running and rolling together

As this was a totally new location for us, we arrived here early to be sure we would get parked – there was absolutely no need to worry as there was lots of parking across two car parks at the loughshore park. The toilet facilities and café were also located in this area.  It is an attractive open space with the Run Director’s brief held at the water’s edge and everyone is then invited to move forward 50m to the start line.  Walkers are asked to start behind the runners to minimise congestion but it is a difficult and slow start for the numbers involved (approx 250 when we visited) as the initial paths are narrow - start closer to front if after fast time otherwise be patient.  Due to the congested start you need to be alert to hazards - bin was helpfully dressed with hi-viz vest and marshals were standing on park bench shouting warnings but first few hundred yards are tight.  Once it opens up, the course is flat and spacious in very pretty surroundings.  Through Castle Gardens (2 laps here) there are a couple of bollards at key junctions – these are not too narrow but we just needed to be alert to them.  Most of the run is on a smooth and easy surface for pushing the jogger - plenty of them here - and there were only a couple of narrow points so an enjoyable and quick run. While we didn't use it, I understand there is a proper 'changing places' facility in clotworthy house in the castle gardens.  There is a fantastic cafe at the loughshore carpark where runners meet for coffee after – the scones looked amazing and there were tables outside as well as inside (which was very busy and probably not easy for chair/jogger to navigate but staff carried our coffees out for us.)  A really enjoyable parkrun in pleasant surroundings and, apart from the narrow stretch at the beginning, it was very comfortable for pushing a jogger.

team kerr

Antrim