parkrun tourism: Crawfordsburn Country

parkrun #285 event #71

Reason for visit: New Norn Irn one I haven’t been to yet!



Access:
The postcode given on the site, BT19 1JT, took me straight to the gorgeous grounds of Crawfordsburn Country Park, though I did have the traditional argument with the SatNav, because I knew about the Sydenham bypass roadworks and it didn’t.  So Yaa Boo Sat Nav!

There are plenty of car parking spaces, but parkrunners are asked to use the lower or beach ones, leaving those closest to the centre for older and maybe less fit users.  We don’t want them complaining about parkrun ruining their tradtional Saturday morning treat.

The centre doesn’t open till 10, but there are clean loos down at the beach car park, a gentle jog away.

Crowd:

I attended event number 3, and there were 120 that day.  The inaugural attracted 246.  The RD was a recently elected MLA, and I chatted to him about an Alan Turing qute he’d used in his maiden speech.  The chap giving the first timers briefing was someone I knew from a recent work project.  And I was meeting up for the first time with the NI parkrun toruist gang. 

It’s a dog friendly course, but very challenging for buggies or wheelchairs (though I believe it has been done with a buggy!).

Course:

Ah the course.  It’s by the sea, innit, must be flattish?  Wrong!  It’s a single lap course which takes quite a meadnering route incorporating the coastal path. 

The verbal description was quite detailed, and in the past some runners have got lost and ended up in nearby Helens Bay! 

Start and finish are both at the centre.  At some point you run with the river on your left, later it’s on your right. 

Do NOT run under the viaduct.  And this is the only course I know of with a volunteer role of Lollipop lady!

It’s VERY hilly, and the downhill sections can be steep and twisty.  Did I say it was dog-friendly?  I think a mountain goat would be more appropriate!  One with a built in sat nav……

And I suggest there should be a badge or cerfickatick declaring “I didn’t get lost at Crawfordsburn Country :-)”

Gear:

For ease of recognition I was wearing my 50 events Tshirt, which of course is now 21 events out of date.  I do still have my cotton T shirt with a button sewn on for each event visited, though the Belfast patch is getting very crowded.

I had my lovely flowery leggings, my new zippy pouch, green gloves, and of course cow cowl.  My Garmin was useless, I really am going to upgrade it soon.

Theme tune:

I was running with no music, but I did sing “Let’s ready to parkrun!”, a variation of the PJ and Duncan hit, when I was washing my hands for 20 seconds.

Parkfaff:

The cafe for post parkrun cafe had a fabulous range of scones and traybakes.  I tucked into a warmed apple and cinnamon scone thing, which was served by some delightfully friendly staff.  I can see why this place is such a popular spot!

And the rest:

I’m writing this in the middle of March 2020.  The UK has just moved from “contain” to “delay” phase of response to the Covid 19 pandemic.  Around the world, parkruns in other countries have already been cancelled, including our neighbours in Ireland.  The feeling is that the UK will soon follow suit, so this might well be the last one I get to attend for a while. So as I was jiggy-jogging around the challenging course, I was thankful for the beautiful views, and most of all for my health, while I still have it.

All my parkruns:

NI (and other) parkruns: summary list

2 Responses

  1. Absolutely brilliant account of today. Well done xx

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