Please do not attend parkrun if you display any COVID-19 symptoms

The Course

The course is 5000m (5k) long. This has been accurately measured by us with a professional measuring wheel. The course is in Pontefract Racecourse. The course is run on a mixture of unsurfaced track, 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

Pontefract 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.
  • 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 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 Pontefract 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 is contained within the parkland on the inside of Pontefract Racecourse which at 2 miles long is the largest flat racing circuit in Europe. However, the course itself is not entirely flat; the highest point is by the Grandstand and the lowest in the north east corner by Park Road/railway bridge.

The start is on the track around the inside rail of the racecourse close to the south eastern corner of the boating lake and takes in an anti-clockwise circuit of the lake before returning to the track for a full circuit of the racecourse (clockwise). This is followed by a second circuit of the boating lake, but this time in a clockwise direction. The finish is on the path around the lake, close to the start point.

Please remember that the parkrun uses shared paths. For the continued success of the event, please keep to the left and 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. The lake may be used by anglers and therefore be aware particularly if they are casting lines.


Getting There

Location of start

The run starts close to the finishing post by the Grandstand, inside the racecourse circuit.

Getting there by public transport

Train: use either Tanshelf Railway Station (Wakefield; Featherstone; Pontefract Line) or Glasshoughton (Leeds; Castleford; Knottingley Line).

Bus: Bus services run frequently along Park Road from Pontefract and Castleford.

Getting there on foot

From Pontefract town centre, proceed along the A639 Park Road towards Castleford and Junction 32 Outlet Centre. Pass Tanshelf railway station following signposts to Pontefract Racecourse and Xscape. The park and racecourse is approximately 0.25 mile past the railway station, on the left hand side. The boating lake in located inside the racecourse circuit, close to Park Road.

Getting there by road

From Pontefract: follow the A639 towards the M62 Junction 32 and Castleford. The entrance to the park and racecourse is first left off the first roundabout (MacDonalds on the right).
From the M62: leave at junction 32 and travel towards Pontefract. The racecourse and park is on the right hand side after passing beneath the railway bridge. The entrance to the park is from the first roundabout (4th exit). Once in the park, proceed to a mini roundabout (about 100m) and either park in this area or turn right towards the race circuit (not the Grandstand). There is a narrow road crossing over the racecourse circuit leading to more car parking. Abundant free parking is available within short walking distance of the start/finish.

Post Run Coffee

Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee in the café in the leisure centre in the park - please come and join us!