Run Report 209 – 24th August 2019

291 people chose to visit Stormont Estate and complete parkrun on a warm and sunny Saturday morning. It's an impressive attendance. You all started Bank Holiday weekend with a blast! Well done!IMG_E5602

Join us at the main gate for a prerun briefing, including the important health and safety announcements. It's also an opportunity to welcome visitors, first timers, and celebrate milestones together.IMG_5614

We had 43 first timers, few visitors (Ramsbottom Running Club, Carickfergus parkrun and few more locations) and few doing first ever parkrun. They were briefed by Sara, who stepped into the role last minute, so big thank you to her.

One of the 1st timers in a barkrun category was Bailey.

We love to see barkrunners at Stormont, a water bowls and some treats are waiting for them at the finish line. You can see some of the dogs on our website, check Dogs of Stormont feature.

If running with a dog, please keep him/her on a short lead, and be careful especially passing other parkrunners and park users.

Full results are available here:

The event was made possible by 18 volunteers: Simon DOYLE • Max MCROBERTS • Stephen HAMILTON • Maxine STEELE • Una MCNEILL • Sophie LAW • Magda BERNATEK • Joe MILES • Alison CANNING • William HOPKINS • Jennifer MILLS • Brian DODDS • Ciaran CROSSEY • Sara THOMPSON • Jonathan CAMPBELL • Jimmy MCNEILL • Gary CRAIG • Graeme TAGGART


Stormont barkrun


Folks love to jog with their dog. It is how some of the run directors at Stormont re-discovered running after years of inactivity.

From, Pome-run-ians to Daschunds to `Weimarunners', we have our regular barkrunners each week trying to better their personal 'beasts'. We like to look after them too with fresh water and biscuits at our refreshment stand. Here we meet a few:



Veda likes to be both seen and heard, and gets quite excited at the start line. That one dog you can hear above all others, that'll be Veda. She can be found running around with Susan and Davy and has visited many different parkruns as a tourist too.



Minnie likes to make her own announcements before a run, but once the whistle goes, it's a heads-down gallop to the finish. She loves being first dog and has been first female (of any species). With 100+ runs, she thinks dogs should get milestone collars.

Kizzy and Coco


Veterans of Waggy Races where they have won podium prizes with our run director Aaron, this pair enjoy exploring Stormont Estate and its wonderful woodland trails. They are typically left at home when we know there is going to be cake.


Fred        fred2

Fred was a Stormont parkrun dog, until he went international. He is now chief mascot for Nidda parkrun in Frankfurt where he enjoys all the attention from his fans and takes any opportunity to steal cake.



Since his first run in 2013, Chester has taken eight minutes off his PB. He'd be much faster if it wasn't for the `dogs on leads' rule. He's been known to reply to social media posts sent to the core team, on behalf of run director Simon, who is not on FB, ok?



If they awarded purple milestone shirts for dogs, Poppy would have been one of the first to earn one at Stormont. She enjoys marshaling with her owner Caroline, and loves volunteering so much she donated her treat tin to us so all doggos can share biscuits.



Look at this cool dude in his hi-viz. Ernie is clearly one furry-faced pup who takes his volunteering seriously. That look on his face is one of focus and concentration, as runner safety is his priority. Ernie also likes to bark encouragement at runners.


Alfie     Alfie 2

A parkrun veteran, known for making a lot of noise at the start with his buddy and fellow Cocker Spaniel Eva. He races off the line like a rocket before his human runs out of steam. Loves cold mornings & muddy puddles. (IG: @alfie_cocker_spaniel)



It is not very often that dogs run the show, but Beans was the youngest puppo to be run director with us. He even had a run director blankie knitted by his granny. He is now a doggo model so doesn’t have a lot of time for volunteering unfortunately.

Stanley `Dood'


Stanley is a bundle of energy and enjoys volunteering as tail walker with our run director Marianne. He also likes to chase and piggyback other dogs, especially his girlfriend Bella. Woooooo Stanley.



As you can see, Cara has an outfit for every occasion and is one of our regular doggo volunteers along with Karen. She has helped with tokens, stopwatches, bark-code scanning and marshalling.


eva     eva2

Eva (IG @trumpdawg) holds a `golden paws' in the 400m sprint events. She is sometimes referred to as the parkrun princess due to her desire to be carried to the start. Vocal, some assume she must be related to Alfie, another equally loud spaniel.



Parkrun is more than just a run. For others it is about the community and supporting their family and friends. This is Amber, her mummy's best supporter who patiently waits to see her running down the Mall for a big hug.



Donard (IG: @donard.the.chocolate.lab) This happy and handsome Labrador Retriever recently completed his `couch to 5K9' and is now eagerly anticipating becoming a Stormont parkrun regular.



A parkrun tourist, he especially likes Stormont as there are loads of trees he can claim ownership of. When a pup, Oska was hit by a lorry and ended up in a rescue centre. As a result of his accident his front right paw is fused at the ankle, but this doesn't stop him.



Originally from Italy, she now lives in Magherafelt and visits Belfast every summer. She doesn’t like running too much anymore but recently marshaled and enjoyed munching doggie treats and watching the runners. She can’t wait to return to Stormont parkrun.



Rusty is an enthusiastic runner and often parkrun isn't enough. The doggy park is a must to say hi to other doggies. Rusty is good friends of Veda, Davy & Susan and well known by Scrabo Striders. He drags his mum Lorraine round Ards many a morning.


If you would like your dog featured on this page, please send a photo of them at Stormont parkrun and a few lines (no more than 50 words) to



Run Report 208 – 17th August 2019

What a lovely morning today! Thanks to the 250 peeps who ran, jogged and walked the course. 33 were first timers and 23 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 33 different clubs took part.
It was great to have visitors from Chipping Sodbury, Lough Key, Dublin, Gladstone and Saint Andrews.
It is nearly our fourth birthday!! More info to follow...I am fairly confident that there will be  cake!
Please can everyone park respectfully in the mornings in the local area? Please stick to proper parking etiquette and do not park on yellow lines or block residents driveways... Thanks everyone for consideration.
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The event was made possible by 19 GORGEOUS, TALENTED, FUN-LOVING and KIND volunteers:- we salute you all!

Mags, Kimberley, Marianne, Max,  Stephen, Helen, Clare, Una, Fiona, Penny, William, Jennifer, Miranda, Jim, Patricia, Pauline, Jimmy, Bradley and David



Run report 207 – 10th August 2019

It was dull and cloudy and no number of filters have been able to remove a grey sky from the photos. But as soon as the gates opened and parkrunners started flooding the park, it was brighter, there were smiles and chatter... Is it not great to start the weekend with something so uplifting as parkrun? Surrounded by friends, old and new, and by 'parkrun buddies' (people whom we see only on Saturday mornings but they have become part of our lives, and something is missing if we can't see them once a week).IMG_5469

This week 220 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 24 were first timers (9 completed their first ever parkrun) and 14 recorded new Personal Bests. We had visitors from Nottingham, Galway and Malling parkrun in Kent.

A quick reminder that we do not accept barcodes on mobiles. No printed barcode No results:

Two volunteers celebrated their milestones: Bradley O'Prey-Morton, who has been with us for the last few months doing his DoE Award - 25th volunteer and Mags Mathieson who celebrated her 300th. Roisin Murray completed her 50th parkrun and Peter Robinson - 100th. Congratulations!

Stormont parkrun 207  was delivered to you by following volunteers: Mags MATHIESON • Kimberley REYNOLDS • Gillian MCBRIDE • Anne MCNALLY • Max MCROBERTS • Stephen HAMILTON • Magda BERNATEK • Joe MILES • William HOPKINS • Alasdair MACINNES • Marty MCCONNELL • Jim FLEMING • Jonathan CAMPBELL • Catherine ROSS • Bradley O'PREY-MORTON

There is plenty of volunteer roles available every week. Send an e-mail or contact us through social media and we will add you to the roster. Volunteering is easy, and we explain everything if needed. Just ask :)

See you all next week, same place, same time!


Run report 206 – 3rd August 2019

We did things slightly differently today, as you likely noticed. Chatting to one of the marshals this morning as runners went by, we agreed that many people appeared to have forgotten the original course, the one that we ran for more than three years, before work on the playpark caused us to take a detour for the last few months.

mo2   mo   mo3

With work to the playpark now complete, and the nice wide, smooth, downhill path open again, the run director decided to send runners along the original route. Some say they like it better while others say they like the alternate route better. The core volunteering team is discussing which course to run in future.

We almost managed to start at 9:30am, that walk to the start line is always longer than it seems. We had 231 runners taking part on a quite perfect morning for a 5k run. As always it was good to welcome visitors and first timers as well as our regulars.

An unknown runner crossed the line first (no barcode, no time, no exceptions), followed closely by Emer McKee as first female for the 41st time. Forty. One. Times. Congratulations Emer.

Back to those first timers - we had 28 today. There were 30 runners who recorded personal bests. Whether that had anything to do with us running the original, officially measured 5k course this morning, is unclear.

Two runners reached their 50 milestone - Aisling Spain and Gareth Kennedy.

Representatives of 20 different clubs took part and the event was made possible by 19 volunteers. If you would like to volunteer with us, all roles are straightforward and we are a pretty sound and modest core team, so come have a chat to one of us, or send us an email.

As always, we had a good few dogs running today. Some of you may have already heard that we plan to publish a special feature about the dogs of Stormont very soon. Details on how to have your dog appear on our website can be found elsewhere on this news page, and on our social media pages.

Finally, Stormont parkrun will be celebrating its 4th birthday on August 31. In almost four years, we have had 6,859 participants complete 39,508 parkruns covering a total distance of 197,540 km. We hope to see you on the day, and every Saturday.