The Course

The course is 5000m (5k) long. This has been accurately measured by us with a professional measuring wheel. The course is at River Valley Park, Swords. The course is run on a mixture of tarmac paths and 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

River Valley parkrun is a fun, free event organised by volunteers for the benefit of everyone. We wish to make the event as safe as possible, so participants, 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.
  • 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.
  • Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection spread to humans by infected ticks. Consider protecting yourself by wearing repellent when at parkrun events in grassy or wooded areas. See for further details.
  • You are welcome to take part with one dog by your side, within reach at all times, on a short, handheld, non-extendable lead. Please also see this Support Site entry for further details about parkrunning with dogs.
  • Runners pushing buggies are welcome, but please take care of others around you and do your best to start at an appropriate place in the field for your pace.

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

Age Grading

All parkrun events use Age Grading to help parkrunners 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

The route begins at the River Valley view entrance and goes straight down the hill. At the bottom of the hill, runners turn left instead of running over the bridge. Continue until you reach our "famous" River Valley hill. At the top of the hill, turn right into the forested area and continue along the path as it turns left. This brings runners out beside the football pitches. Continue along this path until it comes to a t-junction. Then take the left path and run straight until the paths branch, taking the right hand path. This will lead runners back to the start line. Repeat this route a second time, finishing at the finish tunnel beside the all weather pitches.


Parking and toilets are available opposite the park in the community centre and shopping centre complex. Children’s play area also available in the park.

Getting There

Location of start

The run starts at the River Valley view entrance.

Getting there by public transport

Bus numbers 41c, 41x, or 102 will pass by the park. Ask to get off at River Valley Shopping Centre.

Getting there on foot

Follow instructions as travelling by car allow 30mins.

Getting there by road

From M1 heading Northbound, take exit for Swords (JN 3). At the roundabout at the top of the junction, take the first left and continue to the next roundabout. Continue straight through (second exit) and you will reach a third roundabout. Turn left (first exit) on the roundabout (Airside retail park will now be on your right. Continue along this road until you get to the lights. Continue straight through the lights into Boroimhe. Continue through Boroimhe until you reach the crossroads beside Supervalu. Head straight through the junction and follow the road until you reach a roundabout. At the roundabout, turn right (second exit) and continue straight down the road until you reach the shops and Peacocks pub. Parking is available at the Community Centre/shops and the park entrance is directly across the road.

Post Run Coffee

Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee in River Valley Community Centre - please come and join us!