About Worcester Parkrun
Worcester Parkrun takes place at Worcester Country Hall. It is 2 laps around Worcester County Hall and Worcester Woods Country Park. It is a mixture of tarmac, trail and grassland. Although it is officially called Worcester Parkrun I know myself and my friends at least refer to it as Worcester Woods Parkrun. There is also Worcester Pitchcroft locally – which is a very different experience again!
Once there you can access the Worcester Woods facilities – this includes the Orchard Café (where people meet for a post-Parkrun drink), toilets and play area. This is a short walk from the carpark/welcome briefing area and start.
Finding Worcester Parkrun
We followed directions (by car) to Worcester Woods. Once there everything was really well sign posted as to where to go to park, and up to the welcome and briefing area. The free parking is at the Council Car Park at the top of the road.
It is also accessible by public transport: From the city centre, bus number 44 or 32A (stops at the hospital – walk through).
Worcester Country Hall, WR5 2NP.
Getting to the Start from the Briefing
Note that the start is not where the welcome briefing is. After the briefing faster runners head one way to ensure they are at the front, with slower runners going another way so that they are at the back. In all honesty this was a bit confusing with people going different ways. We were told that is what was happening but it was a rather rushed and unclear comment. There were plenty of marshals to ask what was happening however.
Unfortunately I did not measure how far away this was. Due to the changes in terrain and the inclines I would say that I don’t personally feel this is the right course for someone who is struggling to walk 5km and that therefore this walk from the briefing to the start would be a problem.
Worcester Parkrun Course
The current course is the “Covid” course – not that it is officially called that. It was changed so that is was more open, and less through the woods to ensure people were more spaced out.
Once everyone appears to be at the start a horn is sounded to start. There was no mention of this in the first timers briefing or the welcome briefing.
As previously mentioned it is just 2 laps. This was good because it meant that we weren’t lapped by too many people. The courses starts besides the pond behind County Hall.
It was a rather crowded start and as we had opted for the back end we couldn’t really get anywhere very fast. That’s okay though because the first part is uphill towards the Orchard Café.
Then the route continues straight to follow the perimeter of the wood with the Worcester Woods toilets on the right. Winding on the bridleway and trail until it leads to the grassed Newton open park. This was very muddy and parts icy. It then re-enters the woods (bottom left corner) until reaching a tarmac pathway by Nunery School.
Then re-enter the woods to wind our way to the front of County Hall and the end of lap 1 (near briefing and finish area). Follow the path to the café. There was a bit of a slippery bridge near the end of the laps – which also have an uphill finish. Finally repeat the lap – bearing right at the finish area to complete the Parkrun.
Jeffing at Worcester Parkrun
At times Jeffing was a little trickier at Worcester Parkrun – especially doing such short ratios. This was particularly at the start and on the pathway coming out of the woods because we had to keep pulling back in in front of people. At other times people were not moving to one side so that also made it difficult to overtake them. All in all it wasn’t too bad though and everyone seemed friendly enough about our technique.
Worcester Parkrun Stats
The week we attended there were 385 participants ranging from 17:44-52:55. Of those 204 were through in under 30 minutes. There are an average 398 finishers per week, with an average finish time of 29:39. The female course record is 16:58 and the male 14:52. The age graded record is 93.46%.
Other Parkruns Nearby to Worcester Parkrun
Worcester Pitchcroft (2.5m), Evesham (11.5m), Arrow Valley (13.7m), Tewkesbury (13.8m), Wyre Forest (14.7m), Cheltenham (19.5m), Woodgate Valley Country Park(19.5m), King George V Playing Field (19.9m)
What is Parkrun?
For those not familiar Parkrun is a timed 5Km fun event suitable for all (within reason, and where possible). They have recently tried to make it more inclusive by adding Park Walkers. It is every Saturday and run by volunteers.
Register for your free barcode and have it scanned every time you go. You can see how you progress your 5K in general, and by each Parkrun location. There are some rules such as for running with dogs and under 11s – find out more, including how to register, at Parkrun.org.
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Should Children Do Parkrun? Our boys have been running for the last 6 years on and off with no problems at present. They are now 13 and 15 years old.