This is another of the new parkruns in NI, I attended on their 8th run but there was nothing to suggest that this run hadn’t been going for years. It was well organised, good clear signage in the carpark, which is important as the start is not visible from the carpark or café / toilet building. Instead, the 5 min uphill push to get to the start gives some advance warning of the fun that you are in for! The run starts in a large open space on the top of an area known locally as Nunnery Hill, which is also where the run / newcomers brief is held. The run heads down a rough gravel road away from the park (toward a gate that leads to Moygashel), before turning back and going down the middle of the park passing the caravan site and playpark towards the lake. You run around the lake keeping it on your right and there is a bit of steering to be done on the approach to the lake but it is good surface and a gradual downhill. There is a really narrow bridge at the early part of the lake – anyone with a very wide chair/jogger would want to check the dimensions to be sure they can cross the bridge as there is no alternative way round this – and once you are about two thirds of the way around the lake a sharp uphill with a left turn followed by a small hill and a right bring you to a hard climb back up Nunnery Hill to complete the lap. The full course is two plus laps, with the finish on the way down the middle of the park.
It is not an easy parkrun with a jogger / chair – the narrow bridge and some bumpy narrow paths, rough surface in areas and a cracking climb (repeated) all create a real challenge - but I loved it and will definitely go back (preferably when I’ve persuaded someone else to come and help me on the hills!). Combine the challenge of the run with the fantastic welcome and encouragement from the super volunteers and other runners and Dungannon really is a super asset to our NI parkruns.