Tooting Bec Common Park Race, 31st July to 15th August

The penultimate Summer Park Race brings us back to South London’s Tooting Bec Common, courtesy of first-time planner Barbara Griessner and mapper Don McKerrow. To count for the series results, you can do this race anytime between Saturday 31st July and Sunday 15th of August.


The start for both courses is by the main car park on Dr. Johnson Ave, the finish is next to the Tooting Bec Common Cafe (serves ice cream, snacks and drinks – open from 9am to 6pm). It is 15 minutes walk from Tooting Bec tube and there is bike and free car parking right by the start.

Special Note: The lido has Britain’s largest open air swimming pool, 100 yards long.
It is open from 6am till 8pm (last entry 7:30pm). The cafe has a toilet.

LocationTooting Bec Common
AddressDr. Johnson Avenue
Latitude/longitude51.432, -0.1464
OS grid referenceTQ289719
MapsGoogle Maps, OpenStreetMap

The Race

Once again, we have two courses for you to choose from, “Long” (around 5km direct line) and “Short” (around 2.5km), although beware that running distances are around 50% longer (so around 8km for the long), and there are a lot of crossovers on the map. Make sure you go to the right controls in the right order!

Barbara says: “The Common is very runnable and due to being cut by the railway line to Balham gets you closer to a long course of 8km with a few interesting route choices. The Common has last been used in 2010 in the Summer Park Race and the map has been updated for a new area by the pond. [only few overgrown areas – shorts possible]. The long course has four road crossings so care should be taken, the short course is traffic free apart from one route choice across the a car park.”


There are two courses of 5.6km and 2.7km straight-line distance respectively, but real running distances are 50% longer. These are linear courses, which means you need to find the controls in order and the fastest person to do so wins. There are a lot of crossovers on the map so make sure you get checkpoints in the right order!

As previously, we’ll be using the MapRun timing app, which also means that you can do the challenge anytime you like between Saturday 31st July and Sunday 15th August.

Technical details

If you haven’t already, please install MapRunF on your phone and download your selected course from UK > South London > ParkO > Tooting Bec (Long or Short). If you’d like to run with a Garmin watch instead of your phone, follow these instructions as well.

Next, download and print the race map (you will need this to navigate). Here is the Long Map and the Short Map. IOF symbol control descriptions are on the map or you can download text descriptions here.

Note that (as usual), North is at the top of the map when printed and due to lack of space, the map has no legend but you can see an explanation of symbols here

Once you’re ready to go, press ‘Go To Start’ (there is no code required) and the App or watch will start automatically when you’re at the start location. The App will record each control (beeping each time) and then stop your time when you’re at the finish.

Your result should be uploaded automatically, but you may need to ‘Get Track from Garmin’ if you’re using MapRunG.  

All competitors take part at their own risk.

Enjoy the challenge! If you have any questions, just ask me on .