NI parkruns: Bangor

 

20150214_091107 I attended the inaugural parkrun in Bangor’s Ward Park, which took place in March 2014.  It was the first time I’d ever been at an inaugural do, an event so auspicious that even the mayor attended, and was imortalised by the cartoonist in the local paper.  Aside from the mayor and me, there were over 200 other attendees, easily the biggest event I’ve experienced.

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At the inaugural do there were very welcome bacon butties at the finish, and on my subsequent visits it’s been clear that the post-run buns are Very Important, and there’s a rota for bun-makers.

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Access:

Ward Park is on the far side of Bangor when coming from the Belfast direction, and can be approached either via the ring road or through the town.  There is ample parking, and loos are available by the bowling pavilion.

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Course:

I have to be honest, I didn’t like the course.  It has a number of tight turns, doubles back on itself, and the paths are at times quite narrow.

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I found myself hemmed in on a number of occasions, and I nearly cannoned into the back of a runner in front of me who stopped dead after having rounded one of the sharp bends.  The path runs alongside a small canal, where there is no guard rail.  Mini decided she was running a triathlon, and promptly jumped in!

20150214_091325There’s plenty of very cheeky squirrels around too.
Gear:

After the unscheduled swim, I make sure that I always carry a towel with me.

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Time:

Despite Mini’s dip in the water, I managed a respectable 27:27, in lucky position 100.

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Oddly appropriate song:

Snow Patrol – Take Back the City.  The last time I’d visited Ward Park it had been to see these local boys turned superstars perform an open air concert.

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Atmosphere:

 

It was certainly interesting to experience a First event – the hoopla and press attention, the huge crowds, and did I mention the bacon butties?  When I attended on Valentines Day, there were roses being handed out to some lucky finishers. And the training for sighted guides, to be able to make parkrun accessible to blind and visually impaired runners, took place at Bangor, and was extremely interesting.  I look forward to being able to working on my new skills in the future.20150214_10044020150214_100410

List of all the parkruns I’ve completed.

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