The Course

The course is 5000m (5K) long. The course is at California Country Park, Wokingham. The course is run on a mixture of tarmac paths, gravel paths and trail 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 California Country 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.
  • 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.
  • Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection spread to humans by infected ticks. Consider protecting yourself by wearing repellent when at parkrun events in grassy or wooded areas. See lymediseaseuk.com for further details.

We hope these tips help to ensure that California Country 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 our Support page.

Course Map

Course Description

The start/finish area is located on the greenway c.650m from the carpark.

The course starts with a lap of the woods, an out and back section on the greenway, up a muddy bridleway, along a public footpath, a repeat of the lap of the woods and a 200m sprint to the finish. Participants must keep left on the out and back section to avoid clashes. The course is a mixture of “greenway” and woodland paths (mud and tree roots will be encountered). In dry weather road shoes will be adequate however during wet weather trail shoes may be preferable. The “greenway” is a resin bound mixture of recycled car tyres and gravel. It is therefore NOT suitable for spikes.

Facilities

Toilets are available at the cafe from 9am. California Country Park is very popular with families, joggers and dog walkers. Away from the parkrun route the park has a children’s play area, a small lake and a boardwalk through a site of special scientific interest.

Getting There

Location of start

The event starts on the greenway c.650m from the carpark.

Getting there by public transport

Bus: Reading Buses No.3 service runs between Reading and Wokingham with stops on Nine Mile Ride (ask for “California Country Park”) and also on Barkham Ride (ask for “St James’s Rd”). There is a public bridleway (at the 40MPH sign) which leads from Barkham Ride into the park.
Reading Buses No.3b service runs between Reading and Bracknell with a stop on Nine Mile Ride as above.
Please check timetables with Reading Buses by visiting https://www.reading-buses.co.uk

Getting there on foot

The start area is easily accessible on foot via the greenway from Commonfield Lane at Arborfield Green and from multiple entrances to the park from the housing developments in Finchampstead. There is also a public bridleway from Barkham Ride.

Getting there by road

California Country Park is 4 miles from Wokingham town centre, 4.3 miles from Crowthorne High Street and 3.3 miles from Arborfield Cross. While the park is accessible from the M3 (J4a - 8.6 miles) and the M4 (J10 - 9 miles, J11 - 7.6 miles) local directions are complicated so please use RG40 4HU in your SAT NAV or smartphone for directions.

The car park within the park is currently being redeveloped and spaces are limited. Please walk, jog or cycle instead. There is currently no bike park.
The car park is accessed via Nine Mile Ride. Parking charges apply! There are two pay stations. The pay station beside Jackson’s Cafe is approximately 650 metres from the start area, while the second pay station is approximately 520 metres from the start area. Payment can be made by cash or via mobile phone.

Post Run Coffee

Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee in Jackson’s California Lake Café - please come and join us!