Alison and Matthew do Parkrun
13 May 2017

Hampstead Heath is a very large park to the North of central London. This Parkrun involves running two laps over hilly terrain. 319 runners took part this week.

After the Highbury Fields Parkrun, I couldn't wait to do Parkrun again. I'm a runner now! I'm going to get a new personal best every time! Watch out Matthew, I'm going to start lapping you!


Hampstead Heath has two routes through it, A and B. Because the Affordable Art Fair was happening in the park, we were doing route B.

The route is gorgeous. It's only two laps so it feels less repetitive than Highbury Fields. It begins in a shady path, trees on either side, beautiful and quiet. We ran past ponds with ducks in them and... up hills.

I was walking on the first lap. There is a hill towards the end that just kept going and going up and up. I tried to make up for it on the downhill and flat sections but that just tired me out more. The last 400m is uphill and I spent it walking, despite Matthew waving towards me to run.

I finished with a pace at 12:39min/mile and way over my last Parkrun time, even if it was at a different location. I was disappointed.

I definitely want to run this location again. I'm curious as to how route A differs from route B. Plus there is apparently swimming in the pond after!

Way back in August 2016, I ran my first Parkrun at Hampstead Heath. I distinctly remember the painful uphill just before the finish line, but I'd somehow forgotten how hilly the rest of the course is! I set out aiming to beat my Highbury Fields PB, but quickly realised that there was too much climbing to keep the pace up. Still, I managed to beat my previous Hampstead Heath time. Not bad, plus Hampstead Heath really is a lovely place to run. I'll be back!

Tags: London, UK

Parkrun is a weekly free timed 5km run. They take place all over the UK. We like running them and are trying to run every Parkrun in London.

About us

Alison is an interrupted medical student at King's College London. She runs a book blog at

Matthew is a PhD student studying maths at University College London. He blogs about maths and posts puzzles at

Parkruns in London3 / 47
Parkruns in the UK3 / 415
Alison's PB35:10
Matthew's PB26:53

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