Ballymena Borough Council staff Claire, Lesley and Cecilia gave a very warm welcome today to our 95 parkrunners who in turn welcomed the warm and bright new parkrun HQ in Ecos Visitor Centre.
An extra big team of volunteers set out a new course, welcomed runners and encouraged them along the way which was appreciated by everyone. Thank you to Ann Parkhill, Elizabeth Brown, Jim Moore, Kieran Sullivan, Lilian Quigley, Marie Allen, Matthew Allen, Pawel Lapinski, Robin Alexander, Stephen Brown, Susanna Allen, Kieran Sullivan and Chris McQuillan.
The new perspective on Ecos was popular with runners who discovered new trails through the park and ran some well know paths the opposite direction. A couple of opportunities to improve the route have been identified so a variation will be tried next week which we hope will be close to the final route.
The course has not been officially measured yet and some runners felt it was slightly shorter than the old route which may account for as many as 41 PBs today. Ciaran Ferris was first over the line in 17:46, Diarmuid O’Kane was second in 17:56 and Connor Ashley McQuillan of North Belfast Harriers, was third in 18:05.
For the women it was a mother, daughter one, two. Geraldine Quigley of Larne AC, was first (12th overall) over the line in 20:17 for her fourth win in a row while Catriona Quigley of Fitness First, was second (23rd overall) in 22:33 and Ruth Wilson of Larne AC, was third (24th overall) over the line in 22:34.
Last but not least our own warm welcome to all our newcomers this week: Roisin O’Boyle, James O’Boyle, Lucy Donnelly, Andrea Featherstone, Mary Claire Mackle, Noel Mcallister, Paschal O'Sullivan, Alan Currie, Jill McCrickard, James McGoldrick, Ryan Armstrong, Gavin Wylie, Ruth Wilson, Adrian Devlin.