The Course

The course is 5000m (5K) long. The course is on Southampton Common and run on mostly wide 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 Southampton 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.
  • Runners wishing to run with a dog are welcome, but please keep the dog on a short lead or harness and under control throughout the event. Please also review the parkrun support page article about running with a dog at parkrun events.
  • 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 humans 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 Southampton 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

View Southampton parkrun in a larger map

Course Description

The course is mainly flat, fast and on tarmac paths. From the start (green pin) outside the Hawthorns Centre, follow the path north-west (section of course marked in blue on the map) across the open area of the Common and on into the trees. Head north past The Lake, following the path clockwise round the northern end of the Common. As you head south again, turn right along the path passing the south side of the Lake to complete the loop. Turn left to begin an anti-clockwise loop (section of course marked in red on the map), going round the Paddling Pool, heading back north and left onto the path again passing the south side of the Lake. Turn left and head south east for a final time back to the finish (red pin).


Getting There

Location of start

Runners are advised to meet outside the Hawthorns Centre where toilet facilities are also available. This area is clearly signposted and easily accessible from the main car park on Cemetery Road. The Hawthorns Centre is open from 8am daily.

Getting there by public transport

Southampton Common is located approximately 1 mile’s walk from Southampton Central Station which is well served by trains from all parts of the south of England. It is well served by a number of bus companies. Frequent buses are available and there are many bus stops along The Avenue which are within a few minutes walk of the start area.

Getting there on foot

Southampton Common is accessible by both foot and bike via The Avenue (A33) and Hill Lane. The Common is situated approximately 1.6 miles from the city centre (about 20 minutes walk). The park is clearly signposted.

Getting there by road

Southampton Common is very centrally located within Southampton and is easy to get to via road. Limited parking is available for free on Cemetery Road to the south of the park. On road parking is also available on Hill Lane on the western edge of the park. Please park with consideration to residents

Post Run Coffee

Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee at the Hawthorns Centre cafe - please come and join us.