If you are wondering, is Aberdare parkrun hilly? or more specifically, how hilly is Aberdare parkrun? Then this is for you!
I’ve recently done Aberdare parkrun and loved it but it is hilly, it’s achievable though so don’t be put off, especially as the park, atmosphere and community is amazing there. How hilly you ask? Well, we’ll get to that below.
The course is 3 and two thirds of a lap! Luckily you start at the highest part of the course and finish nearer the bottom so you only need to do the big climb three times!
The reason I say it’s achievable is that you get a lot of downhill and the downhills are really steep so you can make the most of them on your recovery from the hill.
On the Aberdare parkrun website it’s described as an ‘incline’ but I joked with the volunteers that it’s more of an mountain than an incline!
So overall the ascent of 5km is 146 ft (= 44.5 metres). You can see from the below, the green triangle is the start and your run clockwise so after 3 times up the hill you stop before it at the red square. There is a slight pull up from the last corner, but nothing like the big hill.
Splitting it by mile, because the loop is less than a mile you have to do the hill once per mile, but you also get the benefit of the same or more descent each mile too, because you are often starting each mile at a higher place than you are finishing that mile.
Below is the Aberdare parkrun elevation course map / graph. Here you can clear see the 3 peaks you run up, you can also see the downhills are much more gradual than the sharpness of the up. There are a few inclines on the downhills as you can see by the spikes, they are tiny but if you can push up those rather than letting the incline take your speed, it’ll make a big difference as you are inevitable going to slow for the hill.
In terms of how hilly the incline is I’ve taken the lowest most point before the little pull (corner after long straight) and the highest (by the start).
Lowest point is 509.84ft and the highest is 564.3ft
So a gain of 54.5 ft (= 16.6 metres)
The average time (at the time of writing) is 31:19, which is slower than some so it’s seems to have an impact on times but that is a presumption as obviously depends who is running!
In summary I’d say Aberdare parkrun is hilly but achievable. The park and atmosphere is well worth a trip (or a regular trip if local!). Thanks to all the volunteers who make it an awesome event.
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