The Course

The course is 5000m (5K) long. The course is in Castle Park, Colchester. The course is run entirely on tarmac paths. Some sections of the course may accumulate mud, leaves and puddles after rain. Dependent on availability, marshals will be at key sections of the course, or signs will be in place.

Please remember that the parkrun uses shared paths. For the continued success of the event, please give way to other park users. This won't hurt your time, it won't stop you from getting a PB and it will make sure everyone continues to enjoy the event.

Please, wherever possible walk, jog, cycle or use public transport when attending the event. If you do have to drive, please consider car-sharing to reduce our impact on both the environment and other park users. Please also watch out for other park users when arriving and leaving. Parking may be limited so try to arrive early.

Course Safety

The Colchester Castle parkrun is a fun, free event organised by volunteers for the benefit of everyone. We wish to make the run as safe as possible, so runners, spectators and helpers are asked to take care about the following:

  • Please be considerate to the park and other park users at all times.
  • Children under the age of eleven must be accompanied (within arm's reach) throughout the run by a parent, guardian or appropriate adult of the parent's choice.
  • Please arrive by foot, by pedal-power or by public transport if you can - your efforts help to reduce our impact on the park and the planet.
  • Please consider volunteering to help occasionally - this event survives only because of your generosity - please visit the volunteer page for more information.
  • Take care near roads and car parks - some vehicles drive very quickly. Please congregate away from the cars and be careful in particular if you have children. If you’re driving to the run, please drive carefully even if you’re late!
  • When running, take care on uneven surfaces - whether on grass or on tarmac. Watch out for cyclists, other runners, pedestrians, children, dogs, wildlife, park animals, vehicles, park maintenance work, falling branches, bollards, posts and other obstacles around the course.
  • Please ensure that you are fit enough to walk, jog, run 5k (3.1 miles) with us. Health advice about running can be found at the excellent Runners' Medical Resource website (although this external website focuses on preparation for a race and does not describe parkrun events).
  • Remember to warm up before the run.
  • If you see a runner with a serious problem, please stop to help them out and get help as soon as possible.
  • If you’re watching, keep clear of runners on the course, and look after any children and dogs you may have with you.
  • It is not permitted to run with a pushchair and a dog at the same time.
  • No dogs are allowed in the Upper Park so we regret that runners cannot run with their dogs or bring them to the Colchester Castle parkrun. Please see the events page for alternative parkruns where dogs are welcome.
  • Runners pushing buggies are also welcome, but please take extreme care of other runners around you. If possible start from the back of the field and try to keep to one side of the main body of runners.
  • While rare, Lyme Disease is present in areas where deer live, and occasionally passed to human’s through infected ticks. See NHS Choices website for more about Lyme Disease, and how to deal with ticks.

We hope these tips help to ensure that Colchester Castle parkrun is fun and safe for everyone.

Age Grading

All parkrun events use Age Grading to help athletes compare results.

Age Grading takes your time and uses the world record time for your sex and age group to produce a score (a percentage). This score allows you to compare your personal performance against other people's performances even though they might be a different age and a different sex to you - the higher the score the better the performance. The scores can also be compared across different race distances - to allow you to, for example, compare a 5km time against a marathon.

For more information, please see the Running For Fitness website.

Course Map

Course Description

The run starts to the right of the bandstand, running towards the Beacon, before turning sharp right down the hill, past the Warden’s office and the far side of the Playground then going clockwise around the Castle and descending to the Midpath East gate, turning sharp left along the midpath and the left into the Lower Park. Keep the boating lake to your left, and turn right along the Lower Path and exit the park onto the river path and continue to the turn around point. Return to the Lower Park and turn sharp left up the hill into the Upper Park, past the Café and round the castle for a 2nd lap. On this lap, do not leave the Lower Park onto the River path but turn right up the hill into the Upper Park, round the Castle and then right into the Finish straight.

Facilities

Parking: You can park in the Leisure World Car park at a reduced rate of £1 for 4 hours provided you do the following - After parking your car, go to Leisure World Reception , show your parkrun barcode and pay £1. You then need to type in your car registration number into one of their desk keypads to complete the process.

Getting There

Location of start

The run starts to the right of the bandstand.

Getting there by public transport

Bus: Many buses stop in the High Street.

Train: The nearest train station is Colchester North Railway Station.

Getting there on foot

From Colchester North Railway Station: it is about a ten minute walk to the park, with access from Cowdray Avenue via Leisure World or Catchpool Road to the Lower Park.

From Bus stops on the High Street: Approx ? way down the High Street turn into Museum Street (between Claydons, Newsagents and Saxons, Estate Agents) which takes you straight into the Upper Park. Follow the path close down the left hand side of the Castle, continuing on until you see the Bandstand on your right.

From the Leisure World car park: Make sure you follow the road round the Leisure Centre to the far end of the car park which brings you nearest to the Lower Park entrance. Cross the footbridge over the river, turn right through the gate into the Lower Park and immediately turn left. Follow this path into the Upper Park. Take the second left and continue up to the Café (signposted). It is under 5 minutes walk from the Car Park.

There are cycle racks just outside both gates into the Lower Park. Access for bicycles in the Park is restricted to certain paths in the Lower Park.

Getting there by road

The nearest car park is at Leisure World (CO1 1YH)

Post Run Coffee

Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee in The Claudius Gateway, which is just outside the main gate to the Castle - please come and join us!