News - 16th November 2022

250 milestone full house

Emer Thompson 2

The Thompson family, regulars at Portrush parkrun in Northern Ireland, have all achieved their 250 parkrun milestone. Emer Thompson tells us about her family’s different experiences of reaching this amazing goal.


My husband, Mervyn was the first in our family to discover parkrun. His run club training was cancelled one Saturday, so he ended up at Portrush parkrun at their second ever event in September 2012. He has been a regular ever since and has been Event Director at Portrush for quite a few years now.


As Mervyn was enjoying his parkrunning so much, I decided to give it a go. My first parkrun was in 2013, but I then had to take a break as my foot needed surgery. When I returned mid 2014, our sons joined us and we started our parkrun journeys together. At the time Daniel was 8 and Rory was just 5. We have always walked/run when we’re together so we tend to finish towards the back of the field.


Emer Thompson 5


We did our 50th and 100th parkruns together but school events and some missed Saturdays, due to the boys not liking the rain, meant our tallies of parkruns got out of sync. There were some other major interruptions such as the Covid lockdowns, when we continued with (not)parkrun, and a long period in 2015 when I was injured.


Mervyn reached his 250 milestone in December 2017. I achieved mine in December 2021. Daniel now 16, hit the big 250 in April 2022 and Rory in March 2022, just a few days before his 13th birthday.


Emer Thompson 1


We believe Rory was the youngest person in Northern Ireland to reach his 250. He was really chuffed with this statistic and was lovely for him to get the local recognition with an article in the local paper.


Emer Thompson 4


What we all enjoy about parkrun is that we can do our 5k at whatever pace we like and still earn our milestone t-shirts. We never push the boys to run the 5k and we tend to walk/run most times and have had some great chats as we complete our beach 5k. We have all volunteered many times too.


parkrun also provides us with the opportunity to meet many of the same friendly people every week. The event gives structure to our Saturday mornings and we love the location of the Portrush course, which is on the beach!


Emer Thompson 3


As Mervyn is Event director at Portrush he is more involved than the rest of us. He had the honour of carrying the Commonwealth Baton, just before the start of a parkrun in June, as it began its journey in Northern Ireland due to the community aspect of parkrun. The parkrunners all lined the start area as he ran between them with the baton!


We are intending to just keep parkrunning and enjoying as many parkruns as we can. The 500 milestone seems a long way off for myself, Daniel and Rory but Mervyn has over 400 in the bag already, so his will come round sooner!


Emer Thompson

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