Saturday, 15 September 2012

Portrush Parkrun - The Verdict

Portrush East Strand - 15th September 2012
As threatened I did indeed go along to the Portrush Parkrun this morning. Despite my qualms of yesterday the wind was not an issue.

I was surprised at the amount of activity there was at East Strand at ten to nine on a Saturday morning in September. Apart from the expected dog walkers, and some surfers, there was a large group of men playing what was clearly more than an impromptu kickabout. In addition a volleyball net was being erected and six horses were being galloped along the beach. - more of the horses later.

At the inaugural Parkrun the Portrush organisers had managed to get ninety eight people to the line. A high percentage of these were from Springwell AC which is unsurprising, most particularly since their website states that it is they who are, "bringing Parkrun to Portrush." The initial enthusiasm seems to have been particularly short lived however. Numbers today totalled only forty three. Maybe this is only a one week blip. I would hope so for the sake of the volunteer organisers.

The start point for the run was on the prom just outside Troggs Surf School. At half past nine the whistle sounded and the intrepid forty three headed along the prom for approximately two hundred yards before running on to the beach. A stretch of very soft sand followed before you got to the relatively hard sand next the water's edge. There you had to manoeuvre your way through the mini craters created by the hooves of the aforesaid horses. Thankfully there was no equine detritus to contend with and the horses had not continued along the entire strand. The tide had turned perhaps an hour before the run and none of the running could be described as firm. To continue the analogy, perhaps mainly soft to firm and very soft in places would be the best description. The sand certainly dragged at your legs. The turning point was at the White Rocks. With the numbers so low and the standard of the participants so varied the timekeeper had no difficulties at the finish line.

Prom at Portrush East Strand 15th September 2012
Will I be back? Only on a very infrequent basis if at all. Did I enjoy the course? I can't say that I did. It may be a picturesque setting for a training run but it is not a course where you are going to come anywhere close to a pb. As a general rule club runners are, I believe, going to avoid this and most other Parkruns.

Seaward to the Skerries 15th September 2012

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