Derrynoid Forest parkrun

Event #81 parkrun #303 Regionnaire status regained (for now…..)

After “The Great Pause” it’s heartening to see planned new parkruns getting up and running, so to speak. I attended the 4th outing of Norn Irn’s latest, in Derrynoyd Forest near Draperstown, pretty much bang in the centre of the province. Note, the forest is spelled with a Y, but the parkrun with an I. No, I haven’t managed to find out Y just yet, but if you know, do tell!

Getting There:

From my house it was just over 50 miles. Take the M2 and keep going, onto the lovely smooth new bit of the dualled A6 (my sat nav still doesn’t know this road exists, and goes into a minor panic telling me to turn left. No, right. No, straight on.) From the little town of Draperstown, follow the Derrynoyd Road and a mile along you’ll find the forest. There is some parking on the left and right hand sides of the road, but the main forest and parkrun is the one on the right.

Course:

Three laps through the forest, on pretty good paths, but watch out for stones and fallen twigs. It’s a tough enough course, with a chunky hill near the end of the lap. Start and finish are at the same point, but allow yourself time to get there from the car park. The forest is a lovely patch of old woodland, with plenty of birdsong to be heard. It was fantastic to listen to – some twitchers were able to identify a chiff-chaff, and I believe there’s even a woodpecker here.

Facilities:

No loos on site, so make sure you go before you get there! Parking as above, there are a few cafes in town for post parkrun coffee and faffing.

Crowd:

There were just under 50 when I attended, including a few familiar faces who like me were reclaiming the “regionnaire” status. Though I hear there are a few more NI events happening shortly, so this is only a “for now” badge. And also a few people making their parkrun debut, which is always lovely to hear.

Gear:

I wore my green 250 shirt, and there were a few of these on show! I’d also got my apple watch and aftershoks bone conducting headphones with me. Blue hokka trainers – trail shoes would be a good option here. And I managed to find my cow bobble hat, complete with its little flag badge indicating that “I’verunalltheNornIrnparkrunssoIhave”. I must dig out my T shirt and add some suitable buttons.

Time:

I’m really slow at the minute. I’d even offered to be tailwalker, but someone had beaten me to that! But I walk/jogged my way round in 44 minutes, taking time to stop for the odd photo of the beautiful Sperrin mountains.

Course record is at time of writing just under 18 minutes.

Strangely Appropriate Song on Shuffle:

I put the Hamilton soundtrack on as I was setting off- the tailwalker told me he’d been lucky enough to see the show live, that’s still on my bucket list of things to do. “Rise Up” is always appropriate for hills, and I was heading for Coleraine afterwards en route to see my parents, which is where Hercules Mulligan is from.

And the rest:

My Dad’s uncle Bob used to be head forester here, and the area around Tobermore and Draperstown was Dad’s “patch” when he was a sales rep, so he really enjoyed hearing all about my run when I called in for lunch afterwards.

All my parkruns:

NI (and other) parkruns: summary list

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