Stonehouse parkrun is in Stroud, one of the South-West parkruns. For anyone who has visited the other parkrun in Stroud you will totally appreciate me referring to this one as the “flat” one!
Going there meant we ticked off another S towards the snakes challenge. Our reason for going is that it was my NENDY (next event not done yet). It was also our son’s friend’s local and so he came along for his very first parkrun.
Getting to Stonehouse parkrun
Access to Stonehouse parkrun is possible by public transport. One mile from the train station and ¾ mile from the bus station.
We arrived at Stonehouse parkrun quite early and it was rather quiet. As it was clear where the start was we headed over there. Next to a play area – which actually had stuff for bigger children too, the boys hung around there for a bit.
Parking and Facilities
Parking – there is a great big free carpark just next to the level crossing. Things to be mindful of are the fact that there is a height restriction bar (2.1m) and that it is quite a blind junction if turning right when leaving. On the first point we are lucky that we had taken the roof box off the car because the height bar was open when we went in but closed when we went to leave. It does state it on their website too though.
It is clear that there are no facilities right next to the parkrun. However, it does state that there are some not far away in either the car park on the high street or one of the cafes.
Stonehouse parkrun Course
The start is just past the skate park. There’s a 200m stretch which is the start and the finish (reversed) with four 1.5km laps in between. Basically you keep left on a path next to a bush and for the finish instead of going left for another lap you turn right and to the finish.
The finish is where the start is so wasn’t actually set up before we started. This just made it a little harder me to visualise but it was okay.
Type of Course
It is a flat course, mostly on grass with just a little bit of pavement. Definitely one for the trail shoes, particularly after rain. Surprised to see that there was a slippery metal bit on the grass area that hadn’t been highlighted with cones as have seen that sort of thing at many other parkruns – but I guess that is because it is obviously there if you look where you are going.
This is a great course for children, beginners and those with any problems – because it is flat and mostly on grass.
It was also good to see that there was a sheet put down for any valuables to stop them getting all wet and dirty in bad weather. However, there was no-where covered if the weather did turn bad.
There was an area a little way across from the play area where a lot of volunteers were; so after having a wonder round, to see if there was any indication as to what the course was like, I went over to them. One of the volunteers let me know that the first timers briefing did usually happen by the start sign when asked.
Other parkrun participants
Obviously it was a much smaller parkrun than some of the others we have been to but honestly people weren’t really very talkative. Accept maybe one lady at the end who (when I was on a walk break) told me that I could do it, that I was faster than her. Thank you it was really kind. Actually it was nice that people didn’t keep mentioning my walk breaks.
Volunteers are very much appreciated and all that goes into setting it all up. However, there was definitely at least one under 11 year old running on their own. Honestly I don’t care if the ED/RD want to turn around and suggest that it was just for the sprint at the end (it wasn’t) but to know that their event may grown and this could become a problem.
The briefing was brief. Usually they repeat a lot of what is said in the first timers briefing but they didn’t. Obviously not a problem just not what we had experienced before. Also my husband felt that they were keen to scan as soon as you’d finished. Because we have all the barcodes on the phone he felt in the way whilst he tried to sort them.
At the start there were quite a few dogs not under control pulling into other runners – not even keeping to the edge. Bit odd as it was a small parkrun with lots of room!
Jeffing at Stonehouse parkrun
As I say it was nice that people didn’t keep commenting on the walk breaks. Actually my calf had gone on the first lap! Honestly I thought it was going to have to walk it all so was pretty happy with my time. Since then I have had a sports massage and chances are I have a small tear.
Achievements at Stonehouse parkrun
Snakes S, Parkrun SW, Cowell Club, Tourist and Freyne Club 18.
Our teen got a new highest finishing position of 5!
Stonehouse parkrun Stats
There were 68 participants ranging from 17:08 to 45:56. Of those 38 were through in under 30 minutes. An average of 75 finishers per week, with an average finish time of 28:46. The female course record was 17:33 and the male 15:20. The age graded recorded was 90.81%.
Oldends Lane Playing Fields, Oldends Lane, Stonehouse, GL10 2DG
Other parkruns nearby
Stratford Park, Stroud (2.7m), Kingsway (4.8m), Gloucester City (7.6m), Wotton (9m), Gloucester North (9m), Tetbury Goods Shed (9.8m), Berkeley Green (9.9m), Lydney (10.4m), Mallards Pike (10.5m), King George V Playing Field, Cheltenham (12.8m)