Race Date: Sunday 23rd February 2019
Report by Stephen Gilmer
The final event in the Belfast Telegraph “Run Forest Run” Challenge saw a total of 588 runners descend on Castlewellan Country Park near Newcastle County Down in Northern Ireland.
234 runners took part in the 5k with 481 tackling the 10k, just how many of those had warmed up as part of the 291 parkrunners just prior was unclear, but it seemed like a lot! There were plenty of people collecting their framed, interlocking medals, that has become a feature of this race series over recent years, prior to kick off. The organisers of the event have been getting better with practice and this was by far the smoothest running of their events I’ve taken part in over the last couple of years (although they had their distance markers out on the parkrun route prior, this may have contributed to my new parkrun PB).
A beautiful course round the lake for toughly 4km before heading into the hills around the Castle for the remaining 6, it sounded like the majority would have preferred it to be the other way round, but it was an enjoyable and scenic route. If you’re ever in this part of the world the parkrun happens every Saturday, with an incredibly welcoming team and is definitely worth a visit.
The race was won by Noel Ker in a time of 37:09. First woman was Gladys Ganiel in a time of 37:39. 481 runners completed the race.