Morning, morning. I have another parkrun review, this time from my running club buddy Andy Cockrell. He’s a super speedy and super smart. He has kindly offered up a review for the Edinburgh parkrun. Hope you enjoy!
Location: The Edinburgh parkrun takes place on the shorefront of the Firth of Forth between Cramond and Silverknowes in the north west of the city. Once you’re on the shorefront, follow the stream of runners and you’ll find the start.
Parking: There are two options for parking. The first is the car park in Cramond village at the foot of Cramond Glebe Road to the east of the start line. The car park at Cramond does fill up quickly, but further on-street parking is available along Cramond Glebe Road. The second option is to park on Marine Drive on the Silverknowes side of the course to the west of the start line. Both options are free and equidistant from the start line.
Photo credit: WG12 from the Flickr group
Alternatively, there are regular busses to Cramond. It’s then a 5-10 minute walk down Cramond Glebe Road to the shorefront.
Amenities: There are public toilets at the Cramond end of the Promenade which are open from 0830 each day.
The Cramond Bistro opens at 1000 and offers hot drinks and homemade cakes (the scones are particularly good). This is located on the River Almond Waterfront, just follow the promenade around to the left where the river meets the shore when returning from the finish line. Alternatively, go down the steps opposite the entrance to the car park.
On the Silverknowes side there is Boardwalk Beach Club which opened earlier this year. It is located between Marine Drive and promenade about halfway along the course. If you have non-runners or spectators with you, this is a good place for them to base themselves as the patio area looks out onto the promenade.
Course: The course is effectively an out and return along the shorefront, with a small loop at the turn point to prevent the turnaround from being too tight.The start line is about 500m east of Cramond Village, usually marked by banners and flags. The route then heads east along the promenade towards Silverknowes. With the number of runners, the start can seem a bit narrow, but the route widens up very quickly; the main promenade is 20m wide so there is plenty of room for everyone.
The route follows the promenade winding along the coast for 2km before heading left when you reach Gypsy Brae to hug the shoreline for another 100m, before turning right to run back to the main promenade. Turning right onto the promenade, you then run 2.5km back along the shore towards the start line. When running west you have a fantastic view of the Forth Bridges further along the coast. With about 500m to go there’s a fork in the promenade. Take the left-hand fork and you enter the finishing funnel.
The course is entirely on tarmac, so mud and slippery conditions under foot are not generally an issue unless it’s icy.
Elevation: The course epitomises the phrase “as flat as a pancake.” There are no discernible elevation changes apart from where the promenade forks with 500m to go, but even that is a very gradual rise of around 1m!
Photo credit: from the Flickr group
Number of participants: On average there are around 350 runners each week, but average attendance is increasing. There have been up to 500 runners at recent runs, with a record attendance of 642. For a city the size of Edinburgh there are a disappointing number of local parkruns, the only other one in the city is in Portobello on the East side of the city which was set up last year. Despite this, attendance at both runs is still increasing with Portobello seeing around 250 runners each week.
Other: The course record is 14:31 for men, set by Ross Toole and 16:35 for women, set by Sarah Inglis.Photo credit: WG12 from the Flickr group
It’s a Scottish parkrun so remember it starts later at 0930. As it’s on the coast, the wind can be an additional challenge at times, but at least the wind will be behind you for half the run. In the winter, the wind can have quite a bite to it, so remember to dress appropriately! On a calm day, however, it is a very fast course.
Have you done any non-English parkruns?
Do you prefer a flat but potentially windy course or a hilly but less windy course?