Tuesday, 31 January 2012

parkrun Course Description: Coventry

I suppose the clue is in the name, "parkrun". And being a run based in a park location I'm sure that most parkrun courses offer the more scenic views that our Towns and Cities have to offer.

I doubt that Coventry is the most beautiful, or the least, but Coventry parkrun is my home parkrun and I want to describe it for you in words and pictures, so that all parkrunners can get a better idea of what a parkrun tourist trip to War Memorial park in Coventry would have in store for you.

Firstly the logistics....There is a massive free car park within the park, adjacent to the course and only 500 metres from the start line. The car park is signposted as the "park and ride" for miles around. I can't see Coventry parkrun ever becoming too big for this car park.

The course is in a capital B shape, starting at the mid-point of the straight line and heading upwards, then doing both the humps of the B before completing the the lower half of the straight line. The B is only 2.5km long and is therefore run twice in the same direction.

The course starts alongside the building housing the main cafe and fairly close to the hardcourt tennis courts and childrens playground. Conveniently, the public conveniences are also located in this building and these are (now) always open before parkrun. The view from the start line:

The first 150 meters are flat and tree-lined, running alongside the crown-green bowls area, before decending downhill for the next 200 meters or so, again tree-lined, bearing slightly to the right half way down the slope. The view downhill:

After the downhill section there is a bit more of a right hand turn before heading uphill for another 200 metres or so, again tree-lined. Starting to get the picture? (yes, its tree-lined most of the way). The uphill section is not too steep, but the length of the hill can catch you out if you have started a little too quickly on the tempting downhill section.

Following the uphill section we have a curved 90 degree right-hand turn, then a further 10 metres uphill, before a steady gentle slope downwards for the next 300 metres or so.

There is another 90 degree turn to the right, slightly tighter then those before it, and then a narrower path with a couple of minor kinks, again slightly downhill for 150 metres, to complete the first kilometre.

The second kilometre starts with a steady uphill straight for 200 metres alongside the tennis courts. This returns you very close to the start finish area. There is a 90 degree left hand turn with a tricky steeper uphill section for the next 50 metres. This reaches the highest point on the course. Another 100 metres on and another 90 degree left hand turn takes you along a 300 metre long, gentle downhill, tree-lined section to the recently refurbished golf pavillion. For the first year or so of Coventry parkrun, this was the finish straight.

Beside the golf pavilion there is a 90 degree right-hand turn. A slight up and down stretch of another 150 metres and a further 90 degree right-hand turn brings you to the main car park. The car park section is about 200 metres long and is the only part of the course that is not lined with trees on both sides. At the end of the car park we have reached the 2km point (4.5km on the second lap).

We then take yet another 90 degree right-hand turn and head uphill for about 300 metres, to return to the highest point of the course.

We are then into the final 200 metres, 50m downhill and then 150 metres flat onto the start finish straight beside the cafe.

The good news is that you then have to do it all again!

The finish line is about 50 metres on from the start line, eye-balling at you at the start, tempting you at the end of the first lap and welcoming you home after the second lap.

I hope that this has helped give you a picture of the Coventry parkrun course. And if it has tempted you to take a parkrun tourist trip to Coventry then I hope to see you there someday.


  1. Wow! This is my home Parkrun as well. How starnge to see it so empty of runners. It would be interesting to reverese the route and see what that does.

  2. I took the pictures this lunchtime Alison. It was very cold and not many people about.

  3. Nice work Ian, that's dedication!

  4. Nice idea. I will do this for my home parkrun.

    1. That would be great. Hopefully a few other will follow suit. I will start a new page to link all the course descriptions together to make them easy to find.

      It would be great to eventually have a course decsription for every parkrun location on here, but I think that may take a while. Might as well dream big!

  5. Get Danny Norman to mention it on the Parkrun show.

    1. I'm not the type to trouble him. Perhaps I should be for the blog.

  6. Somebody help me to identify where are the 3rd and 4th km markers please. From the description of the course I got the 1st and 1nd.

    1. 3rd km marker is after you have passed the small Leamington road car park on your left on the second lap you then pass the gravel path to your right and it's by the small path to the rose garden on the right.

      The fourth km marker is beside the first bench on your left as you go along the tree lined path down towards the golf pavilion.


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