parkrun is a free, weekly, timed 5k event taking place at around 2000 locations worldwide every Saturday morning. It’s not a race; you can run, jog, or walk the 5k. The events are entirely run by volunteers.
parkruns I’ve been to:
Aachener Weiher parkrun – Cologne – Germany
The route in Aachener Weiher parkrun consists of two laps. You start next to the pond and go up and over the first hill, then along the edge of the park and up and over the second hill and then around the pond and you do this again for the second loop. You finish at the same location as where you started. The hills are pretty steep and since you go around twice, it’s not the fastest route, but it is a nice park.
Amsterdamse Bos parkrun – Amsterdam – Netherlands
Lovely one-lap course going through the park and forest and start and finish are close to the Bosbaan. Quite easy to get to and free parking on weekends.
Beach Strip parkrun – Hamilton – Canada
Lovely out and back course on tarmac path along Lake Ontario. On a clear day you can even see Toronto in the distance.
Beatrixpark parkrun – Almere – Netherlands
Two lap course on tarmac along the water and across several bridges, also passing the building of an old American Diner. All the bridges in the park have names and some are quite funny.
Bushy parkrun – London – United Kingdom
The home of parkrun, the place where it all started in 2004. Large park and one of the largest parkruns in the world. The one lap parkrun doesn’t even go through all of the park. Be sure to keep an eye out for the deer.
Coldham’s Common parkrun – Cambridge – United Kingdom
About 30 minutes walk from the station and next to the local airport. A two-lap, flat course on grass along the edge of some playing fields.
Danehy Park parkrun – Cambridge – United States
Pretty easy to get to with the T. Three loops around the perimeter of the park, around other sports fields so you can see people play baseball and soccer and walk their dogs while you are running around. The finish is uphill. The route is sort of a pretzel shape, hence why they now have a pretzel sign.
Delftse Hout parkrun – Delft – Netherlands
Can be reached from the city center of Delft quite easily. Two lap course following the path through the forest and passing a lake and beach after which you make a u-turn and run back through the forest, past the field where the finish is after which you make another u-turn to get back to the start. The course does cross a few cycling lanes, so do watch out, but nice flat course and the cafe is very close.
Goffert parkrun – Nijmegen – Netherlands
Large park, not that far from Nijmegen Goffert station. Two lap parkrun through part of the park, with a steep hill after about a kilometer (which you have to climb twice since it’s two laps). But it’s Nijmegen after all. Mostly on paved paths, but also a bit of forest trail.
Himmel parkrun – Tucson, Arizona – United States
Currently the only parkrun in the state of Arizona. It’s a flat, four-loop course around the perimeter of the park. The start is close to the library, along the path, you take a left turn and you run on the sidewalk along the road, you take another left turn and run over the grass along the edge of the park. After taking another left you run along the sidewalk towards the library and run around the library and repeat this another three times. It’s nice to see that there is a parkrun and the volunteers are great.
Karpendonkse Plas parkrun – Eindhoven – Netherlands
My home parkrun. Nice park with a path around the lake. Start is near the car park. The course is two clockwise laps around a grass field, followed by two laps around the lake counter clockwise and finishing on the same field as you started. Course is entirely on paved or unpaved paths, only the finish is on grass. Completely flat course.
Mile End parkrun – London – United Kingdom
It’s basically a double out and back course. You go out through the park, then get onto the Regent’s Canal towpath and then go back through the park to the sport center where you started and then do that one more time. There are a few hills, but you do get to see the other runners regularly since it’s a double out and back.
Montsouris parkrun – Paris – France
It’s a small parkrun and due to work going on in the park they had to use an alternative route. Normally the route is 3 laps around the perimeter of the park, but now it was one lap around the lake followed by 4 laps up the hill, so with the alternative route you have to get up and down the hill 4 times instead of 3. But I did enjoy the parkrun and the volunteers were great.
Queen’s parkrun – Glasgow – United Kingdom
Hilly three-lap course, but with lovely views of the city of Glasgow. There are three quite steep hills in each loop, so nine hills in total, and at the end of each loop there is a steep downhill.
Reeuwijkse Hout parkrun – Reeuwijk – Netherlands
Two loops on paved cycling/walking paths. Along the lake and through the polders and woods of Reeuwijkse Hout, with some nice views of the lake and polders.
Rheinpark parkrun – Cologne – Germany
Park in the city center, only one lap. You first zig-zag through the park, then continue on a peninsula in the river. You run until the end of the peninsula and then make a u-turn to go back and get back into the park. The last part is along the river with a nice view of the city.
Sonsbeek parkrun – Arnhem – Netherlands
Sonsbeek park is a very nice park with an 18th-century mansion, which you actually run past twice during the 5k. The course is a two lapper which passes several ponds in the park and you’ll even pass a waterfall. For Dutch standards, it’s a little bit of a hilly course, but the park is lovely and you have a great view over the city on your way back to the finish.
Tapijn parkrun – Maastricht – Netherlands
When I ran it, it was a temporary course of four loops. The park is an old NATO base and the buildings are now mostly being used by the university. There are quite a few animals in the park, deer and several types of birds. And the cafe is right next to the finish area.
Volksgarten parkrun – Dusseldorf – Germany
The Volksgarten is a lovely park with nice ponds and trees and some squirrels running around. It is quite a big park, so it took us a while to find the start. The course is a double loop weaving through the park and since there are a lot of crossings they need a lot of cones to tell you which way to go. There is one hill about halfway into the loop. You follow the paths around the park and after two loops you finish on the grass close to where you’ve started.
Wormwood Scrubs parkrun – London – United Kingdom
It is a two and a bit loop course on the west side of the Wormwood Scrubs park. It is all on grass and the drainage is terrible, so if it’s been raining there is a lot of mud and ankle deep puddles on the course. It’s a mud bath and roadshows won’t do you any good, you need trail shoes or even spikes. You start along the south side of the park and cut over the grass up the hill to the northern perimeter of the park and keep following the perimeter of the park until you get back to the starting point. You then do another loop and after the second loop you go up the hill for a third time to the finish.