Avondale Forest 280418

Facilities

This is a rural parkrun, so it is not really accessible by public transport, though there is a bus that services the nearby village of Rathdrum. There is, however, a large car park at the location. There are also toilets next to the car park, but no changing facilities.

Course

This is a very hilly course, so I would not recommend coming here if you want to do a fast 5k. The hills are great training however, so if you want to build up your strength, give this course a go. The course is made up of two loops, which veer off in different directions from the start line. The first, smaller loop is to the right, and the second longer loop is to the left. The course surface is mostly gravel and chippings. It is a bit uneven in places, and after rainfall can be slippy, so watch your step. This run is located in a forest and you are almost always surrounded by trees as you make your way around the course, which provide shelter from the elements. The trees also provide some beautiful scents along the course depending on the conditions and the time of year. Despite the toughness of the course I found this run to be very enjoyable. The downhill sections can be quite fast, and there is the odd clearing in the woods which allows you to see how the course loops back on itself.

Coffee

There is a cafe in Avondale House located close to the start line, but this is only open during the summer months. It looks like it would be a lovely setting for a post run coffee. When it is not open there are a few options for a good breakfast and coffee in the nearby village of Rathdrum.

X Factor

I attended this event on the inaugural run, which was a first for me. There is a lot of hard work needed to set up a parkrun and it was great to see all this work come to fruition. This was also a special run for me personally as I got to meet for the first time some Irish parkrun royalty in the form of the other die-hard tourists in this country.

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