Berkeley Green Parkrun celebrated its 100th event and so we went along to find out what it was like there.
About Berkeley Green Parkrun
Berkeley Green Parkrun is located at a decommissioned nuclear power station site. Situated just outside of the Cotswolds and along the River Severn. It is great if you’re looking for a Parkrun with plenty of community spirit.
There is an information board which has photographs of the Core Team, information on Parkrun, a map of the course and some other bits useful to those attending for the first time.
The course is three laps on tarmac paths – ideal for those wanting a PB, those wanting to avoid trails/grass, first-timers, those with pushchairs and it is dog-friendly. In fact there were quite a lot of dogs as the charity for the week was Aura’s Dogs charity, but none of them got in my way at all.
The start and finish is outside the entrance to the canteen for the college. You may find the course itself isn’t very inspiring (mainly around carpark – with a few building to go round to break it up). However, on saying that the course has been made to be a bit more exciting – for instance there’s music playing everywhere – you really do not need to bring your own headphones!
Then there’s Marshall Super Dave handing out “hi-fives” with his big hand! Next there’s Scots Corner! There’s some sort of noise as you go up and down the hill and finally of notability is a huge array of teddies and a man with an inflatable guitar!
There’s a few turns and a nice flat straight sprint finish opportunity! There are occasions when the course means that you will pass the runners ahead of you – which is nice if you have speedier friends and family you want to cheer on (or slower ones you wish to encourage).
On this occasion there was only one place where my feet could get wet – and that was a puddle that you could avoid!
Accessing Berkeley Green
Unfortunately Berkeley Green Parkrun is not accessible via public transport, although can be accessed by foot. The nearest train station is 8.5 miles away. However, there is plenty of free on-site parking. It is easy to find, with signs straight away directing you where to go.
Just follow signs to the ‘Science & Technology Park. Do note that the car park is located inside the course route. The access road to the car park will be closed off 10 mins before the parkrun start time so please arrive in good time. Exit road will not re-open until tail walker has passed for the final lap.
Berkeley Green Parkrun is not far from Berkeley Castle and Cattle Country Adventure Park, which opens at 10am.
Refreshments are served by a local group, club or charity, so bring along some cash for a donation. These are inside a building so it doesn’t matter what the weather. You can go through the building and on the other side there’s a lovely view of the River Severn!
Celebrating Parkrun 100 at Berkeley Green
To celebrate their 100th Parkrun at Berkeley Green they had free temporary tattoos made up for you to wear.
Just for that week they had Run-aoke, where they had out one of their cordless mics out at the finish line if you fancied singing along as you ran/walked past on each lap.
Plus they had position tombola – if you finished in a position that was a multiple of 5 you won a big chocolate, and everyone received a Celebration (if they wished). Luckily I sprint finished so that the lady behind me got her big chocolate!
It was super community spirited. Was nice to be greeted by another Tikiboo fan which helped me feel welcomed straight away. Plus, of course, being given free tattoos and offered chocolate was always going to be a win!
I did like the information board but there was no first-timers briefing. My husband thinks that they thought we looked like we knew what we were doing. Although it was quite self-explanatory.
The start was quite congested, this probably due to the fact that it was the 100th Event. However, I was still able to easily Jeff a 30:30 – much more so than somewhere like Worcester.
Other things that I have fed back are the fact that it seemed that there were many under 11s running without an adult (maybe they were older than they looked) and people not keeping to the left. Neither of these things are currently much of an issue but could be as it grows.
Finally I only knew to go inside to get my barcode scanned because my husband told me: He had also just followed others when he had finished.
Berkeley Green, Gloucestershire Science & Technology Park, Berkeley, Glos., GL13 9FB
Berkeley Green Parkrun Stats
The week we attended there were 172 participants ranging from 17.42-58.27. Of those 106 were through in under 30 minutes.
There are an average 109.3 finishers per week, with an average finish time of 29:19. The female course record was 17.55 and the male 15.05. The age graded record was 97.54%.
Parkrun Tourism Challenges Completed at Berkeley Green
This week I completed Alphabeteer letter B, Staying Alive B – plus 13 for Cowell Club, Freyne Club and Tourist. As well as Date Bingo. These can be found the 5K App. Obviously it was also a Square Number Challenge but I had already previously completed it.
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 14 and 15 years old.