It seems like the scorching temperatures of the Summer may be behind us now as we return to more familiar conditions with the wind and the rain lashing our faces and heralding the start of parkrun no 218. Notwithstanding the bad weather we still had a great turn out of 46 people and everyone was in high spirits and not willing to let the inclement weather get in the way of some fresh air and exercise. Indeed for those of us cooped up in offices or cars all week there’s nothing quite as restorative as a circuit of the parkrun, in the most scenic of spots, after a hectic week at work. A lot of the regulars were needed elsewhere due to the All Islands Football Tournament which this year was being hosted by Bere Island, an impressive feat of organisation and local hospitality and I should take a moment to give a hearty congrats to all the teams who took part as well as the many volunteers and supporting friends and family – you can read an interview with our very own Brendan Murphy here for further background - https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/sport/out-on-their-own-how-gaa-brings-our-islands-together-867567.html
Meanwhile back to the Run Director, Prionnsias O Keefe who got proceedings off to a great start with an impressive cúpla forcail as he welcomed the visitors as well as the regulars and the usual deserved acknowledgement to Colm Harrington for providing the ferry and bus and Edel and the Murphy family for the post run refreshments. A full quote of volunteers swathed in waterproofs and rubber were on standby to get the show on the road and they deserve their applause - Finola CROWLEY, Eugene GLENDON, Sylvia GLENDON, Ann Marie HARRINGTON, Michael KILLEN, Maeve KILLEN, Brendan MURPHY, Carol MURPHY, Maeve PRIEBS-HARRINGTON, Pete SCOLLS, Ian SLOYAN, Joanne SULLIVAN, Aoife WALSH, and Sheila WALSH. 10 mon old baby Rosa was the tail walker but brought dad Ian along to push her buggy to keep him happy and demonstrating you’re never too young to volunteer. The visitors were far flung – Rachel, Megan and Phil hailed from Australia having been at the home of the parkrun the previous week in Bushy Park, London, and it was remarked they came to the real home of the parkrun by visiting Bere Island. Linda and James were from Cambridge and clearly their trip was worth while as they both racked up new PB’s. Finally Pete and his ‘better’ half Annicea were on a trip from Edinburgh to her birthplace in Limerick so decided to schedule a Park Run along the way. Annicea had a very interesting statistic under her belt having completed 2 park runs on different continents in one day, managing a run in Newcastle, Australia first before catching a long haul flight and doing it all over again in Vancouver ! Anyone who wants to read more of her exploits can check out her blog http://blog.parkrun.com/ca/2018/03/01/a-tale-of-two-climates-2/ And sources tell me, this achievement now qualifies her for membership to the Cowell Club - an unofficial parkrun club for tourists who have run at 100 or more different events. There you go ... who knew ?!
But we were a long way from the extreme temperatures of Australia and Canada on Bere Island and Annicea’s partner Phil did joke with Ann Marie about her waters breaking when she shook off a veritable waterfall from her raingear on return to the clubhouse – something she said that would surprise her two adult kids at this stage if it were true ! Not letting the rain get in the way, Mark Heffernan racked up an impressive PB and ended up in second place overall. James O Sullivan was 1stman home and Breeda O Sullivan was 1stlady home with young Aoife Walsh as 1stjunior home. There were 7 first timers, some of which were our visitors from the islands so we hope they bring their experiences back home and maybe consider hosting their own parkruns. The canine population was represented solely by regular participant, Nessa (I was on a short lead ! ) running a pretty unimpressive time what with all the peeing en route ( Nessa not me !) but radiating joy nonetheless. Meanwhile we’re edging very close to a major milestone coming up as one of our regular’s is about to pull off an incredible 200 runs but in the meantime, here’s hoping that everyone enjoyed the morning and the craic along the way and we look forward to seeing everyone next Saturday, same time, same place.