Derry’s Parkrun celebrates 200th run!

Parkrunners will chalk up a milestone in the city this weekend. INLS 18-705-con

Parkrunners will chalk up a milestone in the city this weekend. INLS 18-705-con

What has gone over Derry’s Peace Bridge more than 27,000 times in the past four years?

The City’s Parkrunners, that’s what!

Since 2013 almost 3,000 runners have taken part in Derry’s free weekly timed 5k but this Saturday will be a run with a difference, because Parkrun Derry is celebrating its 200th run.

And they need your help.

The team of volunteers at Parkrun hope to make this week’s run their biggest ever and are hoping to attract the magical number of 200 runners to celebrate their 200th run.

Parkrun Derry is open to the entire walking/running community in the city and further afield. It’s completely free and available every Saturday morning to walkers, joggers and runners alike.

All the runs are timed, recorded against your profile, which includes your age and sex, and gives you an overview of your progress.

Paticipants are invited to bring your children, prams, dogs and even husbands and wives if you feel the need! Everyone is welcome at Derry City parkrun.

“Parkrun Derry first began on June 29th, 2013 when Matt Shields (Mr Parkrun for NI) came and opened Derry City parkrun; a free weekly timed and accurately distanced 5k,” said a spokesperson.

“Matt ran a 18:19 5K. For a man in his 60s, that is quite a time. Since that first outing we have had 2,981 different runners, including those from 220 registered clubs, equating to 13,777 times registered as running our beautiful course. (So they’ve been over the Peace Bridge and back more than 27,000 times).

“There have been 2,858 times when someone has bettered their best run and earned a PB (personal best).

“Our biggest attendance to date is 139 was Halloween and the lowest was 18. We have had wind, rain, gales, snow and floods, and it has only been cancelled three times due to circumstances out of our control, like the weather and music festivals.

“We have had Santas, Hens and Stags, Couch to 5k graduates from all over the local area; we have had visitors from all over Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland, a French Duathlon Champion, New Zealanders, Aussies and South Africans.

“Matt’s age related record still stands at 18.19, Catherine Whoriskey from Spartans holds the female record at 17.41 but we are hoping she breaks that again soon, and Foyle Valley’s Scott Rankin holds the men’s at 15.27. It’s great to have two local runners hold the course records.”

Saturday’s event leaves at 9.30 a.m. sharp from outside the Coffee Shop at the Quay.

You must register for a barcode if it is your first time at Parkrun. For more information and to log on please go to http://www.parkrun.org.uk/derrycity/