Oaklands parkrun 149 – Great accessible Course Near the NEC

We headed to Birmingham for Oaklands parkrun event 149. This was handy as we headed on to the NEC but also gained our all-important O.

Oaklands parkrun sign with walking boot

As I am still wearing a boot for my fractured foot we needed somewhere that was very accessible. As it was all on tarmac and suitable for those with pushchairs and wheelchair users we decided that it must be suitable.

Also I had checked out the volunteer roles and saw that report writer was free. This meant that if I was unable to complete the course I would still be recorded as there in a volunteer capacity.

Things for First Timers to Oaklands parkrun to Know


Oaklands parkrun is a fairly straightforward course on tarmac path. However, don’t attend in your cleanest, shiny road shoes as you did need to move onto the grass for the briefings. This is so it is not blocking the path for other users.

Location of Oaklands parkrun

One thing I do think it is worth thinking about if planning on visiting Oaklands parkrun is how you are going to get there. There are the options of buses and the nearest train station appears to be “Spring Road” – 2 miles away. There’s also a Holiday Inn Express (Birmingham South) less than a 10 minute walk away.

Oaklands parkrun is within easy reach of the NEC. Great for if you want an O or as an alternative to Babbs Mill parkrun. As well as the Oaklands parkrun sign there’s also lots of yellow O shapes around the recreational grounds for my photo opportunities.

O at Oaklands parkrun

Plus the fact it is a beautiful park and it was lovely to see all the birds flying around.


But if driving it is located 15 minutes away from the City Centre. This may mean that your SatNav may take you very near to the centre at the very least. Birmingham now has a clean air zone – so you may want to check your car and/or the direction that you may be sent in due to this.

My husband drove so it wasn’t a problem, personally I wouldn’t have wanted to go via Five Ways, which is where our SatNav sent us! Although I don’t really like driving!


Again my husband wasn’t convinced that the SatNav was taking him the right way to park in the Swan Centre. However, we have been there before as I used to have a relative who lived in the flats there.

There appeared to be lots of other places to park other than the Swan Centre – but there is honestly lots of parking here and it is right across the road.


The Swan Centre has lots of shops – with places to eat/drink and free toilets. The recreation ground has two playgrounds, an outdoor gym and a skate park.

Oaklands parkrun play area

The Start

Finding the parkrun was easy from the Swan Centre. The park is literally across the road (where there is a crossing) and really is straight forward once you get in.

Oaklands parkrun Course

A nice course all on path and easy to understand (with a marshal at the crucial point where you could potentially go wrong).

Oaklands parkrun direction volunteer

You do three laps with the final lap you veering off to the left. There are two arrows at this point but there’s no mention of what number lap you need to do this on. This would be helpful to those who have poor working memory or simply did not hear the run briefing.

course arrows at Oaklands parkrun

My Experience at Oaklands parkrun

Both other participants and volunteers alike made this a very welcoming parkrun – thank you it is appreciated. Especially as the weather was really changeable and there were downpours of rain! In fact they all seemed in very jovial spirits!

On seeing my boot they could easily have been really negative, knowing that I may take a while to get round. But everyone was very encouraging and there was never any feeling of me holding them back, needing to hurry up and certainly not to skip any of the course! Thank you to Dave, who also did the first timers briefing, for being the first volunteer to make me feel very welcome with my boot.

Ironically I am from Birmingham and there was someone who now lives in Birmingham that came from where I live now! They gave me lots of support on the course too!

Can I do parkrun in a fracture boot?

The big question is how practical is it to do parkrun in a boot? Not very really. Oaklands parkrun was flat so probably one of the most practical. With no holes/puddles in the path. It was wide enough that I did not seem to get in anyone’s way, and flat enough that it didn’t take me a ridiculous time.

But my legs really ached after – with one foot being higher than the other. Stupidly I had wore the boot next to my bare skin and the boot really rubbed. Luckily I had spare Cow-Cowells on me to stuff down but my leg still got quite a nasty friction burn on it!

Jeffing and my family

So obviously there was no jeffing today as I was limited to walking. However, I feel that the course was as such that it would have been really easy to do so. The paths were fairly wide. Only thing was I don’t remember being told whether to stay left or right. Staying right makes the most sense though, as the end splits off to the left.

Oaklands parkrun

The boys also walked this week. My husband, however, got a great time so was very happy.

Oaklands parkrun Statistics for Event 149

There were 106 participants at Oaklands parkrun event 149. With 39 attending for the first time, 14 of which it was their first ever parkrun and 12 new personal bests. Also there were 17 different clubs being represented. 

Tourists I heard mentioned (and can remember) Wolverhampton, Leicester, reddish, Salisbury, Tewkesbury – with Anne Cokayne completing their 50th parkrun location. 

Also it was Oaklands regular Laura’s 100th parkrun – thank you so much for the chocolates. 

Times ranged from 17:39 to one hour and 15 seconds. With 55 people completing Oaklands parkrun in sub 30 minutes. By event 149 the average finish time (for all events) was 30:51.

The highest age grade (77.39%), for event 149 at Oaklands parkrun, was in the VM50-54 category.

Thanks again to the 17 volunteers:

David PEARSON • Lesley Jayne HEANEY • Julie ROBERTS • Anne GOODWIN • Christine BYRNE • Liz DEXTER • David TEEDON • Michelle GREAVES • Prem KAUR • Ben WITHAM • Rachel SIMMONITE • Sandra RAINEY • Paul ROBERTS • Sarah H JEPSON • Alan COTGREAVE • Ges TEAGER • Fiona WEBSTER

1 thought on “Oaklands parkrun 149 – Great accessible Course Near the NEC”

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.