IMPORTANT News about Ecos parkrun 26 January 2013

The Braid has broken its banks spectacularly so we will not be able to run either the normal or the high water parkrun route tomorrow morning – however read on for an alternative…

Ballymena Runners will provide a 5 km timed run assuming it is not icy underfoot. The two lap route will start at the Visitor Centre, go over the Millenium footbridge, through the showgrounds and back along the road through the park.

For insurance reasons this is not a parkrun therefore the run will not be recorded by parkrun and you will not get an official parkrun result. The club will however have a timer at the finish so that you can find out how long you took. Refreshments will be available afterwards in the Centre.

In the unlikely event that it will be too icy for a safe run there will be a post on Facebook by 8.30 in the morning.



We have decided to cancel Ecos parkrun tomorrow Saturday 19 on grounds of safety. The forecast is for a combination of snow with freezing temperatures overnight. This means that the course is likely to be slippy and the long untreated road into the park will present a hazard to drivers. Sorry to disappoint but we'd rather do that than have someone get injured on their way to or at parkrun. Please spread the word and follow our Facebook or website for news of next week's parkrun.



Well done to our Sweatshop Monthly Prize Winner for August who is Peter Hamilton.  When he was younger Peter ran as part of his conditioning for his main sport of rowing but he admits that fell by the wayside while his family were growing up.  Now that they are in their teens he has enjoyed getting back to running. 

Peter now regularly travels to Ecos from his home in Doagh, often with one or two sons.  They are not so much in tow as leading him around the course and one week the three of them featured in the first ten finishers.

It is just as hard to achieve PBs when you are already running under 22 minutes but Peter’s progress has been steady with three PBs at Ecos in August.  He even headed to Victoria parkrun the week Ecos parkrun was cancelled where he matched his Ecos PB.  Peter tells me that he looks forward to Ecos each week but resists looking at his watch at the end of the run and instead looks out keenly for the results to see how he has done. 

We'd like to thank Sweatshop for their generosity and to congratulate Peter on his achievement.  Hopefully your new shoes will help you dip under 20 minutes.

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Ecos parkrun Event Number 25

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.


Ecos parkrun Event Number 24

Numbers were a bit lower than usual at 78 as many Ecos parkrunners were trying out different challenges today from the Bangor 10k to trail races of varying lengths up at the Giant’s Causeway.  Hope you had fun.  Welcome to our six first timers at Ecos - Jarlath, Ryan, Andrew, Catherine, Anna and Perla.
The wetter conditions underfoot slowed the front of the field a little with few PBs in the top twenty however that did not stop 23 runners in total from achieving PBs. 

Niall Brown was first overall in 17:42, Ciaran Ferris was second in 18:03 and Diarmuid O’Kane was third in 18:42.  Geraldine Quigley of Larne AC, was first over the line (13th overall) in 20:42 for her 4th win.  Cathy Hood was second (31st overall) in 25:22 and Louise Rice was third with a PB of 25:48. Today's full results can be found on the Ecos parkrun Results Page.

This week marked six months since we brought the first parkrun out of Belfast and to Ballymena.  Susanna was able to announce that, thanks to the great enthusiasm and support everyone has shown for Ecos parkrun, the council has arranged for the event to be based at the Ecos Visitor Centre starting from next Saturday. 

This will give us much brighter and warmer surroundings for gathering before the event, storing equipment and managing results.  The café area will be far more comfortable for relaxing and enjoying company after the run and it will make the event more family friendly with access to a playground. 

The route will be changed to allow us to start and finish near the Visitor Centre.  We will try out the new route or variations of it in October and look forward to your feedback.  Once we are satisfied that we have a safe, practical and enjoyable route we will get it officially measured and permanent signs put in. 

BIG THANKYOU Ballymena Borough Council !!!!

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