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Date of Visit
Number of runners
We were in the area on a family visit and managed to squeeze this in.
We got a bit lucky as it hammered it down with rain a couple of hours after! Sun was out and while it was a bit breezy it ended up being quite mild. I was overdressed so had to ditch my jacket for the run!
Event is held at York racecourse so it’s not drastically difficult to find but you do have a decision to make when making your way there.
The start and finish are on opposite sides of the course. The finish line is near the entrance whereas the start line is near a gap in the fence off Cherry Lane. Means that if you come in through the main entrance you’ll have to walk to the other side of the course. It’s not a huge distance but if you were tight for time you do need to factor that in. Same is true for when you’ve finished. If you’ve parked at Cherry lane you’ll have to walk from the finish back round.
On the parking front. Loads of street parking around the main entrance on Knavesmire Road and racecourse road. There’s a small car park on Cherry lane with some street parking too. We had no problems on Knavesmire road.
Train station is mile and a half away so potentially walkable or a warm up jog. Parkrun website page also says there is a bus service that takes about 12 minutes from the station and stops near Cherry Lane.
Website said the toilets at the race course are only open from April to October and suggests the railway station or a Tesco extra that isn’t too far from Cherry Lane.
With the start and finish lines being on the opposite side of course if you need to leave coats, bags or jackets then the finish line is the best place to do that before you walk over to the start.
Post run drinks can be grabbed from a coffee van that’s on-site and breakfast is at the Knavesmire pub which is a short walk away (7 or 8 minutes)
We took the opportunity to sample the breakfast and it was excellent. I went for a full English whereas Bryony had a bacon and egg sandwich which was massive! Staff were great too.
Briefings and Volunteers
First time briefing was entertaining as she made a couple of jokes about the fact they get so many tourists. Main briefing wasn’t easy to follow. Being so well attended they suffer the same problem that Coventry have in that even with a mic and speaker you can end up too far away to actually hear what’s being said. That’s not being critical of the volunteer team. Just something that’s really hard to deal with at an outdoor event with so many people. Volunteers we spoke to were all lovely.
A local running club were also helping out with pacing so there were lots of bibs with numbers on the back.
Start line and finish funnel
Start and finish line had their own permanent paint markings on the floor! Path isn’t the widest. It’s ok once everyone is going but for the start with so many people there it means there a pretty large queue just to get over the start line. A local mentioned that people do occasionally start on the grass if they want to be nearer to the front.
Finish funnel was a bit different to what I’ve usually seen in that they didn’t use cones on the path itself. They had volunteers to corral people onto one side of the path and keep them in order. Seemed to work fine even when it got busy.
A lap and half (ish) of the service road that goes around the race course. Means it’s pancake flat and very little in the way of corners. There’s one section near the finish line where you do two almost right angle turns but you can mostly navigate it without losing too much speed as the path is wide enough to take a decent line. It’s no surprise this attracts a lot of fast runners chasing times. Had a quick look down the results and there have only been two occasions where the first finisher didn’t run under 19 minutes.
Road. It’s on a service road so meant for vehicles so the surface is good.
Short or Long? (based on our watches and checking out other Strava profiles)
I think this is bang on. If you’ve got permanent start and finish lines it’s likely to have been very well measured too. I had 3.12 on my watch but that’s probably because I mostly ran on the right hand side which on the big sweeping bends would a touch of extra distance.
Tourist event number:
13 (76.45% age grade)
Tourist event number:
503 (% age grade) Female
How did it go?
Andy – From a running point of view, really well. When we’d organised to come to York I’d earmarked this as somewhere I could have an attempt at beating my PB but I’ve been struggling with an achilles niggle recently so I wasn’t quite where I was hoping to be. I did still end up with my second fastest parkrun time so can’t complain! Event itself was one of the busiest I’ve been to. Until recently this was the only parkrun in the country that starts with a Y so for parkrun tourists that are also completing the name based challenges this is a mandatory visit. Had a couple of nice chats with some locals and tourists and breakfast was great. Coupled with the visit to York itself it was a great weekend.
Bryony did parkwalk rather than parkrun this week. That still meant the usual problems with a high attendance parkrun were there such as the amount of time it takes just to get over the start line. Also found that the route itself wasn’t all that interesting. It’s great if you’re chasing a time with it being so quick but if you’re out there for a long time the whole thing looks the same the all the way around.
Return Visit Likely?
No. It’s a two and a half hour drive from us so it’s not somewhere we’d just pop back to. If we were in the area there are a couple of other parkruns we’d visit before making this a repeat visit. We had a perfectly good time though 😊
Pictures and that.