Gorleston Cliffs parkrun

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Date of Visit

04 June 2022

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parkrun Link


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Windy, very windy! Was a bit overcast too when we arrived which didn’t make for the best start to the morning. Wind made it chillier than the temperature indicated but was the kind of cold that was ok once you got going. Sun did come out a bit after we’d started thankfully.

Getting There

The parkrun page has no details about getting there on public transport and I’m guessing that’s because generally speaking as Gorleston is a tourist destination you’re either going to be staying close enough that you can walk to the start or it’ll be short drive/taxi. If you are driving there we found plenty of free on street parking nearby. As usual be mindful of local residents.

Description on the website says “The start is at the top at the north end of Marine parade and is near the grass areas behind the hedge” and that’s pretty accurate! There was a parkrun flag “thing” which made it obvious we were in the right place.


A set public toilets were right next to the start line. There is a row of shops right next to the finish area which includes the Marina Bay Cafe where we took advantage of a cup of tea and sausage sandwich. Staff there were lovely despite being run off their feet when the parkrunners descended on them.

Briefings and Volunteers

There were loads of volunteers for this event and they were all very friendly and encouraging. We had a little chat with a guy at the start who was taking pics for everyone with the parkrun frame.

Not sure what happened with the first timer briefing. It either didn’t happen or we somehow missed it. I did feel a little bit sorry for the RD doing the main briefing. The wind was horrible and he was standing on a bench with a megaphone (is that what we still call them?) and various bits of paperwork in his other hand but the weather was conspiring to blow them all away. He did a good job of keeping hold of everything as well as his composure too though.

Start line and finish funnel

Being on a path meant for a narrow start line and the usual queue when it’s a particularly busy day. They did have a very nice set of time markers in place to help.

Finish funnel was top notch though. Because of where the end of the course is the path opens up into a really wide area. This means the funnel can be as long as needed but there is also plenty of space for people to hang around and cheer on as needed.


This was our first sea front parkrun and while the course was straight forward it did make for some spectacular views. The course is on two levels. (three if you’re being picky as the downhill section is slightly staggered). The start point is high up on the pavement at “street level”, you head away from the start point for about three quarters of a mile where you then head down onto the lower level next to the beach and turn back in the direction you’ve just come from, past the finish line where you then head back up and do the whole thing for a second time.

It’s essentially two straight, flat sections but because you go down twice but only up once, in terms of elevation gain it’s technically a downhill course 😅.

As well as the pretty views I also really liked that you could see people on the opposite level to you which meant that you could always see someone else. At some parkruns there are some points where you can end up running entirely on your own so to see other people made it feel like a big event.

View from the top


Road. No need for trail shoes at all as the entire thing is ran on regular paths.

Short or Long? (based on our watches and checking out other Strava profiles)

Both Bryony and I recorded 3.11! Bang on based on that alone. Usual Strava check didn’t suggest otherwise.

Andy Stats

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14 (68.01 % age grade)

Bryony Stats

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238 (43.99% age grade. 82th Female)

How did it go?

If I’m being totally honest I was a little disappointed in my own performance. When I saw the course I thought this was perfect for a pretty quick time. It’s mostly flat and even the single uphill climb isn’t horrendously taxing but the wind really gave me a real kicking and it ended up being one of slowest times of the last few months. Whilst the wind was pretty bad at the start it was a whole different level at the bottom part of the course. I really struggled to get going once the wind hit me and I couldn’t get any extra speed going at all. That said, overall it was still a success! The event itself was brilliant. We were in the area on a mini break so we ended up doing it as a family. Our youngest did her first parkrun since January 2020 and lowered her PB by four minutes! Our eldest came along to cheer and is responsible for most of the pictures I’ve used here!

Bryony had a similar experience to me. She went out at what she thought was a reasonable pace and when she crossed the finish line thought she’d ran quicker than the time suggested. We were both in agreement that it was a lovely course with a lot of potentially for a PB but you have to catch it on the right day.

Return Visit Likely?

No, but only because of where it is. We finished here, had a quick shower back at the hotel and then had a three and a half hour drive home. If we somehow ended up in the area again I’d love another crack at it and as we have family in the area it’s not entirely beyond impossible.

Pictures and that.

It was also really cool to be able to pick up the first ever edition of the parkrun magazine. We’ve both enjoyed flicking through it!

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Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. Formerly, coordinator of AMITPRO and Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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