NI Parkruns: Citypark Craigavon

“Citypark” is a rather misleading name for this one, as it’s nowhere near a city! It is in the vicinity of Craigavon, though, with its many roundabouts to negotiate, and I was glad I had written out the directions on a piece of paper, and was travelling with a running companion to help me navigate.



It’s not too far off junction 10 of the M1, but check their web page for detailed instructions.  The course is one single lap around a pair of lakes next to the Watersports centre and civic centre.  There’s a good car park, and shelter/ loos in the watersports building, where coats, keys and barcodes can be left during the run.  It’s a pretty route through lots of trees, and while there a few ups and downs, there are no killer hills.



It was raining when I visited, but not heavily, and I opted for my short sleeved Jog Lisburn T shirt, with long trousers.  MapMyRun seemed to be working fine, but it told me I’d completed the 5k when I was still 400m from the finish, which threw my pacing calculations off slightly. I had my waistband pouch to hold poo bags, dog treats etc, my sweat-wristband which is useful for the runny nose I always get when running, and I utilise the white headband from last year’s colour run to act as a brake under my armband phone holder. Our Jog Lisburn T-shirts provided a conversation starter, and we were able to do our ambassadorial bit for the club.



It usually has in the region of 100 runners, with quite a few females taking part – I finished as 12th woman.  Mini was the only dog running, and as usual had a crowd of admirers coming to say hello. There’s tea, coffee, and water available afterwards, to enjoy over the post-run banter and comparing of performances.


Strangely Appropriate Song provided by shuffle:

With all the pacing calculations going on in my head, it had to be Stevie Wonder going “five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes!” from Seasons of Love.



Having PBed the previous week with 26:19, I was hoping that this less-hilly route would help me get under 26.  That meant pacing between 5 and 5:12 per km.  My plan was to run the first half as fast as I could, and I kept my pace around 5:03.  For the back stretch, I was aiming to hold position.  As I started the last km I was pretty sure I’d get a solid time, but then MapMyRun told me I’d completed the 5 when I was still some way off the finish.  So I wasn’t too sure of my actual finish time until the official text and email results came it, and was delighted to have broken into the 25s with a 25:57.

List of all the parkruns I’ve completed.

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