Celebrating its 500th run in 2022, Poole parkrun takes place in Poole Park, on the outskirts of the town (approximately a 10 minute walkf from the train and bus stations. The start on a grass area in the north west corner of the park. There is no vehicular access to the park before 10 am. Limited car parking (mostly pay & display) is available on nearby roads. I find it easier to park in the Dolphin Leisure Centre car park, which is just opposite the park, close to the start.
There is a toilet block near the start and there are also toilets at the cricket pavilion. The cricket pavilion acts as race HQ, but since Covid, the start/finish lines have been moved away from this area in order to help with spacing people out a bit more.
Starting near the lake, the route consists of a lap of the cricket pitch, a lap of the lake and a final lap of the cricket field, before a long straight finish along the cycle path.
Poole is a good place to go if you’re looking for a fast time as it is very flat and mostly paved. There is a short gravel section towards the far end of the lake. The edge of the lake is slightly slanted and can sometimes accumulate bird poo from the resident geese and swans. If’ like me, you’re accident prone, I would advise not running too near the edge!
Run Britain Rankings for UK parkruns place Poole as the 49th fastest out of a total of 706. The Course has a total elevation of 8 metres.
A flat and scenic route through the landscaped park and round the lake. A good route to choose if you’re chasing a 5 km PB or enjoy bird spotting.