Deerpark Forest 070919

Facilities

This parkrun is located on the outskirts of Virginia town. If getting to the town by public transport therefore, allow some time to get from the bus stop to the parkrun location. If travelling by car, a car park is available, but it is small and fills up quickly. Toilets are available if the rugby clubhouse next to the car park is open.

Course

The course is a woodland trail and is quiet and peaceful. The surface is made up of large chipping and bigger stones here and there so watch out for the good of your ankles. There are one or two muddy spots also. There are a few hills in the course, nothing too serious but definitely noticeable. As you run around you will get views of the golf course and the lake next to the woods which are very nice.

Coffee

After the run parkrunnners enjoy coffee and a chat at the rugby clubhouse next to the car park.

X Factor

I am always impressed when I see local voluntary organisations share their facilities. The work of the rugby club and parkrun together is a fantastic contribution to the local area.

Nairin Beach 240819

Facilities

Car is the most feasible option for getting to this parkrun, it being located on the west coast of Donegal, there are no public transport options. There is a good sized car park though. There are public toilets available but no changing facilities.

Course

The course is a two Km out and back followed by a 500 metre out and back along the same route. The surface as you might have guessed is all sand; depending on the tide this means that there will be areas of the beach where the sand is more compacted and areas where it is soft. Aim for the compacted sand, as soft sand is very hard to run on. The scenery along the route is fantastic, though very difficult to capture on camera unfortunately. I guess you’ll just have to go there to see it for yourself.

Coffee

Coffee is had in a small beach hut at the back of the car park. Sit back, relax, enjoy the views and the sea air.

X Factor

This is one of only a handful of beach parkruns in Ireland. There is something about running along a beach that brings you back to your youth that is special. This is a very enjoyable run.

Killarney House 170819

Facilities

Located in the centre of Killarney, this parkrun is very easy to get to and I would encourage locals to walk cycle or run to this event. For those coming from further afield, there is a large car park available in the town centre, but it is paid parking. There are buses and trains to Killarney but few get into Killarney before run time so would necessitate an overnight stay. There are toilets available at the car park, but no changing facilities.

Course

This is a fast, flat course so perfect for a PB attempt. If going for a PB there are some things to keep in mind. Firstly, this is a lapped run, so you may encounter slower runners as you go around. Secondly, there are a few corners on the course which have trees and shrubs growing at the apex of the corner. If you are running hard and keeping tight to the inside of the corner take care not to hit your head off a branch. The entire course is paved, and for those that are having a more leisurely run there are fantastic sights to be seen around the course, be it the manicured lawns and dense flower beds in the park or the MacGillycuddy Reeks in the distance.

Coffee

There is a deal on a coffee and a scone in a nearby hotel where parkrunnners can go and relax after their morning run.

X Factor

Ever since Queen Victoria holidayed in Killarney in 1861 it has been a hub for tourism. This is not surprising given the incredible natural beauty of the place and the warm welcome of the locals.

Holy Cross College 100819

Facilities

This parkrun is located on the grounds of a large school in a residential area away from the centre of Strabane town.  There is a lot of parking available and the location is not too far from the town by pass, so driving is probably the best option for getting to this run. There is a bus service to Strabane from Derry and from Belfast, but I’m not sure that these would get in on time. There are no changing facilities or toilets at the run.

Course

The course is made up of four laps around the grounds of the school. The route is signposted and the volunteers put out cones to mark the route, so it is relatively straightforward. The route is mostly paved except for the running track section which has a light gravel surface. There is a bit of climbing in this course, and considering that the lap must be coveted four times this adds up to a lot of climbing for the whole run. There are nice views towards the surrounding hills as you go around the lap, and the grounds are very well maintained.

Coffee

The volunteers put out water and coffee at the finish line which is very welcome after the run

X Factor

The school around which this run goes is very impressive, with all sorts of facilities, not least the old-school running track which I quite liked.

Sixmilewater 270719

Facilities

This parkrun is located in the middle of the small town of Ballyclare in County Antrim. It is not accessible by public transport leaving car, bike or on foot as the remaining options for getting to this parkrun. There didn’t seem to be an abundance of parking available at this parkrun, so I would recommend cycling to this event, or for those that live close to the town centre, walking. There are no toilet or changing facilities at this parkrun.

Course

The course is entirely paved and is very flat. There are a few twists and turns on the four loop course, but nothing that would slow you down significantly, so this may be a good spot for a PB attempt. However, as it is a four loop course, you will likely encounter traffic as you run around, which may hinder your progress. The course is made up of one big loop, followed by three smaller loops. Be sure to pay attention to which lap you are on as it can get confusing when there are a lot of people on different laps. The park itself is very nice, with open lawns, mature trees, and a picturesque little river running through it.

Coffee

The official location for post run coffee is the nearby leisure centre, but unfortunately it was closed when I visited.

X Factor

Once again I was impressed by the quality and volume of runners attending this event. Given the numbers and density of events in Northern Ireland it shows the enduring appeal and popularity of parkrun.

Clonbur Wood 250519

Facilities

This rural parkrun is not accessible by public transport so for those travelling by car, parking is important. There is some parking available at the entrance to the woods, but there is plenty more available on the streets of the village. The village of Cong is nearby, which is accessible by public transport and is connected to Clonbur via off road trails. There are no changing facilities or toilets available at this parkrun.

Course

This is a very peaceful run located in the middle of Connaught in the west of Ireland. The woods are quite secluded and quiet, so much so that you can get a great sense of serenity as you run around. The course is mostly flat, but there are a few short climbs which can be very challenging when running at a high tempo induced by the flatness. The surface is mostly gravel, with some large loose chipping, so watch your step. The trees offer good shelter from the wind and the rain.

Coffee

Parkrunnners go for coffee in a local cafe, where there is a great deal available on coffee and scones.

X Factor

The nearby village of Cong offers some terrific history and fantastic sights. Cong was the seat of the last high king of Ireland, Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair, is the location of the beautiful Ashford Castle and grounds, and was the main filming location for the movie The Quiet Man, and is well worth a visit.

Tøyen 180519

Facilities

This parkrun located in central Oslo is easy to get to by public transport, with a metro station and bus stations close by. Driving is an option but I didn’t see a lot of parking spaces around the park. There are no changing or toilet facilities at the park.

Course

This hilly course is made up of three laps around the park, with a short spur at the beginning and end of the loop. The path is mostly paved, except for one end of the loop which is grass and earthen. It is at this point of the loop where the steepest incline is, so during wet weather I imagine that this part of the run would be quite challenging and a lot of fun. The park itself is very nice, with a good mixture of lawns, mature trees and gardens.

Coffee

Parkrunners enjoy coffee in the cafe located in the picturesque botanical gardens across the street from the parkrun.

X Factor

It is always a thrill for me to go visit parkruns in different countries around the world and this parkrun is testament to the enduring appeal of parkrun around the world.

Knockanacree Woods 200419

Facilities

This parkrun is located in a rural setting and is not accessible by public transport. Car parking spaces are limited at the woods, so the organisers encourage parkrunnners to park in the nearby village of Cloughjordan and to use the 1km walk to the woods as a warm up. There are no toilet or changing facilities at this parkrun.

Course

Some running coaches would say that hill work is just as good as speed work. Well there is no shortage of hills at this parkrun, so this is a great place to do some training. The course is made up of two laps around the woods. The surface is an earthen and gravel mix, and every so often there are tree roots and stumps on the path, so watch your step. Watch your head as well, as there are some over hanging branches along the route. The setting for this parkrun is really nice, being a quiet, peaceful, mature woodland, and with all of the twists and turns, and ups and downs of the paths through the trees this is a very enjoyable place for a run.

Coffee

Coffee is had in a busy cafe in the village centre where a hearty breakfast is available

X Factor

This parkrun is located very close to the Cloughjordan Eco Village, which is a community that focuses on sustainability and ultimately threading more lightly on the planet. It is a very interesting project and there are tours available for anyone that is interested. Cloughjordan is also the birthplace of Irish revolutionary leader Thomas MacDonagh.

Royal Canal, Kilcock 130419

Facilities

This parkrun is well connected by public transport with the ability to get here by bus or by train. If travelling by car, there is only on-street parking available. There are no changing or toilet facilities available at this parkrun

Course

The course is a very straight forward out and back route along the bank of the canal. Being alongside a canal the route is very flat and so this would make a good place for a PB attempt. The course is mostly made up of loose, fine gravel with a short paved section. From the raised bank of the canal you can survey the countryside as you go along the route which provides an interesting vista.

Coffee

Post run coffee is had in a local cafe, not too far from the start line. This is a nice place to sit down and watch the world go by in this busy little village.

X Factor

The ever increasing network of parkruns is testament to the popularity of the organisation. This parkrun has helped to promote use of the canal bank walk and it is a great use of local amenities.

 

 

Mallow Town 020319

Facilities

Public transport is a good way to get to this parkrun as the bus stop is right next to the park. Driving is an option but many of the car parks are pay and display and some are for customers of the local shops only. There are no toilet or changing facilities at this run.

Course

This is a mostly flat run, about 50:50 paved and grass. There is one pinch ate a hill at the far end of the run, but it is not too long. Altogether then this would be a good run to attempt a PB, but only during dry weather, as the grass will tend to get muddy during wet weather. The course is relatively straight forward, with two laps of aloop around the main part of the park and an out and back spur along the river bank in between the two laps. The park is fairly open with a few playing fields, and there are some impressive bridges on  display as you run along the river bank.

Coffee

Coffee is had in a hotel on the main street, where breakfast cam be purchased.

X Factor

Mallow has an interesting history as having a strong agricultural and industrial base and is known as the ‘Crossroads of Munster’. If you have some time while visiting Mallow check out the herd of white deer at the Castle.