All parkrun events in this country are currently suspended due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). For further details please see here

Please also see official advice at

The Course

The course is 5000m (5K) long. The course is at Paarl Arboretum, Klein Parys Sports Complex Road, Paarl. The course is run entirely on gravel paths. Some sections of the course may accumulate mud, leaves and puddles after rain. Dependent on availability, marshals will be at key sections of the course, or signs will be in place.

Please remember that the parkrun uses shared paths. For the continued success of the event, please give way to other park users. This won't hurt your time, it won't stop you from getting a PB and it will make sure everyone continues to enjoy the event.

Please, wherever possible walk, jog, cycle or use public transport when attending the event. If you do have to drive, please consider car-sharing to reduce our impact on both the environment and other park users. Please also watch out for other park users when arriving and leaving. Parking may be limited so try to arrive early.

Course Safety

The Paarl parkrun is a fun, free event organised by volunteers for the benefit of everyone. We wish to make the run as safe as possible, so runners, spectators and helpers are asked to take care about the following:

  • Please be considerate to the park and other park users at all times.
  • Children under the age of eleven must be accompanied (within arm's reach) throughout the run by a parent, guardian or appropriate adult of the parent's choice.
  • Please arrive by foot, by pedal-power or by public transport if you can - your efforts help to reduce our impact on the park and the planet.
  • Please consider volunteering to help occasionally - this event survives only because of your generosity - please visit the volunteer page for more information.
  • Take care near roads and car parks - some vehicles drive very quickly. Please congregate away from the cars and be careful in particular if you have children. If you’re driving to the run, please drive carefully even if you’re late!
  • When running, take care on uneven surfaces - whether on grass or on tarmac. Watch out for cyclists, other runners, pedestrians, children, dogs, wildlife, park animals, vehicles, park maintenance work, falling branches, bollards, posts and other obstacles around the course.
  • Please ensure that you are fit enough to walk, jog, run 5k (3.1 miles) with us. Health advice about running can be found at the excellent Runners' Medical Resource website (although this external website focuses on preparation for a race and does not describe parkrun events).
  • Remember to warm up before the run.
  • If you see a runner with a serious problem, please stop to help them out and get help as soon as possible.
  • If you’re watching, keep clear of runners on the course, and look after any children and dogs you may have with you.
  • It is not permitted to run with a pushchair and a dog at the same time.
  • You are welcome to take part with a dog, but please keep the dog on a short lead or short harness and under control throughout the event. Please also review the parkrun support page article about running with a dog at parkrun events.
  • Runners pushing buggies are welcome, but please take extreme care of other runners around you. If possible start from the back of the field and try to keep to one side of the main body of runners.

We hope these tips help to ensure that Paarl parkrun is fun and safe for everyone.

Age Grading

All parkrun events use Age Grading to help athletes compare results.

Age Grading takes your time and uses the world record time for your sex and age group to produce a score (a percentage). This score allows you to compare your personal performance against other people's performances even though they might be a different age and a different sex to you - the higher the score the better the performance. The scores can also be compared across different race distances - to allow you to, for example, compare a 5km time against a marathon.

For more information, please see our Support page.

Course Map

Course Description

Paarl parkrun takes place in the Paarl Arboretum - a narrow piece of land, some 2.5 km long, on the eastern bank of the Berg River. The Arboretum is home to a variety of tree species planted in clusters according to the continent where they are commonly found and considered indigenous. The Arboretum provides a unique experience as the course passes through Europe, Africa, South America, Asia, North America and Australasia. Beyond the Arboretum and the Berg River, are the beautiful vistas of the mountains to the east and Paarl Rock to the west.

The course is an out--and-back figure of eight course that is flat throughout. It starts at the entrance to the Arboretum on the north end and heads directly south along the eastern boundary of the Arboretum. The course then passes under the railway bridge and continues along the eastern boundary of the Arboretum until it makes a u-turn towards the most southern point the course. Here the course follows the western boundary of the Arboretum back to the railway bridge. After passing under the railway bridge, the course continues along the western boundary and follows the river back to the starting point at the entrance gate. The course only overlaps at two points, the bridge under railway line and on the north side. The course along the eastern boundary is mostly on a wide double track. A section of the course on the north side of the railway bridge will have two-way traffic. The course along the river bank is narrower with a single track for much of the way where once the parkrunners have spread out.


There is plenty of free parking available at the sports complex, much of it under trees. There is a municipal toilet facility with access to drinking water in the Arboretum, but this may not always be available for use.

Getting There

Location of start

The run starts at the entrance to the Arboretum on the north end.

Getting there by public transport

From the Huguenot Train station: Travel south in Huguenot Street to the first robot at Lady Grey Street. Turn right into Lady Grey Street. Go over the railway bridge and over the Berg River bridge. At the next robot turn left into Berg River Boulevard. At the circle, take the first circle exit into the R101. Go over the Berg River bridge and turn first right (opposite Textile Street) and immediately right into the parking area

Getting there on foot

Start is at the sports club end of the Arboretum.

Getting there by road

From the N1 travelling from Worcester: After passing through the toll gate, take the Sonstraal Road off ramp (exit 62). Turn right into Sonstraal Road travelling in the direction of Dal Josafat. At the first stop street turn left into Langenhoven Avenue, the R101 to Paarl. Pass the Boland cricket grounds on your left as well as the cemetery on the left. At the Jan van Riebeeck Drive circle, take the circle’s second exit (R101). Go over the railway bridge and take the first turn left (opposite Textile Street) and immediately right into the parking area.

From the N1 travelling from Cape Town: Take the Cecelia Street off ramp (exit 57). At the circle, take the forth circle exit into Cecelia Street. Go over the railway bridge. At the robot turn right into Berg River Boulevard. Continue to the traffic circle. Take the third circle exit into the R101. Go over the Berg River bridge, take the first road right (opposite Textile Street on the left) and immediately the next right into the parking area.

From the Wellington side: Take Piet Retief Street out of Wellington. Travelling south, it becomes Jan van Riebeeck Drive. Continue to the circle at the R101. Take the third circle exit into the R101. Go over the railway bridge and take the first turn left (opposite Textile Street) and immediately right into the parking area.

From the Main Road in town: Turn east down Market Street. At the Berg River Boulevard circle take the second circle exit into the R101. Go over the Berg River bridge, take the first road right (opposite Textile Street on the left) and immediately the next right into the parking area.

Post Run Coffee

Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee in a local café - please come and join us!