Ciara Mageean Shatters Women’s Fastest Parkrun Record By 18 Seconds

Northern Ireland’s Ciara Mageean broke the women’s fastest time run in a parkrun event clocking a 15:13 finish in the Irish capital of Belfast. This comes a day after she was named 2023 BBC Northern Ireland Sports Personality of the Year. Photo: Supplied

Middle distance runner Ciara Mageean has closed off 2023 in style by recording the fastest Parkrun in the world, covering the 5km distance in a time of 15 minutes and 13 seconds, at Victoria Park in Belfast, Ireland.

Mageean beat the previous record by 18 seconds, set by Mellisa Courtney-Bryant from Wales last December. 

While many deem Parkrun as more off a social or unofficial race, the 2023 BBC Northern Ireland Sports Personality of the Year, was using it as a training exercise, as she preparations for the Paris Olympics. Her previous best for 5km was the 15:24 she ran in Bath back in April.

Mageean, who represents Ireland internationally, was elated after the race: “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.”

Parkrun Record Holder, Middle-Distance Runner Ciara Mageean

In August of 2023, Mageen finished fourth in the 1500m final, in an Irish record of 3:56.61 at the World Championships in Budapest. 

In the remote announcement of the BBC Northern Ireland awards, Olympic champion and world record holder Faith Kipyegon of Kenya, told Mageean in a video message: “Congratulations on your wonderful season. You should be proud of yourself.

Following this incredible honour, Mageean said: “I’m thrilled to receive this award, especially with the calibre of athletes that we have in Northern Ireland being just phenomenal. I can’t thank everybody enough.

“This is just a reflection on the performances that I’ve had, but I wouldn’t be here without the support of everybody at home. I’m away a lot racing but I love coming back home because it reminds me what I do it for.

“I want to thank everybody in our community for being behind me every step of the way because honestly, if sheer will of support could get me a global medal, I know that everybody screaming at the TV would have gotten me that gold. I’m truly blessed to be from our wee part of the world.”

Mageean holds six national records in events in distances from 800 metres to the mile. Her 800m best is 1:59.27, 1500m 3:55.87 and her best mile finish is a time of 4:14.58 all set during the 2023 season.

Parkrun is a collection of 5-kilometre events for walkers, runners and volunteers that take place every Saturday morning at more than 2,000 locations in 22 countries across five continents. 


Main Photo Caption: Northern Ireland’s Ciara Mageean broke the women’s fastest time run in a parkrun event clocking a 15:13 finish in the Irish capital of Belfast. This comes a day after she was named 2023 BBC Northern Ireland Sports Personality of the Year. Photo: Supplied

File Photo 2 Caption: Ciara Mageean – 2023 BBC Northern Ireland Sports Personality of the Year – was using the Parkrun as a training exercise in her preparations for the Paris Olympics. Her previous best for 5km was the 15:24 she ran in Bath, back in April 2023. Photo: Supplied

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