Pegwell Bay is now believed to be the fastest parkrun course in the UK with Great Yarmouth North Beach being the toughest

Pegwell Bay in Kent has been declared the fastest parkrun by statistician and runner Tim Grose with events in Bromley, Poole and Hull hot on its heels.

Grose is the brains behind the Power of 10 website and he has used a slightly different method to rank the estimated 760 current parkruns in Britain.

The former No.1 at Victoria Dock in London has now dropped down to 44th in Grose’s new list, whereas there is some mild controversy over the new No.1 Pegwell Bay as there are suspicions that it is not quite 5km in distance.

However, organisers state on their website: “The course is 5000m long and has been accurately measured by us with a professional measuring wheel. It consists of a two laps of the Pegwell Bay Country Park consisting of gravel trail for the entire route.

“Along the route runners will benefit from the most amazing coastal views across Pegwell Bay towards Ramsgate, in addition to views along the nature reserve and intertidal mud flats that year on year attracts many wildlife enthusiasts due to its national and international waders and wildfowl.”

Pegwell Bay’s course records are held by Chris Olley with 14:17 and Bobby Clay with 16:14 but Grose uses a ‘standard scratch score’ to calculate his rankings which uses the times of all particpants.

Fastest parkruns in the UK (as of April 2023)
1 Pegwell Bay Country Park; 2 Bromley; 3 Poole; 4 Hull; 5 MUSA Cookstown, N.Ireland; 6 Belfast Victoria; 7 Worthing; 8 Harwich; 9 Widnes; 10 King’s Lynn; 11 Hastings; 12 Walsall Arboretum; 13 Long Eaton; 14 Victory; 15 Market Rasen Racecourse; 16 Stretford; 17 Southend; 18 Storeys Field; 19 Swansea Bay; 20 Perth

Notable courses further down on the list are Dulwich in south London which is now 23rd, Cardiff is now 39th, the Eden Project event in Cornwall was previously No.5 on the list but is now 92nd and the original parkrun venue of Bushy Park in London is 115th.

The 2022 parkrun ‘fastest and slowest’ rankings are here.

Toughest or slowest parkruns (as of April 2023)
1 Great Yarmouth North Beach; 2 Whinlatter Forest, Cumbria; 3 Woolacoombe Dunes, Devon; 4 Durlston Country Park, Dorset; 5 Mount Edgcumbe, Cornwall

The leading ‘toughest’ courses are largely unchanged from Grose’s previous rankings. Great Yarmouth North Beach is largely flat but is held on loose sand and is possibly the only parkrun that doesn’t have a course record of inside 20 minutes.

» Subscribe to AW magazine here