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.
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.
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 !!!!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.