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.

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Access:

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.

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Gear:

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.

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Crowd:

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.

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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.

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Time:

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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