For the final Friday of our Ireland trip we stayed in Belfast, happily close to a parkrun. We had to check out by 11am, and the parkruns in NI don’t begin until 9:30am either (something I kept checking on their websites), so it meant it was a bit tight for time. As the crow flies Ormeau park was less than a mile from the hotel, but as it was on the other side of the river it meant more like 1.5 miles away. Thankfully it was a straightforward run and we had time the evening before to walk a bit of the way (so I could see the bridge)- I did not want to get lost again!
I saw a few people in milestone tops walking in the same direction, but it turned out they were tourists so it was lucky I didn’t rely on them! I was very relieved to see the park sign.
The park itself was gorgeous. You can look on a map and see a city centre location and have in your mind a patch of grass surrounded by big buildings, but this was a real gem. It was really varied with woods filled with tall trees, some wide open spaces, play parks, little coffee vans, outdoor exercise machines- it had so much.
The course was two laps that differed- one was 3k and one was 2k. At times you could look through the trees and see people running further ahead on the course- I always like this type of course as it really feels like a community running event when you can see so many others.
One gross thing to mention was a guy that kept spitting on the course- even before Covid this was disgusting but now it’s even worse! Just bring a tissue if you need to… Anyway, it meant I sped up quite a bit for part of the run to get ahead of him.
It was much busier than the previous two parkruns, with 302 runners. However it didn’t feel busy, even at the start.
After getting scanned, I started to head back to the hotel with time for a quick shower and breakfast before checking out and driving to Dublin airport (it’s less than a 2 hour drive).
So, parkrun event 83 for me- gradually creeping towards the next big milestone!
Are there parkruns that have surprised you with their courses?