Runners of all ages and abilities can race against the clock and set new personal bests with the support and encouragement of fellow runners in free weekly 5k parkruns.
Taking place at various locations across Gloucestershire on a range of terrains, SoGlos rounds up nine fun and friendly events to challenge yourself with this year.
Parkrun at Pittville Park in Cheltenham
Whether you’re walking, jogging, running, or supporting from the side-lines, grab your gear and head to Pittville Park for a free, fun, weekly 5k. The course is run on mostly grass amongst the spectacular backdrop of Cheltenham’s largest ornamental park.
What’s more, every week the group offers runners the opportunity to grab a post parkrun coffee in the Leisure Centre café.
Parkrun at Kingsway Sports Pavilion in Gloucester
Bright and early every Saturday morning, join other Gloucestershire participants at Kingsway Sports Pavilion in Gloucester to run 5k on a mixture of tarmac, gravel and grass.
Post-run each week, the group provides the chance to chat to like-minded folk over a cup of tea or coffee and become a part of the local running community. Plus, volunteers often bring along homemade cakes for participants to enjoy after burning off all those calories!
Parkrun at Forest Leisure Centre in Newent
Organised by local volunteers, runners and walkers can breathe in the fresh Gloucestershire air and take part in Newent’s 5k parkrun. The course takes place on a mixture of gravel, trail paths and grass – with some sections having the potential to get muddy if it’s been raining!
Once the week's event is completed and that personal best has been beaten, sit back and relax in the Sports Bar at Newent Community School with fellow runners.
Parkrun at Coverham Enclosure Five Acres in the Forest of Dean
For a beautifully scenic parkrun, hit the picturesque course at Coverham Enclosure Five Acres in the Forest of Dean and run through the ancient forest paths – just remember that the trail may get quite wet and muddy, depending on the weather.
Participants are encouraged to bring along their own refreshments to enjoy in the finish areas after completing the track.
Parkrun at Stratford Park in Stroud
Start off at the bandstand and admire the vast views of the Stroud valleys as you take on the hills of Stratford Park in Stroud. Trail shoes are recommended on this course as the mix of terrain ranges from grassy arboretum to dirt tracks in the woodland.
With plenty of other leisure activities available at the park, runners may wish to brave the unheated waters of the outdoor pool for a cool down that's sure to help those well-worked muscles!
Parkrun at Lydney Boating Lake in The Forest of Dean
With gorgeous views of the peaceful boating lake, take part in the Lydney parkrun around the lakeside gardens. Run or walk across a mixture of tarmac, stone and trail paths every Saturday at 9am – or sign up to volunteer to support the athletes.
After tackling the course, there’s also the chance to grab a coffee at a local café and catch up with the group. Plus, you can complete the course alongside your four-legged friend as dogs are welcome, too!
Parkrun at The Vineyards in Tewkesbury
Hosting over 200 events since launching, The Vineyards in Tewkesbury offers a 5k course entirely on grass each Saturday morning, where participants can walk, jog, run or just spectate and cheer on friends.
After smashing your personal best, join other parkrunners at Tewkesbury Rugby Club to refresh, reset and wind down after the race.
Parkrun at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester
For a Cotswolds parkrun featuring a unique historical element, keen participants can grab their sports gear and make their way around the 5k course at Cirencester’s Royal Agricultural University.
The special location allows runners, walkers and volunteers alike to explore the first agricultural college in the English-speaking world, as well as taking the opportunity to grab a post parkrun coffee in the university’s dining room.
Parkrun at Oldends Lane Play Fields in Stonehouse
Every Saturday at 9am, join a group of Stonehouse parkrunners at Oldends Lane Playing Fields for a run on a mixture of grass and gravel paths. Make sure to wear appropriate footwear as the course may be dotted with muddy patches and puddles along the way.
Fill up a flask of tea or coffee to take with you and enjoy with fellow racers for a cooldown catch-up after crossing the finish line.