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Irish Olympian breaks women’s parkrun world record

Ciara Mageean ran a speedy 15:13 in Belfast to take 12 seconds off the previous parkrun record

Ciara Mageean Photo by: Kevin Morris

With December and January being down months for competition and racing, some distance runners need a place to test their fitness. On Dec. 23, Irish Olympian Ciara Mageean put her training to the test at Victoria Park parkrun in Belfast, setting a new women’s parkrun world record of 15:13.

The 31-year-old, who finished fourth in the women’s 1,500m at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, ran the timed 5K course 12 seconds faster than the previous record holder, Australia’s Izzi Batt-Doyle.

Batt-Doyle ran 15:25 to set the record at the Aldinga Beach parkrun, just outside her hometown of Adelaide, Australia, in December 2022.

Parkrun is a weekly, free, community-based timed 5K where you can run, jog and/or walk in parks and open spaces around the world. Every parkrun event is 5K and is held on Saturday morning.

Ciara Mageean
Ireland’s Ciara Mageean (hip 1) battling Laura Muir, Faith Kipyegon and Ethiopia’s Diribe Welteji in the women’s 1500m at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest. Photo: Kevin Morris

“It’s a nice way to start the Christmas period,” Mageean said about her new record to Athletics Weekly. “It’s a big one with the Olympics coming up in the summer and World Indoors and European Champs too in the run-up to it. I’ve had a good winter (training) block too with solid work, so it’s good to come out and run a good 5K here.”

Her 5K parkrun record caps off an impressive breakout season for Mageean, who broke Irish national records in the 800m, 1,500m and mile on her way to her fourth-place finish at Worlds in August.

Three reasons to head to your local parkrun this weekend

The concept of parkrun began in London’s Bushy Park in 2004, with the aim to create an inclusive and community-focused event that encouraged people of all ages and fitness levels to participate in a timed 5K run or walk. It remains one of the most popular weekly run groups across the world.

If you are interested in checking out or volunteering at a local parkrun, you can find your nearest parkrun here.

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