The Running Commentary #274 – 13th January 2018

The Starting Line

That was some drizzly morning  that greeted our 153 runners, joggers and walkers this morning. It was so wintry that even Sam put on long sleeves and leggings!

The Volunteers

Thanks to all the volunteers who braved the weather to marshal us and time or chip us in. If you'd like to help out in the coming weeks please get in touch.

Run Director Brendan LENNON
Timekeeper Ronald GEMMELL
Marshal Angela GEMMELL
Finish Tokens Eimear NICHOLL
Finish Tokens Marina MCGURRAN
Finish Tokens Robert MCSHANE
Barcode Scanning Caroline MCGURRAN
Barcode Scanning Wendy MCSHANE
Tail Walker Leona COULTER
Tail Walker Nigel MCGONIGLE
Tail Walker Maureen GRAHAM
Run Report Writer Jonathan DEWART
Results Processor Sheelin MCKEAGNEY
Pre-event Setup Dale MCCRORY
Pre-event Setup Philip DAVISON

First Timers

23 first time visitors to the lakes, including 13 who are completely new to the parkrun family.

Joe CREAN 21:26
David LOUGHRAN 22:30
Alan BLACK 24:08
Michael MCCUSKEY 24:40
Ryan VENNARD 26:08
Daryl MCCORMICK 26:28
Timothy HAWTHORNE 27:06
Steven HARE 27:33
Christopher HAIRE 28:16
Hilary PATTERSON 28:26
Karen RUSSELL 28:27
Samantha HAWTHORNE 28:36
Antoinette MCCUSKEY 28:38
Christopher CONNOLLY 28:57
Paula HAIRE 29:10
Ryan MCDOWELL 29:16
David GRACEY 29:30
Simon MCNALLY 31:33
Jessie MCNALLY 31:33
Jonny PARDOE 33:12
Daphne HAMOND 39:37
Norma-Jane TREACY 56:19

Personal Bests

Six PB performances, which is an outstanding achievement in this morning's wind!

Terence MCCANN 25:24
Johnny HAIRE 29:41
Gareth HAMILTON 29:43
Susan HUNNIFORD 30:30
Ivan MCCORMICK 31:47
Maureen GRAHAM 46:53

The Podiums


1 Mark CORNETT 18:40
2 Unknown 0:00
3 Evan EVANS 18:54
4 Ruairí DONNELLY 18:54

Mark finishes first for a 15th time, but who was second?


1 Judith NIXON 21:39
2 Naomi UPRICHARD 23:43
3 Linda FARQUHAR 23:57

Judith comes home as first lady for the second week in a row and a fifth time overall.

Age Graded

1 Ken SIMPSON 19:52 VM55-59 78.02%
2 Judith NIXON 21:39 VW45-49 73.36%
3 Ian MONTGOMERY 21:12 VM55-59 73.11%

Ken in a familiar position on top of the age-graded standings.

Finishing Line

Congratulations to Dwyer O'Connor on reaching the landmark of 100 parkruns, though to be fair he nearly missed it by sleeping in!


I'll have to cut the report short here as a familiar parkrun face is celebrating his 40th birthday tonight (not me!).

Happy running

Jonny D


The Running Commentary #273 – 1st January 2018

Happy New Year everyone. No better way to start the year than with a 5k with your parkrun friends. I'm sure there were a few sore heads this morning for our 178 runners and walkers but the cold air soon sorted that right out. Well done everyone for getting out of bed to join us and a special thank you to all our fantastic volunteers for coming out this morning to help out. Parkrun is an all inclusive, free event which only works because of volunteers of which we had lots this morning a big thank you to:


Run Director Brendan LENNON
Timekeeper Ronald GEMMELL
Marshal Karl DUNN
Marshal Angela GEMMELL
Marshal Ursula MCCONVILLE
Marshal Andrew CARRICK
Timekeeper Sebastien BRADY
Finish Tokens Sofia LE FOULER
Finish Tokens Patrick GALLAGHER
Barcode Scanning Caroline MCGURRAN
Barcode Scanning Fionnuala LENNON
Tail Walker Billy DRAKE
Tail Walker Julie JORDAN
Tail Walker Amy JORDAN
Tail Walker Steve JORDAN
Run Report Writer Gillian MCCRORY
Photographer Benjamin James SCOTT
Photographer David RICHMOND
Pre-event Setup Philip DAVISON
Pre-event Setup Dale MCCRORY
Post-event Close Down Marina MCGURRAN

Please add a New Year's resolution to your list of helping out at the parkrun at least 3 times in 2018. Here's some of our very cheerful volunteers this morning:



We had 22 first timers this week, 10 of which were doing their first ever parkrun, what a brilliant way to start the year, welcome to:

Daniel MCGILLY 20:15
Konrad MCNEICE 21:56
Michael KELLY 21:58
Martin T O'NEILL 22:10
Rodger TONER 22:11
Gerard JONES 22:37
Aoife KILPATRICK 24:53
Diane ROGAN 26:07
John JONES 26:22
William LAVERY 27:10 Well done William for finally joining us, Paddy has been chatting about you for ages. Hope you loved it, see you again on Sat :)
Stephanie IRWIN 28:16
Kat MERVYN 29:01
Allison IRWIN 29:32
Diane MORRISON 30:16
Heather PATTERSON 30:28
Aidene MULLAN 30:49
Johnny HAIRE 32:24
Ben BLACK 35:41
Claire BLACK 39:23
Rosie TURKINGTON 49:00
Avril SIMCOX 01:00:11


And we had 6 perfect starts to the new year with a PB, treats tonight for this lot:

Ronan HUGHES 24:32
Carol BREEN 25:38
Jack CULLEN 30:24
Tina CLARKE 32:31
Myrtle CLARKE 34:56
Elliot DRAKE 46:50


Our top 3 males, females and age-grades this week were:

1 Paul O'CALLAGHAN 18:35
2 Simon LE BLEVEC 19:07
3 Colin MCDOWELL 19:22

Paul's 7th time finishing top.


1 Judith NIXON 21:47
2 Eimear NICHOLL 22:29
3 Julie BEATTIE 24:05

Judith starting the new year in great form with her 4th first place.


1 Colin MCDOWELL 19:22 VM45-49 74.96%
2 Wilson MCALISTER 21:07 VM55-59 74.03%
3 Margaret MCCLEAN 29:09 VW65-69 73.93%



Finally some pics of our lovely runners to end the report. If anyone says why do you run, just show them this lot, friendships built through running and happy families running together. Why not add another resolution to your list, try to introduce someone new to parkrun during 2018:






Happy new year folks, see you all again on Saturday :)




The Running Commentary #272 – 30th December 2017

The Starting Line

There was a bit of a panic among the core team this morning, "SNOW" went out the shout, "don't panic, it's fine" came the response. Still, we had 137 people running, jogging and walking the round the lakes. Numbers were down a bit, no doubt influenced by the weather, ongoing seasonal festivities and the multitude of other running events happening today.

The Volunteers

We were a bit thin on the ground for volunteers this morning and therefore were unable to place the usual marshals on the course. This is far from an ideal situation and one we try our best to avoid. If you haven't done so lately, please look to volunteer in the weeks ahead, it is the only way for our parkrun to happen!

Thanks to the volunteers who did brave the chill this morning:

Leona COULTER, Philip DAVISON, Jonathan DEWART, Ronald GEMMELL, Brendan LENNON, Stephanie MARTIN, Dale MCCRORY, Marina MCGURRAN, Caroline MCGURRAN, Eimear NICHOLL, Joanne O'KANE, Joy TOTTEN

First Timers

11 first time visitors to City Park, three of who are completely new to the parkrun family.

  Paul KILLEN 32:08                
  Simon REEVE 20:31                
  Jennifer DICKSON 34:19                
  Phil BICKLEY 34:10                
  Emma KENNY 27:30                
  Michael BURKE 20:02                
  Claire KILLEN 25:12                
  Sebastien BRADY 24:53                
  Rachael DINSMORE 24:49                
  Tim HAWKSWORTH 23:41                
  Roy CAMERON 19:12              

Personal Bests

5 PBs off the back of Christmas, fair play to this lot!

  David TELFORD 28:15                
  David MILLAR 28:12                
  Elliot DRAKE 48:10                
  Bernadette MARSDEN 35:32                
  Christopher CAMPBELL 22:44              

The Podiums


  1. Roy Cameron 19:12 (first timer guided by the shouting Ken)
  2. Emmanuel Fouler 19:47
  3. Ken Simpson 19:51


  1. Kate Mulholland 20:32 (after over a year Kate returns to claim a 38th top spot)
  2. Zoe Alhadeff 24:13
  3. Caroline Drake 24:17

Age Graded

  1. Ken Simpson 78.09% VM55-59 19:51
  2. Kate Mulholland 72.89% SW18-19 20:32
  3. Margaret McClean 71.71% VW65-69 30:03

Finishing Line

Well done to everyone off running elswhere today and over the past week. Today's big events were Castlewellan Christmas Cracker and the Carrick EAMS Marathon, where our very own Gillian finished as first lady, on the back of a second place at the Burren Townlands 12 mile on Boxing Day.

Finally, a reminder that we aim to start at 9:30 am each week. It is unfair, particularly on cold mornings such as today, to keep all the runners waiting.

Having said that, I'll see you all on New Years morning at 10 am for a bonus parkrun!

Jonny D

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Citypark parkrun, 


The Running Commentary #271 – 25th December 2017

# I'm dreaming of a wet Christmas... #

I hope your Christmas day has been pleasant, relaxing and filled with food and presents. I'm settling down to the best bits of the day, the first turkey sandwich and a wee Bailey's.

The day started a long time ago with hyper children and presents followed by 68 intrepid runners and walkers lapping the lake for the seasonal gift that was our extra parkrun opportunity.

The Volunteers

Particular thanks to this morning's volunteers who cheerily stood about in the drizzle while the rest of us ran.


Run Director Brendan LENNON
Timekeeper Ronald GEMMELL
Timekeeper Michael MORROW
Finish Tokens Patrick MC EVOY
Finish Tokens Eimear NICHOLL
Barcode Scanning Sheelin MCKEAGNEY

(Caroline's excellent stand-in)

Tail Walker Angela GEMMELL
Run Report Writer Jonathan DEWART
Pre-event Setup Dale MCCRORY
Pre-event Setup Philip DAVISON
Post-event Close Down Ken SIMPSON

First Timers

Six first time visitors to the Farm this morning, three of whom are completely new to the parkrun family.

Eimear PHAIR 28:09
Ryan MACKLE 39:46
Sebastien SICOT 32:20
Clare IRWIN 34:16
Glenn PHAIR 28:10
Brian IRWIN 38:31

Personal Bests

Five PBs this morning, treats are mandatory!

Philip KEE 29:37
Tiarnan CAWLEY 24:01
Colin BRUCE 24:37
Jane STEWART 25:58
Elaine KENNEDY 27:42

The Podiums


  1. Eirin McDaid - 17:37
  2. David O'Neill - 19:26
  3. Sean McDaid - 19:36


  1. Colleen McConville - 21:44
  2. Judith Nixon - 21:52
  3. Fiona Toman - 22:37

Age Graded

  1. Ken Simpson - 20:36 75.24%
  2. Eirin McDaid - 17:37 73.42%
  3. Ian Montgomery - 21:08 73.34%



Finishing Line

Good luck to anyone off running in Castlewellan, Greencastle, Burren or elsewhere in the days ahead. No better way to burn off the turkey than a bit of competitive running.

A reminder that as well as next Saturday we'll be running on New Years Day too, so I hope you'll get out of your beds for that!

Happy Christmas



The Running Commentary #270 – 23rd December 2017

It was great to be back out at Citypark today after the icy conditions of the past two weeks caused us to have to cancel for the safety of all of our parkrunners. Today's weather was a lot better - amazingly mild for December and the sun was shining on the Lakes for at least part of the time, which made it even more enjoyable to be there on a Saturday morning. A total of 239 joined us to walk, jog, run or be pushed around the Lakes this morning, so well done to all! It was good to see so many dressed in Christmas gear to get us all into festive mood.

Starting line

Today the majority of volunteers were Runchatters, a group of women who all met through parkrun and  now get together at least once a week to run, chat and more often than not treat themselves at a nearby coffee shop.

Debbie Run Director


Today's volunteers were as follows -

Run Director: Debbie Cairns
Timekeeper: Jan Brown
Timekeeper: Julie Beattie
Finish Tokens: Cáit Lennon
Finish Tokens: Adele Richmond
Barcode Scanner: Joan Fitzpatrick
Barcode Scanner: Caroline McGurran
Barcode Scanner: Lesley Livingstone
Marshal: Patricia Doherty
Marshal: Angie Gemmell
Marshal: Margaret McClean
Tail Walker: Julie Doran
Tail Walker: Roisin Peden
Results Processor: Brendan Lennon
Pre-event Setup: Dale McCrory
Pre-event Setup: Philip Davison
Pre-event Setup: Eamon McGurran
Other: Gillian McCrory
Other: Marina McGurran
Other: Zoe McCrory
Other: Kelly Wylie
Report Writer: Cáit Lennon

Thanks to all of the above for their time today.


We had 17 First Timers at Citypark this week, seven of whom were doing their first ever parkrun, so a big welcome to -

Aisling Moran
Mark Doyle
Alison Stewart
Judith Foster
Gillian Hyliger
Elaine Kennedy
Grainne Moran
Adrian Lennon
Killian Lennon
Karen Walsh
Jordan Johnston
Donal Moran - welcome all the way from Ballyvarley!
Daniel McKavanagh
Daire Forker
Neil Robinson
James Allison
Jane Stewart


Congratulations to all those who got PBs this morning -

Shauna Mackin
Tony Donnelly
Joy Totten
Christopher Campbell
Toby Moore
Wayne Haffey
Jordan Leckey
Sharon Ewart
Matthew Alhadeff
Myrtle Clarke
Dominic Kearns
Andrew Harrison
Wilson McAlister
Simon Le Blevec
Evan Evans
John Cawley
Siobhan Madden
Maureen Graham
Sonia Thompson
Jude Millar
Michele Mowlds
Aine McNeill
Tim Courtney
Stephen Lunn
Colin Masson
Gary Christie
Eimear Nicholl
Ian Kelly


Our top three female and male finishers, and highest age-grades this week were -

Females -

1. Eimear Nicholl - and a PB as well, great work Eimear!
2. Roslyn Dobson
3. Orla French

Males -

1. Unknown (although we know it was Mark Cornett, well done!)
2. Simon Le Blevec
3. Evan Evans

Age Grades -

1. Ken Simpson - 79.01% - amazing Ken!
2. Aine McNeill - 78.52%
3. Eimear Nicholl - 78.33%

Fabulous running one and all, those are times and percentages that I can only dream of.


Gillian organised a lovely Christmas party for us all, and even had her little elves handing out sweets on the finish line - thank you as ever Gillian, and keep that legendary banana bread coming!

Mrs Santa and Elves

We also had some landmark celebrations this week, with Linda Farquhar completing a brilliant 150 parkruns, Patrick McEvoy completing 100 runs (and bringing a lovely parkrun cake - thank you Patrick), Oliver McHugh completing 50 runs and young Lewis Stevenson this tenth run this morning. Well deserved congratulations one and all.


Now for some good news for those of you who want to work up an appetite for your turkey - we will be having a parkrun here on Christmas Day at 9.30am. We will also be here on New Year's Day at the slightly later time of 10am. Volunteers at both events would be welcome - just get in touch by either Facebook or email. I'd also like to mention a quiz which is being organised by Paul Moore, one of our regular parkrunners. Paul is running the New York marathon in 2018 in aid of the Southern Area Hospice and the quiz is the first of many fundraising events. It is being held in the Goodyear Sports and Social Club on Friday 29th December at 8pm, I'm sure there will be lots of parkrunners there if you want to come along and join a team.

Volunteering this morning was a pleasure, I would encourage everyone to volunteer at least three times a year. It's especially good for someone like me to actually meet those hundred plus people who finish in front of me every week! It also lets you see just how much is involved in running (pardon the pun) a parkrun every week. Much gratitude is due to all of our regular volunteers whose work is very much valued by all.

Little Elf

See you all either on Christmas Day or next Saturday, and don't forget the Runchatters' motto - "Run, Chat, Treat, Repeat!"

Happy Christmas,


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