This parkrun is located in the rural west of Ireland, meaning public transport is not really an option for getting here. One alternative for the more energetic, however, is to travel to Westport, well connected by trains and buses, on a Friday and then cycle to Achill on Saturday morning. It’s a long cycle but the cycling infrastructure is pretty good with a dedicated ‘Greenway’ route. Street parking is available close to the start line for those choosing to drive. There are no public toilets but the local GAA clubhouse may be open for parkrunners.
This is an out and back course on the Greenway. Given the Greenway’s history as a rail line I was expecting a pancake flat course, but interestingly there is a slight hump in the middle of the course. The incline is very gradual but is definitely there. The surface is mostly paved or light gravel and makes for easy running. I was here on a dry and calm day which made for pleasant conditions. I’d recommend checking the forecast before attending; I imagine it would be a much different experience on a wild day. The scenery on the route is beautiful and is a great distraction.
There are a few coffee options in the local village, with a cafe and some shops.
When thinking about what makes this parkrun special it is hard not to think immediately of the location and scenery. The history of the Greenway is of interest, and if one walks from the start of the parkrun towards the village the remains of the old railway terminus and rail yard can be seen. It’s enjoyable to imagine an old steam engine roll into place at the platform when soaking in the views of the bay and mountains.