The Course

The course is 5000m (5k) long. This has been accurately measured by us with a professional measuring wheel. The start line is near the athletics track to the rear of the Graham Sports Centre and run on grass, paths and tarmac. 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

Durham parkrun is a fun, free event organised by volunteers for the benefit of everyone. We wish to make the event as safe as possible, so participants, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 for further details.
  • You are welcome to take part with one dog by your side, within reach at all times, on a short, handheld, non-extendable lead. Please also see this Support Site entry for further details about parkrunning with dogs.

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

Age Grading

All parkrun events use Age Grading to help parkrunners 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 course begins at the corner of the athletics track at Durham University's Maiden Castle sports facility around the 200m point. Heading towards Shincliffe the first part of the course is over grass before heading onto the riverside path on the nearside bank of the River Wear. The run continues along the path before crossing the wooden bridge to the other side of the river. Turning right at the end of the bridge, still on a riverside path the route heads again towards Shincliffe before a period running around the outer edge of a series of grass playing fields. This leads back to the wooden bridge at which point you re-join the riverside path and head right towards Durham City centre. The route heads over a reasonably narrow second bridge and after this the reminder of the run is a largely flat tarmac path that crosses Baths Bridge and finishes near the bandstand on the Racecourse in central Durham City where the finish funnel will be clearly visible.


Getting There

Location of start

The event starts at the corner of the athletics track at Durham University's Maiden Castle sports facility around the 200m point.

Getting there by public transport

Take buses 55/56/57/X1 from Durham Bus station. Ask for Maiden Castle/Houghall.

Getting there on foot

By bike follow National Cycle Route 14 (Signed Sunderland) from Durham City. On foot follow the river footpath as it heads east. Maiden Castle is approx 1 mile from Durham City centre (Elvet Bridge).

Getting there by road

From A1 (M): Leave the A1 at the A177, Bowburn and Peterlee Junction. Take the exit signposted Bowburn from the roundabout. Continue on this road for approximately 3 miles. At this stage you will see the Rose Tree Pub on your left. Go over the bridge and on the right hand side you will see the Sports Centre playing Fields.

From Durham City Centre follow New Elvet south until you reach the traffic lights just after the shops at Hallgarth Street. Filter left along Hallgarth Street until you reach the A177 roundabout. Take the first left and follow this for approx 200m. The Graham Sports centre is on your left just after the traffic lights for the pedestrian crossing.

There is parking available near the start line at the Graham Sports Centre or near the finish lane in the Green Lane carparks. Both are University owned and you need to show a parkrun barcode in your vehicle to avoid parking restrictions. Alternatively other city centre carparks are available near the finish.

Post Run Coffee

Please join us for a post run coffee at The Graham Sports Centre Cafe.