Event | #238 14/03/2020

Run report by Marianne

A lovely start to the weekend as usual and the weather was kind to us...

This week 258 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 27 were first timers and 27 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 20 different clubs took part.

Special Mentions...

Congratulations to Pippa McLaughlin (JW10) who completed her 10th parkrun and will shortly receive her special '10' t-shirt.

Congrats also to Andrew Davidson who completed his 100th and will soon be rocking the black t-shirt look!

Congrats to Abbie who completed her first parkrun with both of her sisters - well done Abbie!



Thanks to everyone for supporting our decision not to provide refreshments this week, refreshments will not be available for the coming weeks so please remember your water bottles (and those for your puppy's too!).

Thanks also for everyone who heeded our request and had their barcodes ready for the scanners to scan them along with the finish tokens. We will continue with a reduced hand contact policy over the coming weeks too.

Catch it Bin it Kill it...

Sorry to be yuck about this next bit but can everyone please pay special attention to the medical advice about germ transfer and avoid spitting. It is gross anyway but especially in these times. Some people raised concern with me about this today so please let's keep everyone safe and spit (if you must) into a tissue and destroy it carefully.

Obviously, we will continue to monitor the situation as the days progress but we hope to see everyone back at Stormont next week.

20 Marvellous Hi-Viz Heroes.

As everyone knows, parkrun doesn't just 'happen' by itself and it is only with the commitment of an amazing set of people that we are able to proceed. This week we were blessed to welcome 20 special folk who gave up their morning to ensure that everyone could run.

Please consider opting in to our roster, if you haven't already, it is a great way to give back to the community and we have a huge amount of craic! Great to see Peter and Ian Wright join us today as they volunteered for the first time.

Huge thanks to;

Marion BROWN • Marianne HOOD • David RAINEY • Ian WRIGHT • Ronan MCCORMICK • Fiona PATTERSON • Debi ALLEN • Gillian SADLIER • Brian DODDS • Miranda JEMPHREY • Peter WRIGHT • Helena DRYSDALE • Stephen BROWNE • Jimmy MCNEILL • Charles BUDDE • Gary CRAIG • Caitriona HAMILTON • Marianne O' KANE • Amanda FIELDHOUSE • Judith MORRISON


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

The male record is held by Conal MCCAMBRIDGE who recorded a time of 15:52 on 1st January 2017 (event number 72).
The female record is held by Sophie WOOD who recorded a time of 18:18 on 21st September 2019 (event number 213).
The Age Grade course record is held by Tommy HUGHES who recorded 94.69% (16:56) on 18th January 2020 (event number 231).

Stormont parkrun started on 29th August 2015. Since then 7,972 participants have completed 48,614 parkruns covering a total distance of 243,070 km, including 8,210 new Personal Bests. A total of 417 individuals have volunteered 3,409 times.


Run report #237 – 7th March 2020


We often talk about our volunteers at Stormont parkrun. The handful of people who show up early, help the event run smoothly, and leave late.
That's even before we think about processing results. On that note, had it not been for next week's run director Marianne helping out, results would have had to wait until Sunday night, at about 11pm. Imagine?
It was my first time back run directing at Stormont this year, and it was good to chat to some of the newer volunteers, finding out why they were keen to help.
There's never a week run directing that is completely straightforward. Today it was a "minor" detour that turned out to be pretty major.

Two routes blocked off due to maintenance, but we found a way around it. We do like to keep runners on their toes. There was some last minute measuring too, which involved clambering over barriers, to make sure we had the distance as close to correct as possible.

In total, 242 people took part and 22 volunteers today.
Dale Murray from Ward Park Runners in Bangor was first over the line. First female, for the 51st time, was Emer McKee from Willowfield.
Just one more for an entire year's worth of first finishes. That has to be worth a cake, right?



Event report #236 – 29th February 2020

The blue sky was amazing this morning and so were you, 250 runners/walkers and 18 volunteers.

aThe history was made and the very first Leap Day parkrun completed. Next parkrun on 29th February will take place in 28 years!

We luckly escaped storm Jorge and the sun stayed with us to the very end. However it was on the cold side. The wind was not too kind for runners while volunteers noticed their fingers were a bit stiff from the cold. Tough task to hand out tokens or to keep pressing stopwatch buttons, brrr.

Congratulations on the milestones to :
- Erina Barber 100
- Joy Duffield 50.

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Stormont parkrun Results Page: https://www.parkrun.org.uk/stormont/results/weeklyresults/…

17 of you were first timers and 31 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 19 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 18 volunteers:
Marion BROWN • Max MCROBERTS • Joanne GORDON • Stephen HAMILTON • Louise COLLINS • Una MCNEILL • Magda BERNATEK • Paul CONWAY • Trevor MOUTRAY • Rohan RAMAVATH • Alasdair MACINNES • Leigh CARSWELL • Patricia ADAMS • Rohith RAMAVATH • Vicky JEFFERSON • Anna KETT • Gary CRAIG • Chris RUSSELL

allStormont parkrun started on 29th August 2015. Since then 7,920 participants have completed 48,114 parkruns covering a total distance of 240,570 km, including 8,153 new Personal Bests. A total of 411 individuals have volunteered 3,366 times.
#loveparkrun #stormontparkrun

Magda x



Run Report #235 – 22nd February 2020

As parkruns go today's was a pretty wet one with a few very heavy downpours, and plenty of puddles all round the course, so well done to all 257 runners and walkers for braving the elements. A special thanks to our wonderful team of volunteers - you're a hardy bunch, and I hope you're all dry and warm now!

With the ongoing works on the estate we had a diversion on the course this morning, but one that might have been familiar to a lot of regulars as it took us round the front of the playpark just like we used to until 2018.

Well done the 23 people who recorded new Personal Bests, and to the 24 First Timers.

Big congratulations to Anne McNally on her 100th parkrun - well done, and thanks for bringing the cake!

Our volunteer photo is missing quite a few people as the conditions didn't lend themselves to hanging around...

Volunteer photo 22nd Feb 2020

We are very grateful to the volunteers who made this event happen: Patricia ADAMS, Julian BERNATEK, Magda BERNATEK, Alison CANNING, Leigh CARSWELL, Benjamin CHALLIS, Amanda FIELDHOUSE, Stephen HAMILTON, William HOPKINS, Miranda JEMPHREY, David MALEY, Jimmy MCNEILL, Una MCNEILL, Trevor MOUTRAY, Govind RAMAVATH, Rohan RAMAVATH, Rohith RAMAVATH, Deborah WELLS.

Thanks, and hope to see you next week.

Happy parkrunning,



Run report 234 – 15th February 2020

It was a post Valentine’s day parkrun and we have seen few red t-shirts to mark that date,  but the weather wasn’t very affectionate this morning. 210 runners and walkers proved yet again that skin is waterproof.


Dennis aka #stormDennis must have forgotten his barcode, and is one of the Unknown in the results. Remember: No printed barcode, no result.

Despite tough conditions 19 people recorded their Personal Bests.

Congratulations to Terry Deehan on his 200th parkrun.

It wasn’t an easy one for our volunteers. You should have seen the state of the hi-viz jackets at the end – water dropping down from them! A washing machine is already on so they (hi-viz) will be fresh and ready for the next week.

Drop us a line if you’d like to help – we always look for volunteers. Here is parkrun e-mail: stormont@parkrun.com.

A warm cup of coffee/tea from Max’s stall was greatly appreciated today.

IMG_7103The event was made possible by 21 volunteers – thank you to each one of you:
Marion BROWN • Samuel MISKELLY • Liz UPSON • Marianne HOOD • Max MCROBERTS • Alison RENFREW • Clare LASINI • Una MCNEILL • Ruth LAW • Magda BERNATEK • Debi ALLEN • Trevor MOUTRAY • William HOPKINS • Sara THOMPSON • Jonathan CAMPBELL • Michael SADLIER • Patricia ADAMS • Jimmy MCNEILL • Gary CRAIG • Lorna THOMPSON • Amanda FIELDHOUSE

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Stormont parkrun Results Page. The male record is held by Conal MCCAMBRIDGE who recorded a time of 15:52 on 1st January 2017 (event number 72).
The female record is held by Sophie WOOD who recorded a time of 18:18 on 21st September 2019 (event number 213).
The Age Grade course record is held by Tommy HUGHES who recorded 94.69% (16:56) on 18th January 2020 (event number 231).

See you next week / Magda


Run report event 233 – 1st February 2020

Thanks to everyone who took part this morning, both participants and volunteers - all of you help make Stormont parkrun the amazing friendly and welcoming community it is.

This week 263 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 29 were first timers and 41 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 20 different clubs took part.

We'll do our best to arrange less windy conditions for you next time - one day we're going to be lucky enough to get a tail wind down the avenue - it hasn't happened yet, in four and a half years, but here's hoping!

A big well done to the folks doing milestone runs today: Karen Steele completed her 100th parkrun and Andrew Bates completed his 50th parkrun, achieving a new PB in the process!

The event was made possible by 25 amazing volunteers:

Marion BROWN • Davy LAMBE • Marianne HOOD • Anne MCNALLY • Max MCROBERTS • Stephen HAMILTON • Anne SMITH • Peter LOSTY • Una MCNEILL • Kathie EDWARDS • Alison CANNING • Lara CANNING • Jeff SPENCE • Rohan RAMAVATH • James MCCLEAN • Helena DRYSDALE • Ellen DEEHAN • Michael SADLIER • Catherine ROSS • Leah DRYSDALE • Rohith RAMAVATH • Rebecca SADLIER • Andy ORR • Maura MCMATH • Amanda FIELDHOUSE

There are plenty of opportunities to join our fantastic team of hi-vis heroes over the next few weeks and we'd love to have some new faces on board. All roles are straightforward and full training will be provided; if you fancy giving it a go, or even if you'd just like more information on what's involved, just get in touch with stormont@parkrun.com.

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

Don't forget that Stormont parkrun will not be taking place next Saturday, 8th February, due to a cross country event taking place in the estate - why not use this as an opportunity for some tourism to one of the many other events we're lucky enough to have on our doorstep, and we'll see you all back at Stormont on the 15th.

The male record is held by Conal MCCAMBRIDGE who recorded a time of 15:52 on 1st January 2017 (event number 72).
The female record is held by Sophie WOOD who recorded a time of 18:18 on 21st September 2019 (event number 213).
The male record is held by Unknown ATHLETE who recorded a time of 17:28 on 28th December 2019 (event number 227).
The Age Grade course record is held by Tommy HUGHES who recorded 94.69% (16:56) on 18th January 2020 (event number 231).

Stormont parkrun started on 29th August 2015. Since then 7,862 participants have completed 47,397 parkruns covering a total distance of 236,985 km, including 8,080 new Personal Bests. A total of 409 individuals have volunteered 3,308 times.


Event 232 – 25 January 2020

the numbers

Each week we notice our numbers creeping up and today was no exception - 335 people ran, jogged or walked the course. We welcomed 50 newbies and 58 peeps recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 28 different clubs took part.

special mentions

We were honoured to welcome a team from Deloitte who were running, jogging and walking in memory of Emma, a friend of theirs. Well done everyone, you smashed it. Emma's friends and colleagues took part today to raise funds for the Macmillan Cancer Unit at Antrim Hospital. Macmillan were a great support to Emma and her family during her illness. We at Stormont parkrun salute you all... ♥

Special mention to Jamie Smyth who not only finished first but knocked a cool 9 seconds of his previous personal best time - amazing Jamie, well done! Jamie was closely followed in position 2 by Jackc Logan who also managed to shave off an incredible 1 minute and 32 from his previous PB time - fantastic.

Great to see so many visitors again, we had Simon and Martha from Bushy Park, visitors from Dundee, Exeter, Antrim, Dublin and Edinburgh. Special Stormont welcome to you all, come back to see us soon.

magnificent milestones

Many congrats to Graeme Taggart and Reudil Manongsong who have completed 50 parkruns and will soon be rocking the red t-shirt.

Massive congrats to two of our favs, regular volunteer Samuel Miskelly and feet-of-flames Jacob McKittrick, both soon to be rocking the black t-shirt as they chose Stormont to run for the 100th time. Great achievement everyone.

new volunteer

As you will be aware, parkrun only takes place owing to the commitment of our volunteers, many of whom are passionate runners too. Today we welcomed a new member to our team... Captain Hook. Kindly constructed and donated by Stormont regular Andrew Johnston.

Captain Hook's role is to provide a place for all the runners to put their finish tokens back... this reduces the time spent by whoever is 'token-sorting' and is a massive, huge, unbelievable help! however...speaking of which... today we had to replace 8 finish tokens... Please, please, please return them to us and remember that they are not souvenirs!

(image:Captain Hook) we made him giant size as we forgot to take other photos! #musttryharder :)


amazing volunteers

I've mentioned it before but... parkrun really is totally free and parkrun really is solely run by a group of passionate volunteers who are also, in most cases, passionate runners too.

It is always fabulous to see some new faces, and today we welcomed Jennifer and Karen to the volunteer roster for the first time.  Mark and Aisling and Helena are also all relatively new - they were all AMAZING!

If you've maybe thought about helping out (but you are a bit scared and not sure what to do) or if you have not made a New Years resolution yet (or have broken all those you did set!) why not consider getting involved with us?

It really is good fun and everyone's help is invaluable. It also allows some of the regular volunteers to join in and do a bit of running on a Saturday morning too. Please check out the info for yourself at the following link; https://www.parkrun.org.uk/stormont/volunteer/ and drop us a line at stormont@parkrun.com and one of the team will happily answer any queries you may have and make it happen!

The event today was made possible by 21 talented and happy volunteers:

Mags MATHIESON • Gillian MCBRIDE • Marianne HOOD • Max MCROBERTS • Stephen HAMILTON • Aisling SPAIN • Jennifer CARSE • Clare LASINI • Maxine STEELE • Una MCNEILL • Karen WILSON • Magda BERNATEK • Alison CANNING • Mark HUNT • Rohan RAMAVATH • Leigh CARSWELL • Helena DRYSDALE • Michael SADLIER • Jimmy MCNEILL • Rohith RAMAVATH • Rebecca SADLIER • Max MCROBERTS

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

Stormont parkrun started on 29th August 2015. Since then 7,833 participants have completed 47,134 parkruns covering a total distance of 235,670 km, including 8,039 new Personal Bests. A total of 406 individuals have volunteered 3,283 times.

Marianne x ♥


Event 231, 18/01/2020

Event 231, 18/01/2020

A frosty start forced some neighbouring parkruns to cancel, meaning that some very welcome visitors (or was it one last push to fulfil new year’s resolutions?) swelled our numbers to 436. DSC_5976

A partial closure of our course for maintenance meant that some of you got to see part of the estate you might not have trodden until today, because of a detour through the picnic area. Thankfully, no rugs were trampled on, nor lashings of ginger beer spilt, in the making of this parkrun and our marshals kept everyone right.

Anyone who has completed our 5k would agree it’s no picnic. However, 85 of you made it look that way today, achieving PBs.

Among them was first finisher Neill Weir of Willowfield Harriers, who crossed the line at 16:47. He was followed by Tommy Hughes of Termoneeny Running Club who broke Stormont’s age-graded record with 94.69% and a time of 16:56. The Maghera man represented Ireland at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona and was one of 60 Stormont first-timers today.Stormont finishing line Jan 18

DSC_5978 DSC_5982 image

Standing around in the cold for two hours is no mean feat either, so thank you to the 23 volunteers who gave so generously of their time and made this event posslble. They were:

Patricia ADAMS, Magda BERNATEK, Marion BROWN, Jonathan CAMPBELL, Alison CANNING, Gary CRAIG, Jonathan JOHNSTON, Libby LASINI, Clare LASINI, Eva LASINI, Jacqueline MAGEE, Marty MCCONNELL, Una MCNEILL, Jimmy MCNEILL, Samuel MISKELLY, Colin O'PREY, Bradley O'PREY-MORTON, David RAINEY, Rohith RAMAVATH, Rohan RAMAVATH, Catherine ROSS, Jamie SMYTH and Helen F WEIR.Stormont volunteers Jan 18

See you next time.



Run report 230 – 11th January 2020

It was a BIG day at Stormont Estate.

The rumor was that the new running club is kicking off at the top of the hill. But it’s part of the parkrun code to share the park with other users so no bother to us. Everyone is welcome! Come and join us every Saturday at 9:30am, free, timed 5k run, jog, walk. Or try volunteering - great way to give back, have fun and meet new people.

                     Parkrun is for everyone.




People were saying that there was some excitement in the air but when we arrived in the morning all we could feel was WIND. And what a wind it was! Obviously in the wrong direction so 260 people who run had to put significantly more effort to keep moving forward. 14 PBs were recorded – what an achievement in this weather!

Lyn Sheldon, surrounded by her running buddies from Scrabo Striders, completed 150th parkrun.


Michael Osborne reached a 50th parkrun milestone. Congratulations!

We had visitors from Donegal and Wallace parkrun.

The event was made possible by a team of wonderful volunteers:
David RAINEY, Max MCROBERTS, Stephen HAMILTON. Aisling SPAIN, Linda INGRAM, Magda BERNATEK, Debi ALLEN, Gillian SADLIER, Mark HUNT. Rohan RAMAVATH, Miranda JEMPHREY, Helena DRYSDALE, Ellen DEEHAN, Patricia ADAMS, Bridget INNES, Jimmy MCNEILL, Andy ORR, Gary CRAIG, Danny HOLDEN, Una McNEILLvolThanks, Magda.


Double, double, toil and (no) trouble – Run report 228 – Jan 1 2020


Stormont parkrun, January 1 2020


By Simon Doyle

There was a time before I was a core team member at Stormont when I was a borderline obsessive (past tense ok?) parkrun tourist.
I'd not go out of my way to tick arbitrary boxes, try to earn unofficial animal print buffs or collect letters of the alphabet or suchlike, but I would pop along to other parkruns "if I'll be there anyway".
Except once. January 1 2015.


The Highfield in Middlesbrough. NYD double basecamp: Inset showing run credits

The Highfield in Middlesbrough. NYD double basecamp: Inset showing run credits

Ahead of a planned visit to Newcastle, I found myself in a hotel room above a noisy pub in nearby Middlesbrough on New Year's Eve. Look up the definition of the word "grim" and you'll have an idea. But why on earth? Why, because two parks were hosting New Year's Day parkruns, at different times, and both counted, is why. It made sense at the time.
Fast forward a few months and Stormont parkrun was in its infancy.
After a few more weeks, and Stormont was established as a popular event, I started asking other event teams had the double I, erm, enjoyed? in Middlesbrough, ever been an option in Northern Ireland. The answer was "no". So, along with Comber, we arranged to host the first local double in 2016 - they'd start at 9:30 and then we would follow 90 minutes later.
Ask someone who was there that day to tell you about it and watch their eyes glaze over in a thousand-yard stare. We still bear the scars.
The short version is Waterworks had been cancelled due to ice and a lot of runners made their way to Stormont. Add to that the crowd, on buses, coming from Comber, and our own regulars, and the 500 runner barrier was broken for the first time anywhere in Northern Ireland.

nyd1That 500 now seems miniscule compared to the last three years - 654, 644 and a huge 776 this year.
At 9.15, we thought we would get off lightly. But in typical flashmob style, runner after runner appeared.
Every year, we chat as a team about how we can improve things in future. We make small changes - more tokens, extra scanners, a longer funnel - but numbers continue to surprise us. Almost 800 out running in the beautiful estate on the first day of the year was both astonishing and unexpected.
That figure of 776 is the highest attendance ever recorded in Northern Ireland, breaking the previous record by more than 120.
Across six greater Belfast venues, there were more than 3,000 runs logged this Jan 1. All our neighbouring events also set attendance records.

Destinations of parkrun doublers on NYD. Picture by parkrun statsgeeks

Destinations of parkrun doublers on NYD. Picture by parkrun statsgeeks

Almost 450 runners who joined us at 9:30, completed a second run later the same day - 210 joining Orangefield, 162 taking part in the `Stormeau' double, 65 travelling to the north of the city and Waterworks and six having enough time to get to Antrim.

We laughed nervously when asking "what if Vicky park hadn't also been on". We are glad they were, otherwise we might have had to consider locking the gates.

Among our 776, there were an amazing 161 first time runners. It isn't always as busy. Queues to cross the finish line are exceptional and hopefully, with a few tweaks, won't be seen again.
As always we had a strong team of eager volunteers, led by our Event Director and founder Mel, and many thought on their feet to help handle the large crowds.
We are already discussing how we can make Jan 1 2021 run more smoothly. It is hard to imagine ever topping 776, but then we never thought we'd better 654. As parkrun continues to grow, it stands to reason that Stormont will as well.
We will celebrate our fifth birthday in August but long before we even think about how to mark that milestone, we are planning for this Saturday and, hopefully, normality.

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