NI parkruns: Enniskillen

2015-05-02 08.45.17

Look out, more dancing has occurred! I was in the lovely town of Enniskillen, in the heart of Fermanagh’s lakeland county, for a weekend of Scottish Country Dancing. And I couldn’t pass by the opportunity of doing the Enniskillen parkrun, even if it DID mean missing the first of the Saturday morning classes (cue much tutting in the breakfast room…)
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The run is held in the grounds of Castle Coole, a National Trust property consisting of a very impressive white stone villa, set in acres of rolling countryside including a lake. Castle Coole is on the Belfast side of town, and there’s plenty of parking by the stables, which also house the very clean and gratifyingly warm loos. For I was cold. Very cold. Despite it being May by the calendar, there was a chilly breeze and a steady mizzle, which was not pleasant. However, the woodland grounds were awash with primroses, bluebells, and some plants I haven’t seen in a long while.
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I was early, as usual, and was approached by a young female runner who wanted to check that this was where the parkrun was happening! Most people arrived about 9.20. There were a couple of lovely doggies running, and I got chatting to a gorgeous biscuit coloured ball of fur named Harry (he ‘s even registered as Harry the dog!) It turned out the the father of Harry’s owner was the former principal of the school where our dance weekend was taking place – what a co-incidence! There were a few people either visiting the area (it IS one of Norn Irn’s most popular tourist destinations, with good reason), or had family here and were “home” for the weekend.
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Starting by the stables, the course runs in front of the big white house (how can I run with distracting views like this!),
2015-05-02 08.58.07 through a wooded section, onto the main avenue, down to a turning point, back up the avenue, round the lake, and home to the finish line at the stables. There’s a bit of an incline at the start to get to the house, and the return section of the avenue was one long slow climb, but other than that there are no hill problems. The surface was all either gravel or tarmac, and I don’t think they’d prove an issue for visually impaired or buggy-pushers.
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In the stableyard is an old Belmore Omnibus – and we were staying in the Belmore Court Motel (highly recommended if you’re ever visiting this part of the world – a warm welcome, great value accommodation and well situated)
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I was a bit foxed after the run, as the exit isn’t through the same gate as the entrance, and there were no signs to indicate which was the way back into town.


I was debating whether or not to ditch my yellow rain jacket, but since my run time wasn’t going to be anything special I decided to stay warm-ish and dry and keep it on. The Garmin took a while to locate satellites, and I couldn’t believe my husband tried to ring me at 25 past 9 on a Saturday! There was only one scanner on duty, which caused a bit of a bottle neck.
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Strangely Appropriate Song On Shuffle:

John and Ruby Wilkinson were our special guests at the dancing weekend, so the appropriate song was “Ruby Ruby Ruby” by Kaiser Chiefs.

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Well, I’m always happy with a sub-30 time, and 29:08 was faster than my last non-canine-assisted run, so I’ll have to be content with that. It did tick 3 of my current targets – counting towards 20 different events, visiting all the Norn Irn venues, and taking me one step closer to my 100 T shirt.
List of all the parkruns I’ve completed.