NI parkruns: Antrim

2015-03-07 09.13.20 2015-03-07 09.17.04 Now St Andrews, I have bad news for you.  You may style yourself the world’s prettiest parkrun, but I think Antrim gives you a good run for your money!

 

 

Access:

The course starts at Lough Shore Park, which is beside the Antrim Forum, and right on the shores of Lough Neagh.  Access from Belfast via the M2 is pretty straightforward – I came over the mountains from Lisburn, covering the 20 miles in about 30 minutes.  There’s loads of car parking, and clean loos.

2015-03-07 09.15.13

Course:

When looked at on MapMyRun or Garmin, the route looks like a lollipop.  It starts and finishes beside the car park, crosses the Deerpark Bridge, and does 2 clockwise loops of the very beautiful Antrim Castle grounds.  I had to concentrate very hard on the route and not be distracted by the gorgeous surroundings – I’ll have to come back some non-parkrun day for a more leisurely stroll around.

 

2015-03-07 10.16.16

2015-03-07 10.17.452015-03-07 10.18.56

 

 

There is one small section between a pair of  staggered yellow gates, which was slightly more uneven underfoot, and had about the only incline on the whole course.  These gates m2015-03-07 10.12.47ight be an issue for partially sighted runners or wheelchair users.2015-03-07 10.14.012015-03-07 10.13.45

 

Crowd:

There’s usually about 100 runners – we were the only dog, and I only saw one pram.  There’s quite a few slower runners, and many people stay behind to cheer them on.  The volunteers were really helpful and friendly – I got chatting to the volunteer co-ordinator afterwards, who says I have to come back later in the year when the trees are looking even more spectacular! I didn’t see any tea and buns afterwards, but I wasn’t really looking for them.

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Gear:

I was too warm!  There was a stiff breeze, which made it feel colder than the actual temperature.  While I’d wisely left my gloves at home, my long-sleeved base layer under my Jog Lisburn tee was too many layers.  I was also able to remove my headband, and use it as a brake on my phone armband holder, which had started to slide down towards my elbow.

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Strangely Appropriate Song:

DOA by the Foo Fighters, as I really pushed myself on the last 500m.

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Time:

There was a 24 minute pacer, and as my all time best is 24:42, I thought, he’s my mark.  I kept his green cap in sight for the first 3km, but he got away from me on the second loop of the lollipop, and I finished in 26:07.

2015-03-07 10.19.042015-03-07 10.18.00

List of all the parkruns I’ve completed.

5 Responses

  1. Looks like a great run and certainly 26 is nothing to sneeze at!

  2. The bridge is very pretty!

  3. Hi Linda, was a bonus to meet you yesterday. Glad you enjoyed being at our parkrun. Antrim Festival is 13 to 20 June so we may have a special event with buns then !!!! Not only will you see beautiful trees but also flowers and lots of little creatures climbing, running and swimming. Best wishes, Norman. (volunteer co-ordinator)

  4. Oh thanks, Norman! I shall pencil that in my diary 😉

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