New Norfolk parkrun is ranked toughest in UK
- Credit: Archant
It had only been going for a few weeks until it was knocked off its stride by coronavirus, but a Norfolk parkrun has been ranked the country’s toughest.
The course along Great Yarmouth’s north beach from Britannia Pier takes in 5km of calf-straining sand.
The average time over five events is 36mins 6secs - the slowest out of all 691 courses.
Race co-director Trevor Rawson said he knew it was slow, but reckoned news of its ranking would attract more elite parkrunners looking for a challenge.
“We have only had five events,” he said.
“We launched in the first week of March and had four storms and then a pandemic so it has not been the best of starts.
“We knew the course was going to be slow and because of that we hoped to attract walkers.
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“There would be no pressure and they could enjoy the scenery.
“They wouldn’t have to worry about everyone being so quick.
“Now it will bring people that want to do the toughest event in the UK.
“It would have brought in tourists anyway but it will specifically bring people looking for a hard event.
“It is not what we envisaged, so we will have to see how it plays out.
“At the moment we have a very slow average time but that is only after five events.
“It has gone ok so far but the real test of the event will be when it returns and we start building a running community in Great Yarmouth.”
Data from RunBritain was used to compile the rankings, and reveal which courses are best for a PB and which are the most difficult.
According to Athletics Weekly the fast or slow nature of each course was based on the difficulty of the terrain, typical weather, how busy the event might be, and whether the course is either shorter or longer than the advertised 5km distance.
Yarmouth’s North Beach is the slowest of all 691 parkruns, knocking Woolacombe off the top spot.
The fastest parkrun is at Berkeley Green in Gloucestershire.
None of the other parkruns in Norfolk make the fastest or slowest list.
For comparison the average time at Gorleston is 28mins 28secs, Lingwood 31mins 4secs and Lowestoft 28mins 27secs.
At Yarmouth Great Yarmouth Borough Council chief executive Sheila Oxtoby holds the ladies course record at 27mins 12secs and Tyler Billiard of Great Yarmouth & District Athletic club the male record at 20mins 36secs.