On a visit to my parents in Portstewart, I decided to take in Norn Irn’s newest addition to the parkrun stable in Limavady. The weather forecast had been a bit unpromising, but the day dawned blue-skied and sunny, and as I drove through the Binevenagh Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, forests to the left of me, mountains to the right, and the sparkling waters of Lough Foyle with the hills of Inishowen ahead of me, I felt privileged to be able to run in some stunning locations.
The runners and marshalls meet at Roe Valley Leisure Centre, where barcodes and coats can be left. And as I’m writing this I’ve just realised that I left my yellow jacket there! The run itself starts about 500m away in Backburn Path. After the run you have to walk back to the leisure centre for scanning – bit of a faff but it’s always good to have somewhere sheltered for the scanning, and the walk makes a good cool down. There’s plenty of parking, and clean toilets in the centre, and it is well signposted as you enter the town.
The course is 3 and a half laps around Backburn path. This is an elongated bowl shaped green park in the middle of the town, with lots of lovely trees and bushes. The paths are wide enough for runners to pass each other in opposite directions, which they need to do at some points, and the surface was flat and tarmac all the way. There are a couple of inclines, but they’re not too steep or too long.
Having been waiting all day for the result to text through, I found a message on the Facebook page that the scanners hadn’t worked properly, and all the results would have to be input manually! Oh dear, a run director’s worst nightmare! And I left my yellow jacket behind…..
As this was my 20th different event, and I’ve been travelling around the country, the opening lines of Flying Elvis struck a chord:
“From East to West, and coast to coast, you move with the groove babe, you’re the most”
Particularly for smaller newer parkruns, I’ll check the record in my age category. This one stood at 28.37, which I thought I could aim for. Sadly, that time elapsed on my Garmin as I was 200m short of the finish line, but a 29.09 time puts me second in that table.
List of all the parkruns I’ve completed.