We made our way to Gladstone parkrun this week for our Saturday morning timed 5km run. The Son accompanied me as usual and we were joined for the second time by my friend Dan, who had previously joined us at Gunnersbury back in October 2012.

I checked the route via the online AA Route Planner the night before and I based our departure time on the reported 20 minute driving time. It only took us 10 minutes to get there after collecting Dan from Hanger Lane station so we were a bit early but that is much more preferable to being late.

If you are paying a visit to Gladstone Park by car then be aware that there is plenty of street parking close to the parkrun start / meeting point but make sure to check the parking regulations. The spaces immediately next to the park are free up until 10am on a Saturday but the restrictions change just a few metres along the road and it becomes free to park all day. If you run & leave then you’ll be fine everywhere but if you run & visit the café then make sure to park in the correct zone.

Dan went off for a short warm-up while I chatted away to The Son as other runners began to appear from all sides of the park. My target for the day was a gentle parkrun jog with The Son as I would be taking on the Brighton Half the following day. Dan made it back for the run briefing and then we were off.

The course starts with a short burst across a rugby pitch and onto a tarmac paved bridge that crosses a railway line and into the main section of the park. The path continues uphill and around the park, including a tiny section across grass, and a loop around the same area is completed again before heading back across the railway line and across the rugby pitch again to where we started.

The course is marked out well with plenty of signs and cheerful marshals placed at strategic points around the course. I have to pass on my thanks to all involved with Gladsone parkrun because everyone was very welcoming and the marshals gave plenty of encouragement everytime we passed. The course is reasonably challenging thanks to the hills and it is certainly not a PB course but equally the hills are great fun to take on and good for overall running training.

The 3 of us headed down to the nearby café where we refueled ourselves with some food and drink. The Son had his usual hot chocolate (not as nice as Black Park parkrun… 7 out of 10 on The Son hot chocolate grading scale) but he was impressed with the choice of pastries. The café also had a tempting choice of hot food on offer (the bacon & egg ciabatta had me drooling…) but I am now deep into marathon training and carefully watching my nutrion choice.

If you are planning a visit to Gladstone parkrun then I heartily recommend popping along – the event team are welcoming & friendly, the course is challenging, and the café has a nice atmosphere and selection of food & drink for the after run fuelling.

Running Dan parkrun result:

  • parkrun time: 0:30:36
  • Garmin time: 0:30:36
  • Finish position: 61 / 71
  • Gender position: 51 / 53
  • Age category: SM35-39
  • Age grade: 44.28 %

The Son parkrun result:

  • parkrun time: 0:30:35
  • Garmin time: not taken
  • Finish position: 60 / 71
  • Gender position: 50 / 53
  • Age category: JM14
  • Age grade: 50.03 %