New stats reveal which parkrun courses are best for a PB and those ranked most difficult

Ever wondered how fast or tough your local parkrun is, or where you should head if you are on the hunt for a parkrun PB? Some new stats have revealed the fastest parkruns in the UK, as well as the slowest.

Using the same runner handicap system that is behind the RunBritain rankings, statistician and keen runner Tim Grose has rated the relevant difficulty of every single UK parkrun by way of the ‘SSS’ (standard scratch score) to identify the quickest and slowest since 2019.

According to Grose’s stats, Berkeley Green’s disused nuclear power station site in Gloucestershire is now the place to be on a Saturday morning for parkrunners targeting a PB, while the slowest course is considered to be that of the Great Yarmouth North Beach parkrun, which takes place on a mixture of shingle and sand.

The fast or slow nature of each course is based on the difficulty of the terrain and undulation, typical weather, how busy the event might be and whether the course is either a little shorter or longer than the advertised 5km distance.

The lists below provide an update to the 2018 rankings which we published here, with Berkeley Green replacing Victoria Dock (pictured) as the fastest parkrun and Great Yarmouth North Beach replacing Woolacombe Dunes as the slowest of the 692 UK parkrun events.

Both of those top 2018 parkruns now rank second on the respective lists, although Grose does highlight that Berkeley Green and Great Yarmouth North Beach are new events and therefore the data may be slightly skewed. There are plenty of fast and tough parkruns to choose from, however, as the lists below show!

When it comes to elite action, GB internationals Andy Baddeley and Charlotte Arter set the men’s and women’s parkrun records of 13:48 and 15:49 at Bushy Park in 2012 and Cardiff earlier this year, respectively.

READ MORE: Charlotte Arter ‏improves parkrun record in Cardiff

While parkruns are currently suspended due to coronavirus restrictions, New Zealand events are set to resume soon and World Athletics recently announced a new partnership which will see a series of permanent parkruns created for the host cities and countries of world championship events, including the World Championships Oregon 2022 and Budapest 2023.

For runners in the UK, do let us know where your local parkrun ranks or tell us the courses you will be targeting when restrictions are lifted. Mention us in a tweetpop a post on Facebook or tag us on Instagram!

The full UK parkrun list, from fastest to slowest, can be viewed in Grose’s video below.

Top 30 fastest parkrun courses in the UK

Venue and average SSS (standard scratch score)

1 Berkeley Green 0.48
2 Victoria Dock 0.89
3 Aberbeeg 1.03
4 Pegwell Bay 1.18
5 The Wammy 1.23
6 Walsall Arboretum 1.24
7 Isabel Trail 1.26
8 Dulwich 1.27
9 Belfast Victoria 1.31
10 Market Rasen Racecourse 1.33
11 Groe 1.36
12 Burgess 1.38
13 Eden Project 1.39
14 Swansea Bay 1.39
15 Stretford 1.39
16 Hackney Marshes 1.40
17 Worthing 1.42
18 Rother Valley 1.43
19 Torbay Velopark 1.44
20 Long Eaton 1.44
21 Morecambe Prom 1.45
22 Stratford-upon-Avon 1.47
23 Alexandra 1.47
24 Great Denham 1.47
25 Bakewell 1.49
26 Riverfront 1.50
27 Cassiobury 1.52
28 Southend 1.52
29 Hartlepool 1.52
30 Blandford 1.53

Top 30 slowest parkrun courses in the UK

1 Great Yarmouth North Beach 9.92
2 Woolacombe Dunes 8.86
3 Whinlatter Forest 8.68
4 Watergrove 8.60
5 Millom 7.63
6 Mount Edgcume 7.34
7 Squerryes Winery 7.13
8 Churchfields Farm 6.79
9 Coed Cefn-pwll-du 6.58
10 Storthes Hall 6.57
11 Lanhydrock 6.52
12 Gainsborough 6.43
13 Flatts Lane 6.43
14 Stratford Park, Stroud 6.42
15 Lyme Park 6.40
16 Faskally Forest 6.40
17 Uckfield 6.34
18 Lullingstone 6.17
19 Chadderton Hall 6.14
20 Parke 6.08
21 Fort William 5.99
22 Bevendean Down 5.99
23 Lanark Moor 5.97
24 Itchen Valley Country 5.93
25 Drumchapel 5.88
26 East Grinstead 5.79
27 Wepre 5.74
28 Windy Nook 5.56
29 Hafan Pwllheli 5.46
30 Guernsey 5.37

» Thanks to Tim Grose from Athletics Data/Power of 10/RunBritain for statistics

» If you’re mainly a parkrunner and more used to hitting the road or cross-country events, can you enjoy track running? David Lowes offers his thoughts – click here to read

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