“St Albans is a fast, historic and picturesque parkrun, but it is also extremely busy.”
St. Albans parkrun has been by go-to for a speedy 5km since I first started my running journey. Why? Because I have set a number of PBs on the super fast course here over the years and it has become the benchmark for my (hopefully) improving running.
Verulamium Park, on the edge of St Albans, is a beautiful location to run featuring Roman Walls, many modern amenities and a lake full of waterfowl. The course is a gentle downhill from the top of the park to the lake, which is circumnavigated three times before returning to the start. There is also an alternate course, in case of the pond freezing over the path, which is more of a cross country route with tougher hills. The normal route is very fast tarmac paths, though congested, with the hill barely registering and a good straight to the finish line.
The biggest downfall to this fantastic course is that so many people have discovered how good it is (over 400 a week)! It is extremely congested and overtaking for the first half a mile or so is almost impossible, and it doesn’t improve much until the latter stages. There are also a number of chokepoints which make it difficult for buggy runners though I have seen a few tackle it.
St Albans is fast, historic and picturesque parkrun but it is also extremely busy. The sense of community is great, even with so many runners, visitors are made welcome and the marshals are very friendly.
Facilities wise: parking by the museum £1.60; toilets about 100m from the start line; large play parks; a fantastic Roman Walk (including a floor mosaic); and food/drinks are available from the well priced Inn On The Park by the finish afterwards.
PB – 25:03
Best Position – 161st
Times run – 11