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 !!!!


Ecos parkrun Event Number 23

The conditions today were bright and calm, perfect both for running and enjoying the spectacle of 115 brightly clad people winding their way around the paths of Ecos.

We were  delighted to welcome inspirational local runner Brigid Quinn to her first parkrun and she did not disappoint. Brigid who runs in the Veteran Women (VW)65-69 class finished 46th overall in 24:22. When this is adjusted for age she is graded at 88.44%. To put this in perspective this is equivalent to a woman in her 20s completing the course in an eye-watering 16:47 and is a higher standard that any of our male runners to date – sorry guys!
There was another record turnout of 115 runners, of whom 16 were first timers and 54 recorded new Personal Bests. Jack Neeson of Tyne Bridge Harriers was first over the line in 17:30, Ciaran Ferris was second in 17:58 and Connor McQuillan of North Belfast Harriers was third in 19:12.
For the women Geraldine Quigley was first (12th overall) in 20:00, her third win, and Rhonda Brady was second (27th overall) in 22:35 both from Larne AC. Catriona Quigley of Fitness First, was third (30th overall) in 22:50 setting a new JW15-19 record.

To make it easier for processing results every week we’d ask you all to register and to make sure you bring a barcode that scans. If you do not have access to a printer then you can forward your weekly e-mail from parkrun to and we’ll print one for you. Once you have a good barcode we can keep a copy for you.

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Ecos parkrun Results Page.


Ecos parkrun Event Number 22

While we have had close to 100 finishers for several weeks yesterday saw us pass that milestone with a record turnout of 103 runners. This included 19 first timers – welcome to all of you. Before the run kic...

ked off juniors and brothers Sean and Daire Hasson were presented with technical tee-shirts to mark their completion of 10 parkruns.

The cool, still weather made for perfect running conditions with 49 new Personal Bests at Ecos parkrun. A turnout of seven runners from Larne AC spiced up the competition and speed at the front of the field with male and female winners. Nat Glenn was first over the line in a PB of 16:55 followed by previous winners Niall Brown in 17:14 and James Turtle of Ballymena Runners with a PB of 17:19. Noel Connor of Ballymena Runners who followed them home with a PB of 17:26 set a new VM50-54 record.

Geraldine Quigley of Larne AC, had her second win (16th overall) over the line in 20:10, Carol Leggett of Ballymena Runners AC, was second (33rd overall) over the line with a PB of 24:04 and new parkrunner Debbie McPherson also of Ballymena Runners AC, was third (35th overall) over the line in 24:34. Yet again Amanda Scott of Ballymena Runners set a new course record for VW50-54 of 26:35.

Full results can be found on the Ecos parkrun Results Page. For a tally of Ecos parkrun achievements to date 508 different runners, including participants from 22 athletics clubs, have completed 1,610 runs covering a total distance of 8,050 km, and there have been 461 new Personal Bests.

Thank you to this week’s helpers: Beverly Kidd • Katie McFall • Jim Moore • Marie Allen • Peter Hamilton • Ruth Cutherbertson • Serena McFall • Stephen Brown • Susanna Allen. Also thank you in advance to everyone who has signed up to help in the future. We already have a full team for next week which makes organisation much easier.

To encourage even more participation by young people we will be writing to Principals, PE Departments and Extra curricular co-ordinators in local secondary schools and colleges over the coming week. If you are a student or teacher you may want to share your first hand experiences of parkrun and encourage your school to promote parkrun.


Ecos parkrun Event Number 21

The results showed that women well outnumbered the boys and men at Ecos parkrun on Saturday making up 45 of the turnout of 77 runners. They also picked up 21 of the 28 PBs one of which was by Amanda Scott who ac...

hieved a new VW50-54 record of 26:40.

We welcomed 15 first timers - Cathy Hamilton, Debbie McMaster, Monique Magill, Tara Moore, Andrea Wylie, Wendy Graham, Roisin O'neill, Parveen Akhtar, Heather Fiona McClenaghan, Evan Taylor, Christopher Hamilton, Richard Harper, Ruairi Connaughton, Andrew Mclaughlin and Gareth Kyle. Hope you are all feeling good after a great start to your day!

For the women Carol Leggett of Ballymena Runners AC, was first (14th overall) over the line in 24:07 recording a personal best and a hat trick with three wins in the last four weeks – well done Carol. Ruth Forsythe was second (16th overall) with another PB of 24:31 and Linda McClintock of Ballymena Runners was third (17th overall) over the line in 24:42. For the men Evan Taylor of Larne AC, was first in 19:59 on his first appearance. Peter Hamiliton was second with a PB of 20:08 with Eamon Loughran of Ballymena Runners close behind in 20:12.


Ecos parkrun Event Number 20

There certainly was a touch of autumn in the air yesterday with misty views over the lake towards Slemish. It made for great running conditions with 38 new personal bests. Too many to mention them all but well done to Cat...

herine MacAuley and Amy Fletcher who took a whopping six and twelve minutes off their times respectively, Asa McGillian has broken 25 minutes for the first time and Patrick Higgins who is progressing quickly finished under 22 minutes. Welcome to our new comers James Mckinney, Ed Adams, Gillian O’Boyle, Nadine Ford, Margaret Edgar, Nicole Higgins, Janice Cooper, Abi Sweetlove, Jacqueline King, Lisa Kirkwood and Helen Martin.

At last we found out the name of a mystery runner who has been in our top three a couple of times. It’s Niall Brown from Bellaghy. Yesterday Niall was second in 18:32 between the first finisher James Turtle of Ballymena Runners AC, in 17:30 and Bryan Edgar of Springwell RC, was third in 18:51. Carol Leggett of Ballymena Runners AC, was first (31st overall) in 24:28.Paula Dickson was second (39th overall) in 25:40. Ruth Forsythe was third (41st overall) in 25:43.

Yesterday marked our 20th Ecos parkrun which is a good time to give you an update on the annual points competition. Points are awarded according to your finishing place to a maximum of 100 points per run. To get points the painless way you can volunteer for which you are automatically given 100 points up to three times a year.

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition is Cormac McGreevey 1272 pts, Gerry McKenna 1237 pts and Michael O'Kane 1222 pts. Karen Hunter leads the women’s competition with 1574 followed by Jean Gould) 1501 pts and her daughter Kelly Courtney 1330 pts.

Thanks to This Week's volunteers Beverly KIDD • Conor MCKEOWN • Elizabeth BROWN • Karen HUNTER • Kathryn GRANT • Kieran SULLIVAN • Lilian QUIGLEY • Marie ALLEN • Roy WHITE • Susanna ALLEN. Please tell us if you can help on 8, 15, 22 or 29 September as we have lots of places to fill.


Ecos parkrun Event Number 19

The post-Olympic enthusiasm which we are sure is here to stay continued with 97 runners and walkers participating in Ecos parkrun of whom 31 were first timers.

It was great to see 17 juniors am...

ong our runners – some of whom were encouraging their parents around the course. Girls you are doing very well but you are being outdone in numbers by the boys 12 to 5 so encourage your friends to come along!

We didn’t put anything in the water – honest and my name’s not Lance – but we saw 35 PBs seven of which seven were for our top ten finishers. James Turtle of Ballymena Runners, was first in 17:32. Gary Davison was second with a PB of 18:38 and James Hamilton was third in 19:37. For the women Kirsty Sharratt of Larne AC, was first (14th overall) in 21:20. Shelley Tomlins was second (20th overall) in 22:22 and Susanna Allen of Ballymena Runners, was third (30th overall) in 24:01.

We welcomed several experienced parkrunners including James Merchant (home run Old Deer Park, Richmond-on-Thames) and Chris Baines (Leeds), Carol Annesley (Waterworks) and Michael O'Donoghue (Belfast Victoria).

One visitor, Jean Dolan from Altrincham & District AC, set a course record for women VW65-69 for her time of 24:36 (36th overall). Jean may be the only runner in that category – so far – however her age graded score was 83.67 % which puts her first yesterday and 5th overall for all finishers at Ecos parkrun which is excellent. Another course record was set by Shelley Tomlins for women VW40-44 who finished 19th in 22:22 beating Fiona Stephens’ (Ballymena Runners) record by 6 seconds.

The full results and a complete can be found on the Ecos parkrun Results Page.

Thanks to This Week's volunteers
Andrea SWEETLOVE • Joshua Paul COURTNEY • Kelly COURTNEY • Marie ALLEN • Matthew ALLEN • Pamela DAVIS • Roy WHITE • Serena MCFALL • Stephen BROWN
• Sherman WRIGHT


Ecos parkrun Event Number 18

We had a great week for beginners at Ecos parkrun due to the Join In event co- hosted by Ballymena Runners.

Around thirty extra people turned up to walk/run round the first lap of our parkrun. Despite a bit of anxiety before the run they all completed the lap in one piece! In fact most of them keep going and completed the 5k at their own pace. The whole event show
ed how everybody can Join In every Saturday at parkrun no matter what their age or ability, it really is an inclusive event.

Thanks to Ballymena Runners who organised the run and provided encouragement and advice around the course.
The first runner home this week was unfortunately unknown, second with a time of 18:37 was Ballymena Runner’s Johnny Graham, and third just two seconds behind was Niall Walsh in 18:39, both guys ran well with new PB’s.
First Lady home with a great run was Carol Legget from Ballymena Runners in a new PB of 22:47, second was Leona McCaughey in 25:47 and third was Paula Dickson in a time of 26:00.
We had 33 new runners and 15 people had PB’s, a grand total of 95 runners! Well done to everyone who ran this week. Thanks again to all the helpers we had, without your continuing support every week parkrun would not happen.
We will continue to help and encourage anyone who turns up every week, please continue to Join In, grab the fresh air and enjoy your run.


Ecos parkrun Event Number 17

This week there were 52 runners, of whom 7 were first timers.  Welcome to Abigail Fletcher, Abigail Patterson, Cahal McAuley, David McKeown, Ryan Critchley, Silbert Wilson and Thomas McCaughey.  13 runners recorded new Personal Bests. 

Thank you to all our helpers this week and especially to our two sweepers Roy and Alison who coaxed and cajoled some of our newer runners to those PBs which are great personal achievements.  Junior success came for brothers Sean and Daire Hasson who both completed 10 runs and will just have got a congratulations e-mail from parkrun HQ.  We look forward to presenting them with their tee shirts. 
Junior Ciaran Ferris finished first in 18:21.  Gary Davison was second in 18:42.  Another junior James Hamilton was third in 19:11.  Susanna Allen was first female home (19th overall) in 24:00 followed by Christine Caulfield (22nd overall) in 24:38 both of Ballymena Runners AC while Karen Hunter was third (28th overall) in 26:22. 

REMEMBER no parkrun on Saturday 11 August but Ecos parkrunners are invited to join Ballymena Runners for a timed 5k run on Monday 13 August on the usual parkrun route. Start 7:00 pm at Ecos.
There are also lots of other parkruns for you to try out on Saturday and you might even want to support Citypark parkrun in Craigavon which starts next week on 11 August.  The route is a flat single lap course around Craigavon Lakes. Details of locations and start times are at Check out the directions and allow plenty of time as some parkruns are not the easiest to find first time. 


Ecos parkrun Event Number 16

We had 65 runners out on Saturday, of whom 11 were first timers. Welcome to Nicole, Maxine, Lori, Kelly, Eddie, Colin, Alister, Joanne, Gavin, Conal and David. The opening of the Olympics was celebrated when runners had a chance to hold a...

nd be photographed with an Olympic torch thanks to Mark and family. Also thanks to Rodney Livingstone for the action shots this week.

David Clarke of Larne AC, was first in 18:26 on his first appearance. A junior athlete James Hamilton was second in 19:04 while Ian Cleland of Seapark AC, was third in 19:46. Paula McAllister was first female to finish (9th overall) in 21:41, Joanne Hilditch was second (23rd overall) in 22:59 and Cathy Hood was third (31st overall) in 24:41. Fourteen runners achieved Personal Bests this week. 
There will no parkrun on August 11 due to the 'Bark in the Park' event. The following week parkrun will be one of thousands of post Olympic "Join In" events to encourage new people to try out sport.

Helpers are needed for August and anyone who can help is asked to let Susanna know which date suits them please by e-mailing

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