NI parkruns: Carrickfergus

I wish I waaaaaas in Carrickfergus


I nearly WASN’T in Carrickfergus this morning, as when I was making my morning cuppa there were flakes of snow falling! I sipped my tea, anxiously watching the Facebook statuses of the local parkruns, and more than one was cancelled.  However, I decided to don the old running gear and head off anyway – my husband said he’d phone me if a cancellation was posted.  But the sun shone, and even though there was still some ice around, and a definite nip in the air, it was all systems go.



The run starts and finishes beside the Amphithteatre leisure centre ( entering Carrick, take a left at the roundabout before the castle, go under the railway bridge and turn right).  There’s ample car parking, and lockers and loos in the centre itself.  The only thing I missed was a bucket or basket to put my keys and jacket in, so I had to schlep back to the car to deposit my coat, and tuck my car keys into my gloves.




It’s a 3 lap course with a bit extra at the start and finish.  The paths I found narrow, and felt a bit hemmed in on lap 1.  There’s some lovely scenery past the duck pond, and the loop of Shaftsbury Park, but there are some sharp turns and narrow tunnels under the railway-line too.  There’s only two short sharp hills, and metal parkrun signs, cones, and cheery marshals ensure that you stay on the right route.



I was delighted to meet up again with Claire and Caroline, who are running all 19 Norn Irn parkruns in 2015.carrick ladies .

They’d originally been planning to do Ecos, which was cancelled, so it was a  serendipitous meeting indeed. I was able to tell them that there’s a “hall of fame” for anyone who’s done more than 20 different events, so as they are doing one of the Dublin runs next month, they should see their names on that board by the end of the year. Minnie wasn’t the only pooch running, and we smiled kindred greetings to the other dog-runners.


Strangely Appropriate Song on Shuffle:

Given the weather conditions, it had to be Led Zeppelin “Immigrant Song” – come from the land of ice and snow….



I was trying not to look too much at my Garmin, to get more of a “feel” for pace.  I did glance at it going into lap 3 and couldn’t understand the figures it was showing – maybe I’d hit the wrong button.  Another problem – nice though it is to have – is that my trousers felt too loose, and were gradually working their way southwards!



I couldn’t get my usual fast start, and found it difficult to overtake during lap 1, but I’d soon caught up with the pink ladies.  I overtook them on lap 2, and then they zoomed past me on Lap 3.  The OCD part of me is rather satisfied that I recorded a time of bang on 26 minutes, in position 26.  Normally a 4th lady position would have pleased me, but if Clare and Caroline hadn’t been there, or if I’d managed a better finish, I might have bagged that Lady 2 spot! Oh well, I consoled myself by ordering the results by age grading, where I was 6th overall.  That’s better 😉


List of all the parkruns I’ve completed.

NI (and other) parkruns: summary list


When I discovered that there’s a parkrun league table for all those Saturday morning tourists who’ve been to 20 or more events, a plan formed in my mind.  Since then, I’ve worked my way round all the NI ones, plus ticking off a few Scottish, Irish and English ones while I visit those places, I’m creating this page as a handy summary with links to all those I’ve done.  I know the parkrun tag should help to navigate around the blog, but it’s nice to see them all in one convenient list. Longer term plans include running a parkrun for each letter of the alphabet, (tick!) and becoming an Ulster Allstar. Oh, and I managed to spell the word DANCER with parkruns. parkrunDANCER.   

Listed with the NI ones first, then all others, alphabetical within each section.

most events

And I’m on the “most events” list!

Then there’s

and this….

first 20