A self-proclaimed ‘obsessive’ runner has completed more than 60 different running courses across London and has ranked them from least to most difficult.
Geoff Marshall started doing parkruns when he was unemployed and was looking for a way to get fit.
Parkrun is a free 5km run that takes place every Saturday morning at 9am in local parks across the UK and increasingly over the world.
According to Geoff, most people just run in their local park but he became more interested in becoming a “parkrun tourist”.
He said: “When I started I was unemployed, so the best thing is that they are free.
“I would never join a running club, or pay to go parkrun. It creates a unique community atmosphere which is lovely.
“Many people just run at their local parkrun, but others, like myself, have become a little more obsessive about it, and are being parkrun 'tourists' and running at as many different venues as possible.
“At the moment, I'm just trying to get round all the London ones.”
Of the 63 parkruns Geoff have completed, 47 are in the Greater London area and nine additional ones that are inside the M25 for a London+ list.
He also lists four more which are just outside the M25 area, which brings the total for Londoners to visit up to a total of 60.
Each run is graded from a rank of one to five on difficulty, with the flattest being ranked one and the hilliest ranked 5.
If you’re looking to set a personal best, Geoff said his personal recommendation was the ultra-flat Burgess Park, although it can be busy and he recommends getting there early.
He said: “My favourite in South London is Burgess Park. It is also the fastest parkrun in London, very flat. I have run all 47, and it's the easiest one - no hills.
“It's two clockwise laps around a lake and then back again. It's almost totally flat, except for one small 'dip' that goes under a bridge - you do in once just after the start, and again just before the finish on the way back.”
Another good option is the original parkrun in Bushy Park in Richmond, which is also very flat.
Geoff does warn that it’s so popular with several hundred people taking part that it can sometimes take a while to even cross the starting line.
However if you’re looking to challenge yourself with a difficult run, Croydon is the place to go.
The Lloyd Park run ranks as the most difficult on Geoff’s entire list, being described as “horrendous” and “London’s toughest course”.
Geoff said: “It’s even more horrendous to do when muddy after it's been raining. You have to climb through a rise of 44 metres all on muddy grass.
“The organisers are brilliant here setting up early with everything in order, and free drinks and sometimes cakes to snack on too.
“Yes, it's London's toughest course - but a very rewarding one once you've done it.”
For more information on parkrun, you can visit their website at parkrun.org.uk
The full list of South London parkruns Geoff has completed, ranked by their difficulty.
• Burgess Park – 1
• Bushy Park – 1
• Tooting Common - 1
• Beckenham Place – 2
• Bromley – 2
• Dartford – 2
• Dulwich Park – 2
• Kingston – 2
• Nonsuch - 2
• Old Deer Park – 2
• Orpington – 2
• Peckham Rye – 2
• Wimbledon Common - 2
• Bexley – 3
• Brockwell Park – 3
• Greenwich – 3
• Richmond Park - 3
• Riddlesdown - 3
• Roundshaw Downs - 3
• Crystal Palace – 4
• Hilly Fields – 4
• Lloyd Park – 5