenic and follows a promenade style path from the start point adjacent to the Italian sunken gardens. Initially heading East and gradually turning Southwards you head to a marshall and turning point that lies about halfway down the course beside a large sand dune. Turning here to then head back Northwards to just shy of the start where another marshall and cone awaits to turn you back around. Retracing your steps now to the big dune. You now continue onwards heading onto a path that narrows but continues Southwards towards the Royal Troon Golf Club. Before you get as far as the Marine Hotel there is a final marshall and cone to turn you round and have you heading back the full length of the route. The finish area is awaits after passing the sunken gardens and has you peeling off onto a grass section into the waiting funnel.

Type – A short out and back, followed by a longer out and back (updated since original course map above)

Elevation – Nope. Felt like the flattest of the flat.

Elevation Grade – 1/5

Terrain – Wide tarmac promenade style path for the majority. Path thins on the longer out and back section. Short stretch at the finish onto grass.

Scenery – Views of Troon South beach and out over the water. Start/finish is at some Italian sunken gardens and you pass a kiosk, crazy golf and other sights along the way.

P.B. Potential – 10/10, It’s on.

Strava – Troon parkrun

Additional Info – The promenade path is pretty wide but there is a dedicated cycle lane down the middle of this, so just to watch out for that. The week I attended the event was still in its infancy and the short and long legs were accidentally run back to front. The course was still the same 5k distance wise (and fun). Did just mean both the longer and shorter stretches ended up being a touch more congested than they might otherwise have been.  During the run (in December) experienced snow, rain and sun all in the one run.

 

Victoria

Victoria_Course

 

victoria 180

 

Course – Probably the ‘quickest’ of the Glasgow based parkrun courses. Victoria is a three lap affair with a short start and separate finish section leading you to and from the main loop. One of Glasgow’s busier events numbers wise the first lap can take a little bit of time to spread everyone out. The course leaves from an avenue of trees turning to the to the left and then shortly after to the right skirting the edges of the pond. On the first lap this can be busy so would just suggest an added degree of caution. Passing the pond the course then runs the full length of the park leaving tarmac paths for a brief slab section towards the end of the straight, adjacent to Victoria Park Drive South. At the end of the slabbed section turn right and up a small hill to then turn right to once again run the length of the park in the opposite direction. This time with some added downhill and you pick up where you joined the course to start laps two and then three. The section leading to the finish straight is one hundred metres or so beyond where you joined the laps section initially and then proceeds to take you around the perimeter of a square grass section of the park. A final left turn leaves you with a straight section heading towards the finish line.

Type – 3 laps with a short start and separate finish section.

Elevation – Feels overall pretty flat with a one moderate fill at the West end of the park as you go up the shorter edge of the course.

Elevation Grade – 2/5

Terrain – Concrete path throughout with a small slabbed section alongside Victoria Park Drive South just before you reach the Western edge of the park.

Scenery – There’s a children’s play park and pond that attracts a fair few birds/feeders.

P.B. Potential – 7/10

Strava – Victoria parkrun

Additional Info – After leaving the start corridor the route can narrow for having a relatively large field. Especially on the first lap its worth taking extra care as you pass the pond so as not to inadvertently join the ducks. Near the pond the path can have a fair few puddles (it is a Glasgow course after all).

 

Vogrie

 

vogrie 362

 

Course – Vogrie park lies between various local towns and villages and is about 13 miles South East of the centre of Edinburgh. A two lap course that predominately consists of woodland trail and grass, with some short gravel sections. There is a short start section that takes you to the two laps proper and rather pleasantly this is all downhill. On joining the lap loop there is a slight climb though, certainly didn’t feel as harsh as the elevation profile may suggest. The trail winds its way through woodland passing a pond and crossing a bridge. The path is followed in an anti-clockwise direction and although the paths are a firm woodland trail there are some muddier sections and exposed tree roots to be mindful of. The first half of the lap essentially takes you around a large field before bringing you down the Western edge of the park heading South. The course then leads you into a thinner strip of woodland where there is a marshall and turning point waiting at the end. You turn back on yourself (but onto a different section of path) and then shortly after there is entry onto a grass field section that can get a bit muddy. One of the core team had recommended trail shoes for the course and I appreciated his advice (this was in August). The grass section is closer to field than manicured grass and perfectly good to run on but just a little uneven in places. A few bumps are navigated as you follow cones and a marshall’s directions to take you onto a trail path leading into some more woods. There’s a left turn as you enter and then a right turn shortly after. A couple hundred of metres are navigated and you come out to an opening where the finish is set up and tantalisingly close… You just have to complete the loop again before you can emerge into the opening knowing you’ve completed Vogrie.

Slightly unusual in the grand scheme of Scottish courses in that it is definitely a bit more rough around the edges/trail than other courses. This is in no way a bad thing, its a refreshing change. Perfect course if you’re keen to get away from ‘road’ running. A course to always watch your footing on despite it offering a softer landing than most.

Type – Short start section into 2 laps.

Elevation – Undulating in the truest sense of the word, few climbs nothing overly harsh.

Elevation Grade – 3/5

Terrain – Mostly woodland trail and grass with some light gravel.

Scenery – Good views around the park and the mix of terrain it offers. Also a big chair sculpture near the start/finish area.

P.B. Potential – 4/10

Strava – Vogrie parkrun

Additional Info – Trail shoes wouldn’t go amiss. Not a course to bring shiny new shoes too if you want to leave with them still gleaming. Few tree roots/mud patches on the way round, always worth giving the course and turns the respect they deserve.

Advertisements