Now press play again.
Okay, so 2016 may be the year of Strava (and hills).
There’s usually at least one Strava segment at each parkrun. If not the full course then at least a lap of it. So be warned as these will be checked over the course of 2016 with a special Strava round up at the end of the year.
If you haven’t downloaded Strava you should do so at your earliest convenience. You can use the free version to access the segment leaderboards. You don’t have to run with your phone as if you have a Garmin you can link your Garmin account to Strava so it uploads automatically to Strava when you upload to Garmin.
In January there was the possibility to do seven parkruns (no, January hasn’t been extended to seven weeks, it just feels like it) thanks to the double parkrun challenge on New Years Day. Glenda Murray was the only Seaparker to do seven but Bobbie Irvine came in a close second with six (if it wasn’t for that B2R 10K he did).
New Years Day
The original plan was to either do Comber at 09:30 or Waterworks at 09:45 plus do Stormont at 11:00, but as with all best laid plans Waterworks didn’t go ahead due to flooding (or everyone being hung-over, it wasn’t clear). So it was only the folks that went to Comber at 09:30 who managed to do the New Years Day double parkrun challenge, while the Waterworks Five had to settle for a coffee in McDonalds while waiting for the 11:00 start at Stormont.
All the Seaparkers who attended Comber did the double. Julie-Ann Mitchell (on her 1st run at Comber) was the 1st Seaparker over the line in 2016 (the year, not the time). Yes she even beat Bobbie Irivine with a new overall parkrun PB of 26:47. For someone who doesn’t do 5K she’s of to a great start. Bobbie Irvine’s lack of a 1st place podium spot may have been due to his back to back marathons on 30th and 31st December, but I’m guessing that Julie-Ann Mitchell would disagree. Anyway, he was the 2nd Seaparker home and was followed by Alan ‘DFYB’ Grant (1st run at Comber), Trevor Lamb (1st run at Comber), Derek Kane (1st run at Comber), Karen Waring (1st run at Comber), Glenda Murray (1st run at Comber), Jonathan Beattie (1st run at Comber plus needs to be pointed out was beat by Emma Beattie) and Susan Kane (1st run at Comber).
One hour (and some rain) later 500 people attended the Stormont parkrun on New Year’s Day, the largest attendance of any NI parkrun to date.
Charlie McCormick was the first Seaparker home on his 1st run at Stormont with 20:13. Don’t worry Ian Cleland, your time of 19:34 still stands as the fastest for a Seaparker at Stormont. He was followed by Clive Weatherhead (1st run at Stormont), Brendan Rice (1st run at Stormont), Bobbie Irvine (with a new Stormont PB), Julie-Ann Mitchell (new overall parkrun PB of 26:37, 2nd PB in as many hours), Allan ‘DFYB’ Grant, Derek Kane (1st run at Stormont), Trevor Lamb, Alison Welsh (1st run at Stormont), Karen Waring (1st run at Stormont), Karen McMaster (new Stormont PB), Glenda Murray, Jonathan Beattie (1st run at Stormont and beat again by Emma Beattie) and Susan Kane (1st run at Stormont).
2nd Jan 2016
There was no rest for the dedicated as the next parkrun was the following day.
The first Carrickfergus parkrun of 2016 was attended by Charlie ‘I could get used to being 1st’ McCormick who was the first Seaparker over the line. He was followed by Ian ‘I don’t understand the concept of coming in 2nd’ Cleland, Richard Hethering, Gillian Strudwick (on her 2nd run at Carrickfergus), Trevor Lamb, Derek Kane, Clive Gray (completing his 1st parkrun ever), Karen McMaster and Glenda Murray.
A few other Seaparkers decided to do some parkrun tourism on 2nd with Allan ‘I remembered my barcode this time’ Grant and Gilliam Grant attending Antrim, Clive Weatherhead, Brendan Rice and Ryan Weatherhead going to Victoria and Bobbie ‘What’s a rest day?’ Irvine and Karen Waring running at Valley.
9th Jan 2016
The roles where reversed at Carrickfergus on 9th Jan as Ian Cleland was first over the line and Charlie ‘I should be used to 2nd place’ McCormick coming in, well, second. They were followed by Ryan Weatherhead, Gareth Hamill, Paul Daniels, Andrew Smyth, Sara Johnston, Rebecca Tester, Neill Harper, Julie-Ann ‘I’m going to leave Harry at home so I can get more PBs in 2016’ Mitchell and Susan Kane.
Bobbie Irvine travelled to Ecos parkrun (it was this 3rd appearance at Ballymena) while others stayed a bit closer to home. Robert Murray, Alison Welsh and Glenda Murray went to Queens while some thought that even that was too far and went to Valley instead. Derek Kane was the 1st Seaparker home at Valley (on his 1st run there) and was followed by Karen Waring, Julie Kelly (1st run at Valley) and Geraldine Kane (1st run at Valley).
While that was going on over on the mainland Gavin Irvine and Elise Park attended York (both for the first time) for its 4th birthday cakerun.
16th Jan 2016
A lot of parkruns had been cancelled on 16th.
Thomas Dunlop, Derek Kane, Susan Kane and Nicola McKay attempted to go to Carrickfergus but where send home by volunteers Charlie McCormick and Andy Smyth. Trevor Lamb was also supposed to volunteer at Carrickfergus but only made it half way down the North Road before turning back (yes, he knew it was cancelled).
Bobbie Irvine wanted to do Bangor parkrun prior to the B2R 10K at Mount Stewart but it was also cancelled.
Trevor Lamb got his own back on Glenda Murray (who if you remember from the last parkrun report got the Colin Glenn parkrun cancelled) and contacted Queens to get it cancelled for the first time ever. He used the flimsily excuse that the course was covered in ice. Really?! Who would believe that there was ice in NI in a January? So Glenda Murray rushed from Queens to Stormont (which had stated on Facebook that it was on) just making it in time. As Dick Dastardly would say ‘Drat, Double Drat & Triple Drat!’
Geraldine Kane also went to Queens but didn’t make the trip to Stormont after it was cancelled. Instead she did a freedom parkrun on the very icy Queens parkrun course. While Gary Craig and Ross Gilmore avoided all the running about nonsense and played it safe by attending a very icy Ormeau parkrun.
The dreaded 59:59 time returned to Victoria for the umpteenth time on 16th. At least this time runners where informed of the 59:59 time prior to starting the run (it was decided not to record the times to stop people from running fast as it was still very icy). Allan Grant, Julie-Ann Mitchell, Karen Poag (1st run at Victoria) and Philip Poag may have all got the 59:59 time but then technically they all came in joint first. Every cloud.
Back in England Elise Park completed her 1st run at Hull with Gavin Irvine.
23rd Jan 2016
Charlie McCormick may have been the second person over the line in Carrickfergus on 23rd but he was the first Seaparker to finish and obtained a new overall parkrun PB of 19:12. That’s 8 seconds faster than Bobbie Irvine’s Carrickfergus PB if anyone’s keeping track. Charlie was followed by Brendan Rice, Gillian Strudwick (with an overall parkrun PB of 23:41), Gareth Hamill, Ruth Hawkins (with an Carrickfergus PB of 25:55), Derek Kane, Philip Poag, Colin ‘Casanova’ McCrum, Alison Welsh, Neill Harper and Julie-Ann ‘I didn’t get a PB because I didn’t leave Harry at home’ Mitchell.
Over at Ormeau Bobbie Irvine was ‘taking it easy’ but still managed to be the first Seaparker to finish. He was followed by Gary Craig (who obtained an overall parkrun PB of 25:30), Allan Grant (who hurt his ankle when he overtook Trevor Lamb at the 2 mile point), Trevor Lamb (who didn’t care that Allan Grant had bested him as he got an Ormeau PB of 26:13), Karen Waring (who’s nearly at 100% fitness again and will be overtaking everyone in the next few weeks), Glenda Murray (who was on her 1st run at Ormeau) and Karen McMaster (who also achieved an Ormeau PB of 29:21).
While over at Queens Julie Kelly was the first Seaparker home (on her 1st run at Queens) and was followed by Geraldine Kane (1st run at Queens if you don’t count the freedom run the week before, with an overall parkrun PB of 31:15) and Susan Kane (1st run at Queens).
Robert Steele didn’t get the message that everyone was going to Ormeau (or Queens) and was the sole Seaparker at his first run at Victoria. It didn’t really matter to him that he was on his own as he got an overall parkrun PB of 21:42. Maybe the lack of distractions brought him focus?
While back on the mainland Elise Park and Garvin Irivne followed the second star to the right and went straight on ‘til morning to get to the Peter Pan parkrun. I’m not sure how much pixie dust was used but it must have worked as Elise got an overall parkrun PB of 32:07.
30th Jan 2016
Do I even need to say who was 2nd over the line at Carrickfergus on 30th? Of course it was him. His time was 19:18 which was 6 seconds slower that his PB last week, but still 2 seconds faster than yer other man’s PB at Carrickfergus. So that’s got to count for something. He was followed by Brendan Rice, Robert Steele (with a new Carrickfergus PB of 21:57), Jonathan Beattie, Philip Poag, Derek Kane, Karen Poag, Rebecca Tester, Karen McMaster, Neill Harper and Marie Nicholson.
For the last bit of tourism of the month it was back to Ormeau for Gary Craig and Antrim for the rest of the parkrun tourists. Bobbie Irvine, Robert Murray, Trevor Lamb, Karen Waring and Glenda Murray where all in attendance at the very cold and windy Antrim parkrun. And no, the wind didn’t help anyone get a faster time.
Andy’s parkrun challenge 2016
It’s back for another year. The rules are the same but the courses are different. Between 26/03/16-29/10/16 participants will have 32 weeks to complete three different parkruns, plus volunteer at Carrickfergus at least once. The parkruns will be Carrickfergus, Larne and the third one will be any of the participants own choosing. Age grade percentage will decide the winner.
I think you’ll need to do Larne a few times, as the first time you’ll do it you’ll want to cry (unless you completed the Cultra 10K on 31/01/16, nothing scares those folks now).
Seapark charity parkrun challenge
Michael Kane’s Seapark charity parkrun challenge has got off to a great start. All 15 confirmed participants will have to run at least once at all 22 of the NI parkruns in 2016. People may run the same course more than once but it’s the different courses that are being counted for the purposes of the challenge. Some have yet to start but it’s still early days. I wonder if there’s a prize for the first one to finish the 22?
Bobbie Irvine (6) Antrim, Comber, Ecos, Ormeau, Stormont & Valley.
Glenda Murray (6) Antrim, Carrickfergus, Comber, Ormeau, Queens & Stormont.
Allan Grant (5) Antrim, Comber, Ormeau, Stormont & Victoria.
Trevor Lamb (5) Antrim, Carrickfergus, Comber, Ormeau & Stormont.
Karen Waring (5) Antrim, Comber, Ormeau, Stormont & Valley.
Derek Kane (4) Carrickfergus, Comber, Stormont & Valley.
Alison Welsh (3) Carrickfergus, Queens & Stormont.
Geraldine Kane (2) Valley & Queens.
Julie Kelly (2) Queens & Valley.
Robert Murray (2) Antrim & Queens.
Becki Tester (1) Carrickfergus.
Megan Kane (0) N/A
Michael Kane (0) N/A
Alan Poag (0) N/A
Carol Woods (0) N/A
The charities are Brainwaves NI and Macmillian Cancer Support. Here are the links to each of the Just Giving pages.
It has been suggested that each participant should donate £2.00 per parkrun. Non-participants can also donate. It’s only a suggestion so I won’t mind if you want to donate more, your choice.
Race to 100
Team Trevor (AKA Team Wolf) is at 67 parkruns as off 30/01/16.
Team Glenda (AKA Team Devious) is also at 67 parkruns as off 30/01/16.
Both did the Comber/Stormont double on 1st, Carrickfergus on 2nd, Ormeau on 23rd and Antrim on 30th but Trevor being the good sportsman he is took two weeks off so Glenda could do Queens on 9th and Stormont on 16th so both parties where equal as of the end of January.
Now the gloves come off.
The Race to 100 participants have now been extended to include Allan Grant (on 69) and Karen McMaster (on 70) as off 30/01/16.
Allan Grant also complete the Comber/Stormont double on 1st, Antrim on 2nd, Victoria on 16th and Ormeau on 23rd while Karen McMaster make the unfortunate choice to go to Waterworks on 1st (which was cancelled) so only did Stormont on 1st, plus Carrickfergus on 2nd, Ormeau 23rd and Carrickfergus on 30th.
I was thinking Team Barcode for Allan and Team Chair for Karen but any other ideas are welcome.