In early May I had a holiday in the beautiful, sunny resort of Portrush, Northern Ireland. Apart from a nice holiday we were there to see the Nortwest 200 motorbike races and of course, I had to check out the local parkrun.
As mentioned in previous articles, parkrun is a free event held every Saturday morning around the world. It is a 5k timed run. More information can be found at www.parkrun.org. My home run is Cross Flatts but I am gaining a reputation for being a bit of a parkrun tourist.
Portrush is very different to Cross Flatts, mainly because it is held on a beach. It’s a flat out and back course and the day I ran it was glorious sunshine, apparently the first time in 10 years that it hasn’t rained during Northwest week.
The tide was out and the sand was firm but not too wet and not soft enough to sink into. This did not make it easy by any means. I considered running it barefoot as I had run along the same beach earlier in the week in my bare feet but no one else seemed to have dumped their shoes.
Running on sand, no matter how compacted it is, is very different to running on tarmac. It’s quite difficult, the sand makes your feet slip and slide beneath you. There are some who say that 1 mile on sand is equal to 5 miles on tarmac, this would mean that in the whole week I was there I ran about 30 miles!
The scenery along the coastline was stunning and I did not tire of looking at it and it took my mind off my aching legs. It’s a good job really because I was running totally on my own.
I finished in position 141 of 147 runners with a time of 42:15 which is pretty slow for me. This was my 42nd parkrun, only 8 more until I get to my first milestone. I have run in 7 different locations, in 3 different countries. Parkrun is a very inclusive way to get into exercise regardless of who you are and your ability, lots of parkruns, including Cross Flatts welcome walkers as well as runners.