Posts Tagged ‘running’

Oldbridge parkrun

Sunday, July 14th, 2024 | Sport

Oldbridge parkrun takes place at Oldbridge House. It’s a country estate which now forms the Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre.

The course is all off-road. Most of it is grass with some on dirt. It’s a lovely course in several ways: off-road, pretty flat, around some beautiful fields and a single lap (although some of it does form an out back bit). The main limitation would be if you like road or if you want a PB: the narrow tracks through the long grass mean there is not much overtaking room.

I’ve been ill with one of those colds that you it is difficult to believe is “just a cold” because it wiped me out. This was my first attempt at a run back and I was around 35 minutes, and even that felt like a slog. But I got around and ticked off my second O, leaving me with only one letter left for the name badge challenge.

Queen’s parkrun

Friday, July 5th, 2024 | Sport

Got my Q!

Queen’s parkrun takes place at Queen’s University’s sports fields and consists of a couple of laps around the campus. Nice, enough, not too hilly. Friendly place. I got chatting to one of the staff at Queen’s and it turns out he does computing. There were also tonnes of tourists, including a woman from Finland so I tried out some of my Finnish, which mostly went well.

Kilkenny parkrun

Saturday, June 29th, 2024 | Sport

This is a lovely parkrun in the grounds of Kilkenny Castle. But hill, but nothing too steep, and I was familiar with most of the route having done Kilkenny Triathlon last year. There is an outdoor cafe in the grounds, too, but they could use a public toilet.

I needed a letter K for both the alphabet challenge and spell your name challenge, so this ticked a lot of boxes.

I managed to make it into the background of one of the photos by accident:

Thoroughbred 10k

Wednesday, June 26th, 2024 | Sport

Thoroughbred is a series of runs with a 5k, 10k, half and full marathon option. It takes in some nice country roads before coming back through the National Stud. Very scenic.

Parking was a nightmare. There was no event car park and all of the suggested car parks were full. After 30 minutes, we decided the find a quiet street to park on. Should have done that from the start. I feel bad for getting in the way of the locals but nobody else seemed to bother.

I haven’t done much fast running recently so I decided to go out at an easy pace and see how it went. I did my first kilometre in around 5:30 and that seemed fine so I gently sped up and soon found myself running sub-5:00 which I was delighted with. In the end, I finished:


I was thrilled with that as I don’t know when I have done a last 10k but it felt like it could equally have been a 65-minute run/walk job.

Lovely to hang out and chat with the club, too. We had 24 people running across the distances but someone I managed to mis all of the group photos 😭.

Carlow Town parkrun

Sunday, June 23rd, 2024 | Sport

Beautiful parkrun along the river. I came down for event 249 so maybe I should have waited a week, but happy to be here anyway. My 5th C for the Pirates! challenge: only two more to go!

Vicarstown parkrun

Tuesday, June 11th, 2024 | Sport

Last weekend I headed down to Vicarstown for some more parkrun tourism.

It is a somewhat rural location. The official guidance on getting there by public transport is “there is no public transport”. Once I left the motorway, the road wasn’t quite single track, but it wasn’t wide enough to have a centre line, either. Luckily, it was easy to find and there was plenty of parking.

Getting there by public transport. There is no public transport.

The course is an out-and-back on the canal towpath. There is one bridge but it is otherwise completely flat with no locks. Vicarstown claim to be the best parkrun in the country and their selection of drinks and cake available at the finish line makes a case for that.

There were a couple of milestones for me. I ticked off my V for the alphabet challenge. I completed every parkrun in County Laois (one of one). And I completed my 50th different parkrun event.

Russborough parkrun

Sunday, June 2nd, 2024 | Sport

Russborough House is a stately home turned public park and home to a parkrun. Beautiful hills, a lovely house and a nice cafe with cakes inside. The route is two laps on mixed trail with some nice shade when it is sunny. Not too hilly and free parking for parkunners, too.

Around The Park, Around The Clock 2024

Friday, May 31st, 2024 | Sport

Four years ago, Toby came up with the idea of running three laps of Woodhouse Moor (approximately 5k), every hour, for twelve hours. Some said he was crazy. Others said it was too easye because in a real backyard ultra, you would have to run 6.7k. Neither group were listened to.

2024 arrives and we’re doing it for the fourth time. Last year was glorious sunshine. This year was back to the rain-soaked day of 2021, and possibly the wettest it has ever been.

It’s a lovely format because you can change your pace and running partner on different laps which is great for catching up and having a chat. Thanks so much to Cat, Naomi, Robyn, Louise, Susie, Steve, Kevin, Kay and everyone else who provided some good banter on the way around. I’m sure Toby and Rich would have some good banter too but they’re in a different league. And a big thank you to Andy for looking after our stuff, providing insightful political commentary and buying ice lollies from Tesco.

I haven’t done any long runs since February, except for making it half way through Westport marathon, so I wasn’t sure how my ankle would hold up. The answer is that it held up fine: but I did get a pain in my hip after 10k. It was the same pain that forced me to retire at Endure24 2020 so I was concerned. I foam rolled between every lap and that got me through, but it was pretty sore for the rest of the week.

Early on, I felt quite a bit of panic, despite lapping a park I knew really well and being surrounded by friends. That was frustrating and scary. But I pushed on and made it through and I am glad I did because once I got onto the Red Bull for the final two hours, I felt great. By 8pm I was exhausted and keen to get home to check on Venla who was poorly at the time, so ended up skipping the pub.

It was absolutely lovely running with you all and I will see you soon! Thanks to Toby, Laura, Robyn and Andy for the photos.

Ardgillan parkrun

Wednesday, May 15th, 2024 | Sport

Beautiful parkrun. Located at Ardgillan Castle, the stately home overlooks large grounds that trail down to the sea. Meaning you get beautiful architecture, country grounds and a sea view all in one. It’s hilly, though. Not quite as bad as Temple Newsam but then very few courses are.

I got a lovely welcome from the parkrun team and there was a nice cafe for refreshments after the run. Recommended!

This was the final parkrun I needed to complete my set of County Dublin so pretty chuffed to have achieved that.

Sandyford 5k

Tuesday, May 14th, 2024 | Sport

Sandyford 5k is an evening race that loops around the Sandyford business district. I wasn’t pushing too hard given my ankle is still a problem so was happy to get home in 25:30. Cabinteely enters a bunch of teams, though, and they picked up prizes in both the mixed and ladies teams!