Saturday, 9 November 2013

Portrush Parkrun Revisited

I paddled along to Portrush this am to participate in the Parkrun along the resort's East Strand. Bad decision! It is about a year since I ran in this event and it was silly of me to think that the experience would be any better. It wasn't. It was much, much worse.


I suppose that I can sort of understand why a Parkrun was established at this location. The scenery is pleasant enough, even in winter and if I had been sitting in a hostelry eighteen months ago with the mellowing affects of several snifters circulating through the bloodstream I might well have nominated this locus for a Parkrun. However on the following day I would have realised the stupidity of the notion. For a one off event fine, but this is not a suitable venue for a regular Saturday run.

You are always going to have a stretch of soft sand to wade through at the start and then again at the end, but of much more relevance are the vagaries presented by the tides. Today the high tide was scheduled for 11-20 am and there was little or no firm running. In an attempt to keep to the best of the running you just had to ignore the advancing tide and splash through it. Several horses had clearly been exercised along the beach in the early morning and the craters left by their hooves posed a definite danger most especially when the tide covered them. Picking ones way along the beach hoping that you are not going to snap an ankle can surely not have any attractions for anyone. It doesn't for me.

I don't doubt the enthusiasm of the organisers and volunteers at this event, but I do question the retention of the particular locus. Certainly keep a Parkrun in Portrush, but move it off the sand.



  1. Remember it's all for free and organised by unpaid volunteers. If I lived closer, I'd be there every week! The scenery is brilliant and the course is certainly no worse than an average XC race. Andy and his team are a great bunch of guys; all credit to them for getting up early and putting the event on each Saturday. Portrush is starting to attract a few parkrun tourists and I'm sure this will grow in time.
    Was last there with a group from Belfast Victoria and we all had a great time. Can't wait to get back up there.

    1. Just because something is free that does not mean that it deserves automatic plaudits. Yes the scenery is pleasant and yes the volunteers do deserve to be applauded. So far as park runs are concerned this is a novelty event. A bit of a non sequitur and of course
      it is not run just on a beach as the description of the course states. If one is a bit of a mud lark and enjoy the slip, slide and splash of cross country then perhaps this non Parkrun hits the proverbial spot.