Kirsti Foster and Paul Stephenson ran the fastest parkrun times in Ireland this weekend (22nd February).

The women’s top ten was packed with Willowfield Harriers’ young stars this week with Kirsti Foster leading the way running 18:30 at Belfast Victoria.

Foster was joined by sister Lucy, Emmy Thornton and Emer McKee as Willowfield’s under 13, under 15 and under 17 athletes impressed. Kirsti Foster has made an excellent start to 2020 running a huge 1500m PB of 4:40.20 to win the Northern Ireland & Ulster Age Group Championship before going on to run 9:59 at Armagh 3km.

Paul Stephenson ran 15:57 at Marlay parkrun to finish as the fastest man this week. Stephenson, who runs for Rathfarnham WSAF, had a fine 2019 including 2:29:46 at London Marathon, 51:21 at Kilcock 10 mile race and 14:59 at Rathfarnham 5k.

With 18:39 Orla Byrne was this week’s second fastest woman. Byrne picked up a silver medal at the Munster Intermediate Cross-Country Championships in December and finished 6th at the recent Irish Life Health National Intermediate XC Championships. This was the St Finbarr’s athlete’s 3rd fastest parkrun time at Clonmel.

Robert Frewen features again this week. The Raheny athlete was 2nd fastest last week, and again this week, claiming another small PB to run a second faster with 16:25. Frewen ran a PB at the recent AXA Raheny 5 Mile clocking 26:34.

Lucy Foster joined her sister in the top three this weekend with 19:23 at Belfast Victoria. Lucy has also been in fine form at the start of 2020 with wins in the 800m at the NI & Ulster Age Group Indoors Championships and cross country taking the u/15 win at the Stormont Open a fortnight ago.

16:29 at Waterworks was enough to see St Malachys’ under 20 athlete Conall McClean finish as the 3rd fastest man this week. McClean was another athlete racing on the streets of Armagh, in the 3km, where 8:43 saw him finish 6th. In December he picked up a silver medal at the National Novice and Uneven Age Cross Country Championships in the u/19s race.

Men’s top 10

1) parkrun: Marlay
Paul Stephenson, 15:57, Rathfarnham WSAF
2) parkrun: Malahide
Robert Frewen, 16:25, Raheny Shamrock AC
3) parkrun: Waterworks
Conall McClean, 16:29, St Malachys AC
4) parkrun: Belfast Victoria
Gareth Campbell, 16:39, Willowfield Harriers
=5) parkrun: Stormont 
Jamie Smyth, 16:56, North Down AC
=5) parkrun: Malahide 
Tom McEnery, 16:56, Raheny Shamrock AC
7) parkrun: Waterford Nature
Trevor Swift, 16:57, Waterford AC
8) parkrun: Malahide 
Martin McKenna, 16:58, Raheny Shamrock AC
9) parkrun: MUSA Cookstown
Andrew Newell, 17:01, Sperrin Harriers
8) parkrun: Malahide 
Joe McCraken, 17:02, Raheny Shamrock AC

Women’s top 10

1) parkrun: Belfast Victoria
Kirsti Foster, 18:30, Willowfield Harriers
2) parkrun: Clonmel
Orla Byrne, 18:39, St Finbarrs AC
3) parkrun: Belfast Victoria
Lucy Foster, 19:23, Willowfield Harriers
4) parkrun: Belfast Victoria
Emmy Thornton, 19:26, Willowfield Harriers
5) parkrun: Malahide
Shannon Kelly, 19:30
6) parkrun: Stormont
Emer McKee, 19:39, Willowfield Harriers
7) parkrun: Limerick
Susan Murnane, 19:40, Limerick A.C.
8) parkrun: Royal Canal
Louise Long, 19:53, Le Cheile AC
=9) parkrun: Wallace
Rachel Parker, 19:57
=9) parkrun: Gorey 
Clodagh Kelly, 20:00, Croghan AC

If you would like to run faster at parkrun, top tips to help runners of all abilities can be found here.

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