Dunleath Playing Fields parkrun

run #306 event #83

Regionnaire status regained! For now, at least. But it takes me a bit closer to that full cowell of 100 different events.


The bustling town of Downpatrick is about 30 mins south of me, on decent roads. Actually, the bus terminus is just opposite the park, so if you wanted to make the best use of public transport, then this would be a good choice! I did try to offset my carbon footprint by collecting a “magic bag” of food from a local shop via the “Too Good To Go” app which gives out surplus food at a discount. But the contents were disappointing, sadly.


Plenty of parking and loos in the Leisure Centre, and also across the road in the retail park with its handy McDonalds. On my visit (their event number 3) there was tea and biscuits provided at the finish, but this might not always be available. There are plenty of cafes in the town for a bit of parkfaffing, and the cathedral is the location of St Patrick’s grave, should you need reason to linger longer.


It was a frosty morning, so I wore my warmest black running leggings, a long sleeved T under my black 100 volunteer shirt, headband AND cow bobble, and gloves. Toby was my lil helper, and I put a warm jumper on him as he hates the cold. My old red hokkas, and a white sweat wristband. No timing watch or music – I like to keep my eyes and ears open when tailwalking to be able to respond quickly to any incidents. As the sun got higher and the temperature rose, I was able to remove the hat and gloves.


Start is behind the main playing fields, which are pretty lively on a Saturday morning. One small first lap, then turn right at the Covid test centre (!) for 2 larger laps. The town is nestled in between some drumlin hills, but the course itself is pretty flat, just the one small incline to manage, and it is followed by a nice downhill section. All on tarmac / gravel paths. On this beautiful blue-skied spring morning, the trees were starting to show their burgeoning buds and catkins.


Being a relative newbie on the block, it still attracts a few other tourists. I greeted Stephen and Niamh, who is the youngest person to be a Norn Irn regionnaire, and presented them with my regionnaire flag badge in recognition of their achievement. Frist Irish man to achieve a 500 milestone T, parkrun Jim was there, trying to work out where to put his next tattoo. Apparently there’s an at least 3 month waiting list for ink these days! There was a good bunch of walkers on the first lap, but after each one some of them dropped out, so I was left frequently doing the “tailwalker catch up canter” to keep the last lot in my sights.


My run times are still rubbish, so I’d volunteered to tailwalk. Time was 50-50, in position no 99, which was suitably mathematically pleasing. Toby was a wee dote, and while he did want to say Hi to all the other doggies we met, he kept with me on a slack lead and didn’t complain too much about the cold, or the long car journey. (The wee skitter had managed to regurgitate his dinner last night over a radiator, down in between many many curves and fins….)

Strangely Appropriate Song on Shuffle:

I wasn’t listening to music, but the peal of church bells on such a beautiful morning brought joy to my soul.

All my parkruns:

NI (and other) parkruns: summary list

2 Responses

  1. […] Dunleath Playing Fields parkrun […]

  2. […] regained Norn Irn Regionnaire status completing Derrynoid Forest parkrun, Dunleath Playing Fields parkrun and parkrun tourism: Limepark […]

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