running and rolling together
The Derry City parkrun starts and finishes at the riverside marina just behind the council offices. There is a public carpark nearby but it is only a short walk (warm up run) from Sainsburys, which is where we parked and made use of the toilets before joining the run. The course follows the promenade towards the city centre then crosses the Peace Bridge to the Waterside and along the St Columbs Park footway. The winds were very strong the day we were there so it required a bit of effort on the more exposed parts of the Peace Bridge (Ben enjoyed being windswept for a few minutes), there is a good long downhill ramp off the bridge (but it does mean a push back up on the return leg). The stretch along St Columbs park is a slight uphill drag, not excessive by any means and I’d guess it only lasts about 500-600m. The turning point at 2.5K is marked by a seating area and some very encouraging parkrun volunteers. You retrace the same route in reverse, getting the benefit of the steady downhill along St Columbs park before the push back up onto the Peace Bridge and then the home straight to the finish line. It is a very pleasant and welcoming parkrun which attracts a good crowd each week (circa 80). There is a real mix of participants with the fairly flat course being inviting for the very fast runners as well as for running chairs/joggers, walkers and everyone in-between. The encouragement and cheers at the finish are as loud whether 1st home or last home. Scanning is done close to the finish line and many of the runners drop into the lovely coffee shop for a cuppa and fabulous scone.