Run Report, Event 256, 30th June 2018.

In a few weeks the infamous Badwater Ultramarathon takes places across the aptly named Death Valley in California. 

It is widely regarded as one of the toughest races in the world as competitors run 135 miles in temperatures upwards of 130 Fahrenheit (54 celsius). Unsurprisingly, very few people have ever actually finished the race. 

However, rumour has it that organisers are considering hosting it in the the greater Lisburn area this year as it is just as hot here apparently. 

Yes, perhaps we’re exaggerating ever so slightly but it’s safe to say yesterday was one of the hottest parkruns in recent memory.  

We’re going to assume that the heat accounted for some of you as we “only” had 189 finishers this week. We had visitors from all over. A extra special welcome to all 16 of you joining us for the first ever time. The sun always shines like that in Lisburn. Honestly. 

In the important news, we had three milestones of note yesterday morning!

The first milestone is well, hmm, mine. If there’s a prize for the longest amount of time to reach 50 parkruns, then I must be a candidate. It’s only taken nearly 5 years to get there. Let’s hope the next 50 don’t take quite as long. 

Rebecca Nixon, the other 50 milestoner didn’t take quite as long as I did to get there. She joined us for the first time yesterday too. Well done Rebecca!

Junior runner, Andrew Rankin, joined the 10 club yesterday. He did it in style too with a shiny new PB of 21:35. Well done Andrew. 

As for you super swift PB hunters, 39 of you could claim new fastest times when your results came  through yesterday. You clearly didn’t wilt in the heat! On the PB wall of fame this week is:

Clare Carson, our first lady finisher, who knocked a sizeable 20 seconds off her previous best time. Creeping closer to sub-24.

Brendan McKenna ran his fastest time since September 2014. He did it in style too knocking one whole second off his previous best. Always on time is Brendan (so he says)!

Iris Peel (expertly guided by Gillian Johnston), recorded her 4th PB in a row knocking over two minutes off in the process! Well done Iris.

Dave Martin will be feeling especially pleased, as he smashed through the 30 minute mark for the first time at Wallace. His first PB since July 2016. Super work Dave.

Finally, Orla Rice went sub-29 for the first time and recorded her first PB since January. 28:44 for Orla. Well done to her. 

All the results in the usual spot:

Now, our weekly vote of thanks to all of you who answered the volunteer call during the week. Volunteers are a perpetual necessity if we are to exist, and we thank you all for your generous offers to give up your Saturday morning. If you haven’t volunteered this year, we encourage you to give it a go. There’s a job for everybody, every week. 

With that in mind, and with Brenda Harris as our Run Director, you can thank:

Timekeepers: Jim Pow and John Torrans.

Finish Token hander-outer: Michael Harris.

Funnel manager: Beverly Reid.

Barcode Scanners: Gillian Alister, Laura Johnston and Jack Glass. 

Marshals: Gareth Connolly, Joshua Lindsay, Rebekah Andrews, Marie Therese Ward and Conor Ward. 

Tea/Coffee: Katie McAuley and Marie Therese Fegan.

Equipment storage and delivery: Heather Patterson. 

Results processor: Jonathan Davis. 

VI Guide: Gillian Johnston. 

Tail walker: Catherine Gray.

We are also indebted to our monthly fleet of pacers. They make a difficult task look effortless. This week we can thank Niall Ward (20 minutes), David Wright (21), Patrick Kerr (22), Jeff Glass (23), Colin Ramsden (24), Jonathan Davis (25), Fiona Dickson (26), Sharon Ramsden (27), Paul Bracken (28) and Linda Harley (35). 

If you want to offer your volunteering skills for next week, then we are currently accepting expressions of interest. The roster is looking fairly sparse as it stands. Just let us know!

We know lots of you are starting to head off on holidays and the like, and by the sounds of things integrating parkrun into your plans too. Wherever you end up we hope you have fun.

We’ll all be back in Wallace Park again next week. We hope you’ll be there too.




*CANCELLED, 23rd June*

A reminder that we are cancelled tomorrow, 23rd June, due to the Bicentenary celebrations for Sir Richard Wallace.

By all accounts it looks like it will be a fun day in Wallace Park. Go check it out!

See you on the 30th June.


Run Report, Event 255, 16th June 2018.

With the World Cup starting in Russia on Thursday, it would be rude for us (another great sporting, cultural and social phenomenon) to not base our run report on it today. 

It’s safe to say parkrun has had more impact than that time Zidane and Materazzi had a falling out in 2006.

Compared to last week, and much like the English team during a penalty shootout, the weather today was a little underwhelming, but at least it brightened up as the laps went on. Nevertheless, 268 of you were not put off and joined us at the start line to start your weekend in the best possible way. For the record that just happens to be our 8th highest turnout ever. Well done to us all. 

On the milestone front, and similar to Diana Ross at USA ’94, we had a bit of a shocker and missed out Chris Benson last weekend. Last Saturday Chris finished his 100th parkrun, his 87th at Wallace. Well done Chris, and sorry we missed you!

The milestones this morning were dominated by our junior runners. Well done to Alex Edwards who crossed the finish line for the 50th time and can now lay claim to his red t-shirt. 

Timmy Fulton and Sam Netherton both claimed their 10 t-shirts this morning. A PB for Sam too. Well done young men!

To the 41 of you who decided to join us for the first time, we hope you enjoyed your visit. Come back again soon!

Some of the running out there today was as fast, if not faster, than an Englishman reminding you about 1966.   

Both our first male, David Simpson, and first female, Amy Bulman, recorded two of the fastest times ever at Wallace Park. 16:36 for David and 18:57 for Amy. An age-category record for David too.

On the PB honours board this week is:

Marie Therese Ward who, with a PB More empathic than Gerry Armstrong’s strike in 1982, recorded her best time in nearly exactly a year. She took over a minute off in the process. 

Steven Todd was faster than the real Ronaldo springing an offside trap, as he flew around for his 5th PB in ten runs at Wallace. He knocked almost 30 seconds off in the process. 

Beth Ward, like Senegal beating France in 2004, must have shocked even herself as she took 11 minutes off her PB. Eleven minutes! Super stuff from a junior runner.

Sam Baird, as consistent as Miroslav Klose’s goalscoring, recorded his third consecutive PB, and took two minutes off his previous best today. 

Fiona McFall, almost recreated Gazza’s tears (this time with joy), as she knocked exactly a minute off her PB. Her 6th PB in her last eight runs. 

Niall Ward, like Maradonna weaving his way through the English defence in 1986, flew past a lot of us today for a scorching new PB. His second time under 18 minutes at Wallace. Well done Niall. 

Well done to all our finishers, whether you ran, jogged or walked. All the results in the usual place:

On the volunteer front, as ever, we were more organised than a Franz Beckenbauer defensive line, circa 1974. We are very grateful to them all for ensuring we happened again today.

With Beverly Reid as our Run Director, we can thank:

Timekeepers: Nathan Lindsay and Michael Harris.

Finish Token hander-outer: Gillian Alister.

Funnel manager: Fiona Mooney

Barcode Scanners: Brenda Harris, Laura Johnston and Jonathan Davis.

Marshals: Paul Alister, Jake McAleenan, Rodger Toner, Katie Collins, Joanna Griffith, Catherine Gray and John Torrans.

Tea/Coffee: Heather Patterson and Marie Therese Fegan.

Pre-event setup: Fiona Dickson, Alastair Dickson and Julie Jameson.

Results processor: Jonathan Davis. 

Tail walker: Tina Gough.

Thanks to everybody who offered their services. We don’t happen without you. 

Now for some of the bad news. We are cancelled next Saturday. The park is being used all day for Sir Richard Wallace events. Another excuse for you to indulge in some tourism (though not at Ormeau since they’re cancelled too).

The following week however is our ever-popular pacer week. We already have a pacer for 25 minutes, but we’re sure you will help us fill up the other times. Just get in touch and we’ll add you to the list!

Anyway, until next time, don’t do anything silly. See you on the 30th.



Run Report, Event 254, 9th June 2018.

Today one great institution, parkrun, celebrated the 70th birthday of another, the NHS. 

There’s a fair chance that the NHS brought most of us into the world, and our lives will have undoubtedly been touched by it many times since then. Let’s never take it for granted. To those of you who make it happen, day in day out, we salute you. 

Indeed back in 1942 William Beveridge published his government report which laid the foundations for the NHS. I think we can say with a fair degree of confidence that he would have strongly approved of parkrun and everything it stands for. Among the “giant evils” of society that he identified  back then were “idelness”, “disease” and “ignorance.” In a roundabout way I think we can safely say that parkrun achieves quite the opposite of those three things. We all contribute to that.   

It only seems right that we smashed or record attendance today as 367 of you ran, jogged or walked with us. For the record our previous best was 335, and this was only the second time we have had over 300 finishers.

Now, we weren’t the only ones celebrating a milestone this morning either. Brendan and James Whittle both synchronised perfectly as Brendan reached his 50th and James his 10th. James can also lay claim to being the only Blue Peter badge owner at Wallace parkrun that we are aware of. Well done Team Whittle!

If you were joining us for the first time, then you picked a good time to do it. It was one of the great mornings at Wallace parkrun. I think we can all agree on that. We had visitors from all corners of the country this morning. We hope you enjoyed your time with us. 

We actually had 95 people joining us for the first time ever today! Needles to say the Couch To 5k graduates contributed to that. Well done to both groups from Jog Lisburn and the NI Fire Service. You should all be proud of what you achieved. We hope you’ll be joining us on many more Saturday mornings in the future. 

There was a fairly remarkable 46 new personal bests this morning. The heat clearly didn’t get to you. In PB corner this week is:

Alastair Dickson knocked a whole 6 seconds off his previous best. To celebrate he took the cups home and washed them for us all for next week. Well done, and thanks, Alastair. 

Jim Belch knocked one whole second off his time for a new PB of 24:30 in this his 29th run. 

Elaine Douglas took almost 30 seconds off her time for her first PB since November. Well done Elaine. 

Tracy Cassells ran her 7th PB in 13 appearances as she crossed the line in 25:12. Well done Tracy. 

Finally today, junior athlete Ruairi Doyle knocked nearly 50 seconds off his time, just two seconds shy of the sub-25 club. 

Now, we are always grateful for our volunteers but especially today. It was a busy, busy day. Our thanks to Jog Lisburn too who provided the bulk of our volunteers today.

Our finish line team, barcode scanners and refreshments guys had their skills tested to the extreme today. Believe it or not we used 60 litres of water, and we emptied the finish token rack fo rate first time ever (don’t worry we had the extras). It was certainly a day of firsts.

With Michael Harris as our Run Director today, you can thank:

Timekeepers: Jim Pow and Jonathan Davis.

Finish Token hander-outer: Stephen Dunlop.

Funnel manager: Patrick Kerr.

Barcode Scanners: Laura Johnston, Gillian Alister, Brenda Harris and Fiona Dickson. 

Marshals: Rebekah Andrews, Tracy McCullough, Paul Alister, Wilma Dunlop, Louise Madden, Noelle Dean, Caroline Brown, Claire Hamill, Sinead Hamill, Jack Glass, Julian Netherton, Team Collins and John Torrans. 

Tea/Coffee: Marie Therese Fegan and Katie McCauley.

Photographers: Brenda Harris and Ian Morrow. 

Pre-event setup: Heather Patterson. 

Results processor: Jonathan Davis. 

Tail walker: Julie Jameson and Rosemary Edgar. 

You don’t need us to remind you that parkrun ceases to exist without your help. We are grateful to have a willing and huge pool of folk to call on each week, so thank you for that. If you want to volunteer in the coming weeks just get in touch. 

There were a mountain of photos taken around the course today. You can look forward to seeing those tomorrow. 

On the whole, well done to everybody who joined us today and contributed to a great morning. Long may it last. 

We’ll be in the park again next week. We hope you are too.



NHS70 parkrun

This Saturday, 9th June, we will be hosting a special event.

This is a collaboration between parkrun UK and the NHS to celebrate the 70th birthday of our health service (which is officially on 5 July 2018). 

The initiative is part of our efforts to collaborate with the health sector to improve health and wellbeing through parkrun participation.

We also have Couch To 5k graduations. It's going to be a busy Saturday.

We hope you can join us!


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