The Course

The course is 5000m (5k) long. This has been accurately measured by us with a professional measuring wheel. The course is at Porthcawl Seafront, Bridgend County, South Wales. The course is run mostly on tarmac paths, with a 400 metre section on grass and firm sandy paths at its furthest point. 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

Porthcawl 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.
  • Unfortunately dogs are not allowed at this event.
  • 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 Porthcawl 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 an out and back route starting and finishing at the eastern end of the Esplanade by the Watchtower and Lifeboat shop, known as the Chess Board.
It is an out and back route, mostly run on the Millennium Coastal path, which starts on the Lower Esplanade and then meanders along the West Drive Foreshore before climbing up on to the open expanse of Locks Common; dropping into Rest Bay, where there is a short loop on grass and firm sandy paths, before a turn round at the Lifeguard Station. The course returns along the outward path, keeping to your left hand side, and back to Porthcawl Town, to finish, running the length of the Lower Esplanade, back to where you started.

Please be aware that participants with dogs are not allowed on the course.
Double buggies are not suitable for this course due to the narrow two-way paths with high volume of participants.


  • Public toilets are open from 08:30 under the Grand Pavilion 200m from the start.
  • Parking: Some on-street parking locally available with restrictions. There are 3 Pay & Display car parks within a few minutes’ walk.

Getting There

Location of start

The event starts at the Lower Esplanade by the RNLI Shop/Coastguard Watchtower.

Getting there by public transport

Bus: The town of Porthcawl is within easy reach, where there is an efficient bus and coach service. They operate regular services to and from Cardiff and Swansea from Porthcawl. There is a local bus service to/from Bridgend Town Centre.

Train: A regular local and intercity train service runs from Bridgend Rail Station and hourly services from/to London Paddington and Swansea /Wales.

Getting there on foot

Head for the harbour end of the seafront. Meet near the Watchtower and Lifeboat shop.

Getting there by road

If using SATNAV, the nearest postcode is CF36 3YW.

From the M4: Travelling from the M4, take exit 37 on to the A4229, which takes you directly to Porthcawl. On arrival go straight ahead at the roundabout onto the A4106 (Duel Carriageway) and straight ahead at the next roundabout, which takes you on to the Porthcawl seafront. The Pier is on your left as you approach the seafront.

Post Run Coffee

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