Upton Court parkrun in Slough is a popular destination for parkrun tourists looking to tick-off the letter ‘U’ from their parkrun alphabet, plus those visiting nearby Windsor!
Co-Event Director Michael Ballard tells us more about his home event…
Our event launched in November 2012, and since then we have welcomed 6,000 different parkrunners to our parkrun, with around 200 people walking, jogging and running each week.
parkrun is inclusive in so many ways and open to all abilities and speeds. There is always a friendly welcome at our parkrun, and it is also only a few minutes walk from my house!
We are fortunate to have plenty of space in the park, allowing us to have wide start and finish areas, which helps to prevent any congestion.
Our event takes place in Upton Court Park in Slough and is a two-lap course, with a slightly shorter second lap. The route is roughly two thirds on grass, and one third on tarmac.
There is a slight incline at the start of both laps, but overall the course is fast and offers the chance of a PB in the warmer months when the ground is firmer, or for those looking to enjoy the surroundings, there’s plenty of space out on the course so you can relax and catch up with friends on the way around.
We don’t really have any specific landmarks on the course, but you can see Windsor Castle in the distance on each lap.
Her Majesty The Queen is usually in residence at the castle at the weekends, but we are yet to convince her to join us at parkrun!
We are always popular with tourists as one of only two destinations in the UK where you can get your parkrun letter “U”. We are also close to Heathrow, so ideal for a parkrun on way to/from the airport or if visiting nearby Legoland or Windsor.
On top of that, we also have use of great facilities at the neighbouring Slough Rugby Club, offering a warm and dry indoor space during the winter months, plus toilets and a coffee bar where Joanne serves hot and cold drinks and lovely bacon rolls inside where we scan the finish tokens. Free parking is located close by.
We have many volunteers and runners provided by local running club, the Datchet Dashers. We also have our Queen of the barcode scanning, Lisa, who never runs, but her daughter and granddaughter do run.
Lisa has been scanning barcodes almost weekly since finding out about parkrun, and she is also invaluable when it comes to getting our volunteer roster filled up.
Slough has a significantly higher proportion of inactive residents. Along with support from the local Slough Borough Council and Active Slough, we provide a free opportunity for local residents to enjoy their parks, activity and fresh air.
We have many first-timers coming along every week, and we hope that continues – everyone is welcome to join us!
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