Situated just outside of Dublin, Donabate parkrun was born in October 2015 and is set in the picturesque grounds of Newbridge House. Core team member Sean Greensit tells us a little more about the surrounding parkland, interesting animals and the post-parkrun café!
My wife Elaine initially registered us both for Malahide parkrun in January 2013, we almost didn’t go as it was so wet and windy, but we did, and despite the weather we loved the atmosphere and the opportunity to try and beat our first time the following week. After a couple of years of parkrunning at Malahide, I was involved in setting up a new event at Newbridge House, close to where I lived and Donabate parkrun was born.
Donabate parkrun starts on the grass in front of the famous Newbridge House, built by the Cobbe family in the mid 1700s, and progresses onto tarmac paths before twisting and turning through the woods, past the farm and towards the first U-Turn at the 2k mark. This is the first of two ‘high five’ opportunities as you meet fellow parkrunners before heading back into the woods.
The fastest section of the course comes after 3.5km when the course heads out of the woods and down the hill past the deer park. The second U-turn comes with 650 metres to go and from there it’s straight all the way to the finish. Post-parkrun, everyone is invited to The Coach House Café, situated between the finish line and the car park, you even receive a 10% discount if you have your barcode.
On your Donabate parkrun journey, you even have the chance to spot cows, goat, sheep, deer, llamas, squirrels and possibly even a stray peacock, and has an enjoyable downhill section without any noticeable uphill.
The route has had to change a few times, most noticeably to make way for the reintroduction of a Victorian croquet lawn on the finish line!
There is a super friendly atmosphere and cheers are given in equal measure to first finishers and to walkers. Set on a 370 acre park which includes a traditional farm, a walled garden and a children’s playground, there is plenty to do and see for the whole family. Donabate train station is only 1km from our start line and for overseas tourists we’re only about a 15 minute drive from Dublin Airport.
Many locals now walk, jog, run or volunteer on a regular basis. The Donabate Portrane peninsula is awash with lots of active people, many of whom started running through parkrun. Many have now gone on to run marathons. Octogenarian, or as we like to call him the elder statesman of our parkrun, John O’Brien, had previously run marathons and was encouraged to start running again when our parkrun started. John has now run over 100 parkruns and can also be seen setting up the start line most Saturdays.
I love our parkrun because the route includes so many of the beautiful features of the park. It also has a lovely atmosphere created by the volunteers and there is so much fun for the whole family!
The full parkrun Ireland profile series is here.
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