All 5k events in this country are currently suspended due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). For further details please see here.

The Course

The course is 5000m (5K) long. This has been accurately measured by us with a professional measuring wheel. The course is at The Peedie Sea, Kirkwall. 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 Kirkwall 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.
  • 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 a dog, but please keep the dog on a short lead or short 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 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.

We hope these tips help to ensure that Kirkwall 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 consists of two & a half laps around the Peedie Sea in Kirkwall, all on tarred paths. From the start close to the Boathouse, the course follows the path towards Tesco, where it turns around a cone and heads back along the path parallel with Pickaquoy Road. The route then turns right just before Mills Filling Station and heads parallel with Ayre Road. The route turns round a second cone at the end of this path, and heads back towards the start/finish area. This lap is completed twice. On the third lap, the course turns right before Ayre Road and heads for the finish.


Toilets and changing facilities are available at the Pickaquoy Centre opposite the Peedie Sea and the start/finish.

Getting There

Location of start

The event starts at the boat house at the Peedie Sea. The path opposite the Pickaquoy Centre will take you straight to the start line.

Getting there by public transport

Kirkwall bus station is at the top end of Great Western Road which is a short walk from the Peedie Sea. If you walk south from the bus station towards Lidl and turn through the car park on your right it will take you to the path at the Peedie Sea.

Getting there on foot

The start line is on the south side of the Peedie Sea, if you head to Pickaquoy Road and head along any of the paths from the road it will take you to the Boat House.

Getting there by road

If entering Kirkwall from Stromness, turn right at the roundabout opposite Highland fuel station (Mills Filling Station). Take first left, which is Great Western Road and park in the car park. You can walk to the start using the path around the Peedie Sea.

If entering from the south, follow the main road and turn left at the mini roundabout, then first right into Great Western Road.

From the east, follow the main road into the town centre. This will bring you out at the harbour front. Go left along the harbour front and then left at the roundabout. Take first left, which is Great Western Road.

Parking is available in the Great Western Road car park.

Post Run Coffee

Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee in Pickaquoy Café - please come and join us!