Birthday celebrations this weekend for Letterkenny parkrun

It was eight years ago this weekend that the first group of participants took to the line for the first ever Letterkenny parkrun event.

And this Saturday morning there will be an air of celebration among the runners and walkers as the popular weekly event marks its 8th birthday.

Letterkenny parkrun has been a wonderful success and grown in huge popularity since being set up by Margaret O’Donnell and Anne McAteer in 2016.


Like the weekly parkruns that are organised in countless towns and villages around the country, it’s a free, fun, and friendly 5k event.

Margaret O’Donnell said the parkrun is a community event and everyone is welcome to come along to walk, run, jog, volunteer, or spectate.

“Following Covid lockdown we were delighted to once again get it back up and running in 2021,” she said.
“It’s entirely organised by volunteers every week, and if you don’t want to walk or run you are very welcome to come along and volunteer, whenever suits.
“Everyone takes part at their own pace, so no pressure to complete it in a particular time, and we have tail walkers who always finish at the end every week.”

The Letterkenny parkrun takes place every Saturday morning from 9.30am and the route takes participants around the grounds of St. Conal’s Hospital and the adjacent Bernard McGlinchey Town Park.

In recent weeks, the parkrun had to be postponed on a few occasions with bad weather forcing its cancellation one weekend before a lack of Run Directors meant it couldn’t take place on another Saturday.

Participants crossing the finish line at the Letterkenny parkrun

Margaret O’Donnell said the parkrun depends on volunteers and Run Directors to oversee the weekly event.


“We need volunteers to come along and help out and we are appealing to people to email us at and volunteer over the coming weeks and months,” she added.
“We are especially looking for people to come forward and volunteer for the Run Director role. The Run Director is responsible for organising it on a particular week, and we give training and support for the role.
“We currently have a number of Run Directors but the more we have then the role can be shared out, and we are more likely to make sure it happens every week.”

For those who have not taken part in a parkrun, but are keen to give it a try, you will need to register ( and you will then be given a unique barcode number, which you can use every time you take part.

You need only register once and then you bring along your scannable barcode every week (If you don’t bring it you won’t get a time). The same barcode is used when you volunteer.

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