Krakow is an excellent place for a city break; compact but with plenty of interesting things to see and do, plus great food and drink. Throw in a parkrun and you have the perfect weekend. Krakow parkrun takes place in Krakowskie Błonia just west of the old town. We booked a very nice apartment close to the start and thought we were all set. In actual fact, it was the weekend of the Krakow marathon, which also takes place in aforementioned park. For this reason, parkrun took place on its B course a couple of miles out of town at Kościuszko Mound. So here is my semi useful guide to Krakow parkrun which includes a normal week, plus what we actually did, which was somewhat different.
The old town of Krakow is compact. My group stayed in a variety of rooms either in boutique hotels or apartments in the old town, which is convenient both for the start, for sightseeing, and for restaurants and bars. From the UK you can get some great deals on flights to krakow. The airport in around 8 miles out of town. From here, there is a regular bus/train service to the Main Station, a few minutes walk from the old town. From here, on a normal Saturday, it would be a short walk west of the old town to the start. For us, realising the night before that we were set for the B course, which takes place some miles away at Mound. It was a 10 minute taxi ride out of town. We couldn’t find enough taxis, so one taxi had to drop a group, then return for the others. No matter, the organisers were very friendly and accommodating and waited until everyone was assembled before starting the race.
We have driven to Krakow on a separate occasion. We didn’t attempt to drive into the centre of town, much of which is pedestrianised. Easiest is to stay at a hotel on the outskirts, park up and explore the town on foot or by tram.
The park is centrally located, so there are plenty of. We opted to buy pastries from a bakery, which were delicious. Then on to a bar for a well earned beer.
There are toilets in the park. The B course has fewer facilities and we ended up catching a tram back into town still covered in mud.
The regular course consists of one full loop on a path round the park, plus an extra length of one side of the park. We did visit the park in the afternoon to lament how much flatter and cleaner our morning would have been if we’d done our research and selected a different weekend.
The regular route takes place on a flat tarmac path. Course B is basically a tiny bit of flat tarmac path before scrabbling up and back down the sides of a muddy mound.
The A course is a definite trainer course. This was unfortunate for us as we had only packed trainers. The best footwear for the B course, which was basically a hilly mud fest would be trail shoes. Or maybe wellies!
It’s a fast, flat course. So presumably, apart perhaps from the tight turns, a nice easy run. That was my theory, anyway. So imagine my disappointment when we found ourselves trundling out of town to deal with the mud and inclines of mound! And don’t even get me started on being coaxed to let go of a tree by the tail walker and turn marshal and slither down the muddy hill.
Ironically I enjoyed every minute of my weekend with the exception of the run itself which was way too steep and muddy for my liking. Nevertheless, the very friendly (and patient) tail walker who supported me (literally) as as I squealed and slid my way down the hill meant I reached the finish unscathed. Once I was ensconced in The Black Duck working my way through the vodka menu, all this was forgotten. Apart from the friendliness of the polish volunteers; Piotr and Piotr. Krakow parkrun gets a steady flow of parkrun tourists, predominantly from the UK. On that particular weekend, with the marathon happening, there was a bumper crop of parkrun tourists, which added to the atmosphere for what was, in all, a thoroughly enjoyable weekend.