Still based in Mayo, I headed South to Achill, an island with dramatic views of sea and mountains. I’d already seen it from the other side of the water to the North, now I could take a closer look. I wasn’t that far away, but the roads are twisty and not particularly quick, so it was nearly an hour’s trip from North of Belmullet.
The event is straightforward to find. You can park at the hotel, or the GAA club if the gate’s open, and the hotel were happy for me to use the facilities beforehand. It’s a short walk round the back of some houses to find the greenway, and on this still and calm day the team were there well ahead of the start (9:30) so I wasn’t hanging around on my own.
The event is just off Achill Island, with the hotel right on the bridge that takes you there. Views over the island are great, particularly on a day like today, with barely a breath of wind. No guarantees, as that will change from week to week, sometimes from day to day.
The run is on a good surface throughout, with a few road crossings, mostly marshalled, before you get to the turnaround point, which is also marshalled. It’s not too testing, though it undulates – it was slightly uphill for the first mile (nearly), then flat, with the prospect of a slight downhill gallop to the finish a welcome one.
Afterwards most people scooted off to carry on their Saturdays. I hung around to watch the last few come in – it just wasn’t cold, so I cooled down nicely before strolling back to head off. Some weeks they go for refreshments at the hotel, but not this time.
This is a fabulous event which would welcome more people, and I recommend it both for the welcome, and for the views, which change as you progress along the course. I was so busy looking out to sea that I missed the fact that mountains had appeared on my right, but even if you somehow missed them all the way out, you’d have the trip back to take them in. Super scenic, and secure underfoot so you can spend your time in looking around you.
Results from Achill Greenway parkrun, 3/12/22; 16 finishers.