The Course

The course is 5000m (5k) long. This has been accurately measured by us with a professional measuring wheel. The course is in Rushmere Country Park, Leighton Buzzard. The course is run entirely on dirt 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

Rushmere 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 Rushmere 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

This beautiful two-lap course takes runners through mixed woodlands, conifer plantations, beside a pond and across a meadow. Starting at the Tree Tops Cafe next to the car park, the course follows the wide forest trail for the first 500 metres. At the end of this path, runners will turn left and follow the main path for a further 500 metres to a four-way crossing. This is another left turn, with runners descending a steep hill before turning left to cross a wooden bridge and pass through a marshalled gate. After a further 500 metres, a marshal will direct runners to turn left, which leads to the meadow next to the cafe. The loop is then repeated, with the finish on the meadow.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to a section of the run being held on a bridleway, unfortunately we do not allow runners to take part with a dog.

The course is run entirely on dirt paths. We ask all runners to respect the wishes of the park management and refrain from wearing spikes


Next to the start/finish area is a large car park, café, toilets, covered bike racks, picnic tables, play equipment and the country park visitor centre. Further details about the park and the activities that are available can be found on their website.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to a section of the run being held on a bridleway, unfortunately we do not allow runners to take part with a dog.

Getting There

Location of start

The run starts at the Tree Tops Cafe next to the car park.

Getting there by public transport

The nearest train station is Leighton Buzzard, which is a three-mile walk from Rushmere Country Park. Leighton Buzzard station is served by National Rail services from London Euston and Birmingham/Northampton. Visit the National Rail website for train times.

Getting there on foot

Rushmere Country Park can be accessed on foot from the surrounding villages, and via Plantation Road from Leighton Buzzard. It can also be reached using the Greensand Ridge Public Footpath. Please take care when crossing the road at the entrance to the park. See the Central Bedfordshire Council website for more details.

Getting there by road

The main entrance for Rushmere Country Park is on Linslade Road. From Leighton Buzzard, head north along Plantation Road until the end then turn right, with the entrance further along on your left. If travelling from the Stoke Hammond bypass, the route is signposted by brown signs.

The Country Park lies 1.5 miles from the A5 and 7 miles from Junction 13 of the M1.

The car park costs are up to 20mins: free, 20mins - 1hr: £2, 1hr - 3hr: £4, over 3hr: £6. Discounted annual parking permits are available by contacting the Country Park directly.

The nearest post code if using a sat nav is LU7 0EB. Use this in conjunction with the brown signs for the Country Park.

Post Run Coffee

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