The Course

The course is 5000m (5k) long. This has been accurately measured by us with a professional measuring wheel. The course is in Cliff Park, Harwich. The course is run on a mixture of tarmac paths and grass. 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

Harwich 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Runners pushing buggies are welcome, but please take care of others around you and do your best to start at an appropriate place in the field for your pace.

We hope these tips help to ensure that Harwich 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 run starts close to the bandstand in the centre of Dovercourt Cliff Park.

First we do a lap and a half of the park. After this we drop down onto the promenade via a gentle slope. At the bottom there is a sharp right turn to take runners onto the seafront promenade area.

Next it is an out and back run along the promenade, which is fast and flat. Runners follow the entire length of the promenade past the historic lighthouses. At the end there is a 90 degree turn to the right that takes runners to the gate close to the recycling centre. These positions will be marked by a cone and a marshal.

At the gate turn round and retrace the route back to the park.

It is important to keep to the left on the way out and on the return leg as there will be parkrunners travelling in both directions.

The seafront promenade is popular with dog-walkers, cyclists and other pedestrians. Remember we don't have exclusive use of this space and need to be mindful of other users.

On the return leg, avoid going up the steep slope as you approach the park. Continue until you reach the gentle slope, which you exited the park from. Most times we hope to have a marshal here, but if manpower is limited this may be unmanned. Return to the park via the slope. At the top (normally marshalled) head towards the outer wall that runs behind the grassy mound. This sweeps round to the right for the final approach. The finish is next to the bandstand through the tree-lined approach.

On occasions where high tide coincides with a strong onshore wind we will use an alternative route that consists of two laps around a smaller section of the promenade. If this is the case we will brief runners beforehand.


Within Cliff Park there are toilet facilities (including disabled) and a cafe with seasonal opening hours. Additional toilets can be found within the car park in Milton Road.

Getting There

Location of start

The run starts beside the bandstand in the centre of Dovercourt Cliff Park.

Getting there by public transport

If taking the train, get off at Dovercourt Bay rail station. It is a 5 minute walk to the start. When using the bus network alight in Dovercourt town centre. Again a 5 minute walk will get you to the race start.

Getting there on foot

Cliff Park is situated next to Dovercourt town centre. Head toward Harwich along the Main Road. The park is on your right. Lots of big trees!

Getting there by road

Harwich is situated on a peninsular and is surrounded on 3 sides by the sea. The principle road to Harwich is the A120. The Cliff Park is situated close to Dovercourt town centre. There is limited parking on the roads approaching the park. The nearest car park is in Milton Road (about 5 minutes walk away from the start).

Post Run Coffee

Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee in Dovercourt Cliff Park café - please come and join us!