Ciara Mageean, a Irish middle-distance ace, recently made headlines by breaking the women’s Parkrun world record at Victoria Park in Belfast.
The 31-year-old clocked 15:13 for the 5k course. Mageean not only secured her place as the fastest woman ever at a Parkrun event but also claimed the third spot in the overall standings, edging out her boyfriend, Thomas Moran, by a mere second.
The morning run on Saturday at Victoria Park showcased Mageean’s exceptional talent as she effortlessly sliced through the frosty air, leaving seasoned Parkrun regulars trailing behind.
Also in attendance at the Victoria Park Parkrun was British middle-distance runner Jake Wightman.
Wightman, who won gold at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in the 1,500m, has not raced since January. Wightman suffered an injury to his right foot during a gym session in late January, which took him out of the season.
Finishing an impressive 40 seconds ahead of the second-placed runner, Mageean’s performance not only marked a personal best but also etched her name into the unofficial Parkrun record books.
While Parkrun times are not officially recognized by athletics governing bodies due to variations in course profiles and timing methods, Mageean’s feat speaks volumes about her fitness and unwavering commitment to the upcoming season.
Her time of 15:13 shaved off 18 seconds from the previous fastest mark held by Welsh athlete Melissa Courtney-Bryant, set in Poole last year.
Ciara Mageean’s record-breaking run is the cherry on top of a stellar year for the Portaferry native.
Mageean, sponsored by New Balance and now based in Manchester, broke Irish records in the 800m, 1500m, and mile during the summer. Her accomplishments also include a fourth-place finish in the women’s 1,500m final at the World Championships in Budapest in August.
Mageean’s outstanding performances have not gone unnoticed, with accolades pouring in.
Earlier this week, she was honored as the BBC Northern Ireland Sports Personality of the Year. These accolades join a growing list, including the Athletics Ireland Track Athlete of the Year and joint Athlete of the Year awards.
Despite her phenomenal achievements in 2023, Ciara Mageean is already setting her sights on the upcoming year.
She plans to spend January at altitude in Flagstaff, Arizona, followed by indoor races in Boston, including the New Balance Grand Prix in February.
With the European Championships and the Olympic Games on the horizon, Mageean remains focused on her ultimate goal – the Olympic Games 1,500m.