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. It's run inside Waterworks Park which is at the junction of the Antrim and Cavehill Roads in North Belfast. There are large 'tombstone' shaped posts marking the Start and Finish as well as at each kilometre and at key turns. 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 Waterworks parkrun, Belfast 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 Waterworks parkrun, Belfast 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 at the most westerly corner of the bottom pond (also known as the Waterworks swan lake) and runs anti-clockwise along 3 edges of the pond, passing the eventual Finish after about 0.5km. The Finish is adjacent to the all weather multi-sports pitch and the children's play area. From there it is two complete laps, first up the short hill and following the path along the top pond, around the apex at the most northerly point, then continuing to follow the path along the pond turning right to run up past the new pavilion and along the side of the football pitches. A left turn at the top and continuing to follow the path, past the Community Gardens and sweeping down towards the water again, then a right turn back onto the main path, past the Start line and Finish line for another complete lap.


Getting There

Location of start

The start and assembly area are adjacent to the play area beside the lower pond.

Getting there by public transport

By bus, catch the Metro 61 service from Wellington Place or the 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F, 1G, 1J services to Glengormley Village from Upper Queen Street.

Getting there on foot

From Belfast City Centre, walk via Royal Avenue, Donegall Street, Clifton Street then Antrim Road at Carlisle Circus. From there it is just over 1km to the park entrance on the left. Allow 30-40 minutes in total for the walk.

Getting there by road

The Park is approached by car from the Westlink by exiting at the Clifton St junction following signs for Glengormly. At the roundabout take third exit onto Antrim Rd signed Belfast Castle and Zoo continue straight on for 0.8miles till junction at lights. The park is visible on left, turn left onto Cavehill Rd and the park entrance is 100 meters on left.

Post Run Coffee

Each week the runners and volunteers enjoy a drink of coffee, tea or juice together outside the pavilion near the finish area - please come and join us.