Irish athlete breaks Izzi Batt-Doyle’s one-year-old “parkrun record” with 15:13 for 5km

Ciara Mageean ended 2023 in style by clocking the quickest parkrun by a woman with 15:13 in Belfast.

The 31-year-old was in action at the Victoria Park course in the Northern Ireland capital as she took 12 seconds off the previous women’s “world record-holder” Izzi Batt-Doyle’s 15:25 which was set at the Aldinga Beach parkrun event in Adelaide 12 months ago.

Prior to Batt-Doyle’s run, the quickest previous women’s parkrun in the United Kingdom, meanwhile, was Melissa Courtney-Bryant’s 15:31 set in Poole just days earlier on Christmas Eve last year.

Running with her boyfriend Thomas Moran, Mageean finished third overall in the event.

The previous day Mageean was named BBC Northern Ireland Sports Personality of the Year and, along with sprinter Rhasidat Adeleke, was announced as joint athlete of the year by Athletics Ireland.

“It’s a nice way to start the Christmas period,” she said. “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 block too with solid work so it’s good to come out and run a good 5km here.”

Mageen finished fourth in the 1500m final in an Irish record of 3:56.61 at the World Championships in Budapest in August. During a superb year she also broke Sonia O’Sullivan’s long-standing Irish mile recored with 4:14.58.

She now plans to spend time training in Flagstaff, Arizona, before racing in Boston. She plans a short indoor season with a focus on 3000m and says she will potentially compete in the Irish Indoor Championships. “I’ll probably spend most of my year up at altitude this year!” she added.

The festive period is usually pretty busy when it comes to parkruns. Given this, who knows how long Mageean’s ‘record’ will survive as Courtney-Bryant’s from Christmas 2022 only lasted a week.

Also in action this weekend (Dec 23) was 2022 world 1500m champion Jake Wightman, who finished first in the Bushy Park parkrun in 14:52 – more than a minute ahead of the rest of the field.

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