13th January Run Report


I don’t know about you, but waking up this morning to the sound of the howling wind and staccato rattle of the rain against the bedroom window didn’t immediately fill my heart with joy. But then, as I slowly came round, the realisation that it was Saturday morning - parkrun morning – certainly helped lift my spirits…….…and then the rain hit the window again.

As any Portrush regular will know, there’s two pieces of vital information you want on a Saturday: what’s the tide doing (low tide at 10:32 today - hurray) and what’s the wind doing (well that was already obvious but for the statisticians amongst us, 25mph SE gusting to 40 odd - boo). This meant good sand but a tough run out to the flag today.

Slowly we gathered, the volunteers assembled and duties were allocated. As always mentions in dispatches for you all: Davy Blair, Clare Carruthers, Nicola Cooke, Anne Jack, Jonno Johnson, William McKnight, Martin Smith, Mervyn Thompson, Claire Vaux, Stuart Vaux, Andrew Wilson and Jonathan Workman. Ladies and Gentleman we salute you. parkrun can’t take place without our volunteers, so please don’t be shy, introduce yourself and take a turn.

Mervyn was without his two trusty lieutenants this morning who were both confined to barracks with the dreaded lergy and so a number of conscripts were drafted in to help with the refreshments. Thank you to all and get well soon Faye and Pam (preferably by next week please as Mervyn’s on holiday).

As we huddled in the Watersports Centre our resolve to step outside to await the run brief was undermined when George announced that he had just been out for a warm up and had come back colder than when he started. But the siren called and out we trooped.

The run brief was remarkable for the fact that we had no celebrations and no declared visitors (was I the only one quietly giving thanks that all relatives had now returned home after the Christmas break?). I say “declared” as a closer look at today’s results would seem to indicate we did indeed have three visitors. Two, all the way from Limavady and one from over the water; Yorkshire I would guess: a belated welcome to all three of you. We also had five first timers, although only a couple were brave enough to raise a hand. Welcome Ciaran, Catherine, Jacqui, Niamh, and Dean: we hope you enjoyed your first parkrun experience and look forward to seeing you again.

At the end of his brief, Mervyn commented that we were a muted bunch this morning; but then Ruby and Roxy (accompanied by Stuart) appeared to have been banished to the beach already.

We made our way to the start line and suddenly, now out of the shelter of the Centre, the true extent of the South Easterly became clear and knowing looks were exchanged. The usual canine chorus started, articulating what we all thought: “I’m ready, let’s go”. The shout went up and we were off; charging towards the estuary and wet feet all round.

We battled with the wind and rain, we battled with our own determination to push harder and yes, we battled each other (although management has asked me to point out that parkrun is a timed run and not a race

The return leg was certainly easier than the way out and our tail walker, Clare, was able to get home in a respectable 50minutes much to the gratitude of our start line volunteers.

Given the conditions today, special mention should be made to the three runners achieving PBs: Adam McDaid, Stanley Simpson and Catherine Scullion.

Back in the welcoming warmth of the Watersports Centre it was good to see so many rising to the Eco challenge and bringing your own mugs for tea and coffee, each one helping to aggregate those marginal gains and so save our planet just that tiny bit more.

So next week, DFYB and DFYC (don’t forget your cup).

Hope you enjoyed your start to the weekend, I know I enjoyed mine.

Happy running.



6th January Run Report


With both Pam and myself engaging in a spot of parkrun tourism this week, leaving Mervyn as the only member of the core team at Portrush, I am relying on some anecdotal evidence to complete this report. The main piece of evidence received was that Mervyn was superb. Wouldn’t have expected anything less – although this evidence did come from Mervyn himself…..

But superb or not, even Mervyn couldn’t pull off a parkrun without the help of a trusty team of volunteers. And with Pam and myself away, there were a few extra jobs required including a shopping trip too, so many thanks to Clive BRADBURY for that. Huge thanks also go to Davy BLAIR, Nicola COOKE, Peter DONNELLY, Andrew FORSYTHE, Jonno JOHNSON, Gary KENDALL, Samantha LINTON, Lynn MONTGOMERY, David SPENCE, Mervyn THOMPSON, Claire VAUX, Jonathan WORKMAN. There are many different volunteer jobs available and a few that you maybe haven’t thought of – including this! Writing the run report. If you feel like giving the run report your individual spin some week, just let us know.

Saturday was a beautiful winter morning with plenty of dazzling sunshine in a bright sky but, by all accounts, there was a tough headwind on the outward leg and very soft sand - the result of a high tide at 9.32am. This meant that out of the 130 runners participating, we only saw three PB’s. Remarkable indeed and worthy of a mention. Well done to Andrew S RICE, Haruka MURAYAMA and Julie FETHERSTON.

Hopefully our 8 first timers to Portrush weren’t put off by the conditions! We had the pleasure to welcome runners from Northern Ireland, England and South Africa.
The only milestone we celebrated was Chris MILLS who completed his 50th run – though this was as much of a surprise to Chris as to the other 129 runners there. Well done, cake can be brought belatedly

We are enjoying winter sunshine but with a drop in temperatures, please do take care if you are running. I always thought our course was immune to ice, but this morning while running with the dog, I thought the estuary didn’t look too deep and tried to run through it. However, after slipping on ice which had formed along the edge of it, I landed with a splash in the middle of it! Just something for us to be aware of for future icy Saturday mornings.

The tide tables indicate a low tide at 10.36am for next Saturday’s parkrun which should help the legs a bit better than this week. Hope to see you there.


1st January Run Report

We were all delighted when we heard there would be an extra parkrun at Portrush on New Year’s Day, although that delight may have turned to dread a little when we opened our curtains or stepped out our doors to be met by a cold, wet, windy and dark start to the day.

But while our 193 runners could at least retain some heat through movement, our volunteers deserve a huge thank you for standing about in the cold, while ensuring we were all welcomed with a warm smile as we crossed the finish line.

The volunteers who put you first this week were Davy BLAIR, Molly BLEE, Laurence CAMPBELL, David DOEY, Pauline DUKE, Andrew FORSYTHE, Pamela HOWE, Faye MCLERNON, Emma Elizabeth SIMMONS, Mervyn THOMPSON, Emer THOMPSON and Stuart VAUX.

We had 29 first timers to Portrush on New Year’s Day, which included 11 folks trying out parkrun for the very first time. You are all very welcome. Perhaps some of those first timers had made a resolution to start parkrun to increase their fitness or make new friends. parkrun offers individuals the chance to do something for themselves but also the opportunity to give to others by taking on a volunteer role. Even volunteering once or twice a year makes a difference in ensuring that our run goes ahead every week. It is also a way of getting to know your fellow parkrunners (you know that person that you see every week and knows you by name while you haven’t a clue what they are called? One week of scanning and you will be on first name terms with many!!).
So, with weather conditions not so favourable, we were at least rewarded with good sand as the tide had been on its way out since 5.45am. This was reflected in the results with 31 of you achieving personal bests – a fantastic start to the new year!

As I have previously mentioned, a few of our regulars and myself, have been talking about what we can do to help preserve the beauty of our course. We would like to reduce the waste we currently generate with all the plastic and polystyrene cups. Recyclable cups were proving to be prohibitive cost wise, so we are now looking into reusable options. At present I have sourced half pint, stackable, washable cups which will cost 88p each. This will obviously save us money after a few months as we will no longer need to purchase disposable cups.
But if any of you savvy shoppers know of or can find a better alternative, then please let us know.
We wonder what the year ahead will bring for us at Portrush parkrun – we have welcomed many from all corners of the globe and look forward to meeting many more. Will there be any new course records set or will we break our attendance record again?

What we can be assured of is that Portrush will continue to give us a free, weekly, timed 5k run along a picturesque course with a bunch of lovely people.
Happy New Year to you all.



30th December Run Report

One of the best things about parkrun at this time of the year is that we get lots of visitors from other parts of the country coming to join us on our 5k beach run. Looking through the results for Saturday we had visitors from Sheffield, Mornington, Lisburn, Cheshire, Medway, Ellesmere Port, UK parkrun tourists, Riada, Springwell, Midweek Muppets, Lawley, Tyne Bridge, Cybi Striders, KMPC Runners, Ballymena Runners, TUNA, Sperrin Harriers, jogscotland and Run Mummy Run clubs. However, whether you’re from Portrush or Sydney we are always really glad that you have chosen to join us on a Saturday morning. Out of 227 runners on Saturday, 24 were first timers at Portrush and 24 had PBs. Well done everyone!

Our volunteers this week were Deborah ARCHIBALD, Davy BLAIR, Clive BRADBERRY, Nicola COOKE, Ivan GOLDSWORTHY, Pamela HOWE, Jonno JOHNSON, Faye MCLERNON, Mervyn THOMPSON, Emer THOMPSON and Stuart VAUX. Thanks everyone.. it was a cold day to be standing around outside but your help, enthusiasm and encouragement to the runners was very much appreciated. Thank you! Thanks, also, to everyone who brought those surplus Christmas mince pies and chocolates to parkrun over the festive period .. it was such a treat to have them!

As the year draws to a close we hope you have achieved your running goals during 2017 and look forward to sharing all the joys of parkrun with you throughout 2018. Portrush parkrun is really just a bunch of people who love running and who meet every Saturday to run, jog, walk or cartwheel 5k on one of the most beautiful beaches in our country. It is also very much a social event where we can meet old friends and make new ones each week as we run along beside each other or review the run over a coffee afterwards. So here’s to 2018 .. to those special friendships that come to mean so much to us week after week and to achieving our personal running goals, whatever they may be, throughout the year.

To kickstart your 2018 running endeavours don’t forget the extra New Year’s Day parkrun on Monday 1st January at 09.30. If you’ve been thinking about giving parkrun a go but haven’t quite got around to it yet or if you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to run more or get fit then please join us tomorrow .. you won’t regret it!

Happy New Year from our homes to yours

Mervyn, Faye and Pam

⇐ Newer Posts