Run 158 – John Lehane’s blow-by-blow account

All times are approximate, some times are more approximate than others...

9:30pm, Friday: "Will we go to Twomey's for one...?

NIK_250310:30pm, Friday: Pints in hand, traditional musicians playing, craic being had

11:30pm, Friday: "What time does the ferry leave tomorrow?" "9am..."

Midnight: "We really should get going..."

12:30am: "OK, let's go"

12:50am: "What is the latest time we can leave the house in the morning so that we don't miss the ferry?" "Ten to nine..."

12:55am: "There'll definitely be no records broken at the parkrun in the morning!"

12:56am: "At least the forecast is good..."

1am: "I'm so hungry..."

1:10am: Porridge, yum

1:30am: Bed, aaahhhhhh

8:10am: Alarm, feck!

8:20am: Second alarm, double feck!

8:25am: Must get out of bed, feck feck feck!

8:35am: Porridge again, yum yum

8:40am: "Hurry up!"

8:51am: Leave house, quick drive down to Castletownbere harbour

8:59am: Pull into quayside car park, that ferry better not leave! DSCN1456
9:01am: Board ferry

9:02am: Ferry leaves, sigh of relief

9:10am: Why didn't I put on a coat, it's always windy and cold on the crossing, do I never learn?!
17991892_1113860128714477_5831457026304780610_n9:15am: This really is a beautiful part of the world

9:25am: Who's driving the minibus?!

9:30am: Rollercoaster ride on the Bere island roads in the minibus

9:45am: Arrival at Bere Island parkrun start/finish area, looks like a decent crowd today, it's warming up nicely too

9:50am: Pre-race welcome/speech - "gallopers to the front, everyone else a bit further back" - there's a great mix of people here, it's brilliant, nothing like a parkrun community, owned by everyone, run by everyone, for everyone, the Bere Island parkrun is definitely special.

9:51am: "Thanks to the volunteers, the ferry and the cafe 5-4-3-2-1-go!"

9:51am - 10:50am: What a 5km loop - twists, turns, climbs, descents, sea views, cliff views, mountain views, fresh air, blue sky, distant boats, old ruins, newer buildings, animals, empty rural roads, and 87 participants' spirits lifted by the best of Ireland and the best of parkrun

10:11am: First male finisher, well done Ross Blackbourne (JM15-17), in 20:03, great running on a tough course

10:12am: First female finisher, well done Lauren Murphy (JW15-17), in 21:41, great running on a tough course. Well done to everyone who turned out and ran/jogged/walked around - being out there, being active, supporting the parkrun and making it something greater than the sum of its parts, that's what it's all about, great success

11:05am: "Is that everything packed away yet? Cones, finishing clock, flags?" (Code for "Can we go to the BakeHouse now for cake?!")

11:10am: The BakeHouse is in full flow, cakes being consumed, drinks being downed (non alcoholic of course), chat and craic flying, runs being discussed, PBs being congratulated, next times being planned, parkrun community in full swing

11:25am: Worse than last orders, it's the call for the minibus back to the ferry, there'll be no second helpings of cake

11:30am: All aboard for the Bere Island rollercoaster minibus

11:45am: On the ferry, great view, surely the best journey to and from a parkrun in the world. Must climb Hungry Hill one day...

11:55am: Back in Castletownbere, great morning!

Go raibh mait agat agus slán go fóill!

– John Lehane


Run 156 08/07/2017

I love it when a plan comes together and there was one park run achievement today that I can take some vicarious glory in.

It was a pretty hot and sticky morning and a breath of air was difficult to catch. Something else difficult to catch are the flying members of the Lawlor family. I have to say that I take some responsibility for spurring on young Eoin in the report last week when I pointed out his brother held on to the 11-14 category record by the slimmest of margins. This week Eoin finished first, got a PB and nicked the 11-14 age category record from brother Michael which now stands at 19.21 - nothing like a bit of sibling rivalry. I must presume Bob Lawlor is dad to the flying Lawlor brothers ... and he did pretty well himself, just trailing his precocious offspring and bagging a PB to boot 19.27. Naas AC should be extremely proud of the talent they are nurturing.

I am astonished that anyone got a PB yesterday! The heat certainly got to me! But those who conquered the climbs and also got there best time on the course were: Kevin Hayes, John Hayes, Traolach O SUILLEABHAIN and Conall O SUILLEABHAIN. Well done all of you. There was only one First TImer who was registered and that was Judith Peirce who also chose Bere Island as her first Park Run. Welcome to Park Run, Judith. Hopefully you'll do many more!

I did not get anywhere near a PB but, nonetheless, in the absence of Joanne, still Tail-walking this week due to a dodgy ankle, I finished as first female for the second time on Bere Island - if you get these opportunities you have to take them.

It was a great day for sporting achievement all round - the Lions ended up with an honorable draw, and many Park Runners turned out to run or volunteer to make the Midsummer Run a brilliant success as the temperatures crept up in the afternoon. Altogether, a great show for the Bere Island Park Run community who had a very busy day supporting runners and walkers young and old as they took on the Park Run course once, twice or even three times.

Thank you to every volunteer at both events, Bere Island Ferries, for transporting our visitors safely (or not so safely if Dr. Gleeson is driving) and Edel, Brendan and the small army of tireless workers at the bustling Bake House who as well as feeding everyone in between and after events, also play a big role in supporting the Park Run week after week. Phew! Well I'm ready for a lie down after all my running round in circles. See you next for just the one circuit.


Run 155 01/07/2017


"White rabbits!"This is what we superstitious English people say on the first of the month, don't you know? I'll come back to this later ...

So here we are on the first day of July, high summer and the "soft rain", so described by our doctor in residence, has set in for the morning. Nonetheless 102 people gathered in the drizzle and Nessa convinced six canine colleagues, of various shapes and sizes, to join her for a lap of our park run course which has something to offer in all weathers.

Helping islanders and regular mainland runners increase participation to over the century mark were visitors from Macroom and the surrounds, Dublin and England and although there were some speedy runners amongst them, as yet, I was totally unaware of the impressive achievement already made by one of our number.

Returning to my strange English saying ... the most famous White Rabbit, beloved of children throughout the generations, featured in Alice in Wonderland and is associated with his lateness despite his feverish reference to his pocket watch.

Being late means that, sometimes, you miss the boat. Our own Carol Murphy, no doubt with a host of previous appointments, frantically pulling volunteers into line, almost missed the fully-loaded ferry from Castletown, which had to make the briefest of reversing manoeuvres when she was stranded on the shore.

Not so lucky were Jake Lodge and chums, who, having missed the 8am ferry from the pontoon, decided their only option was to leap in kayaks to make the crossing. Jake then jogged to the start of the Park Run and was grateful for the introduction of our eloquent Race Director which gave him "time for a rest" before smashing round the course in 21.21! When I met him he was enjoying the final challenge in his "triathlon" - a hearty Bakehouse breakfast.

Not to be out done by this tale of derring-do, at the front of the field young Michael Lawlor finished first and scooped the age category record for 15-17 juniors on Bere Island in 18.32 to add to the 11-14 record he claimed less than a year ago. Younger brother Eoin, finishing in third place, no doubt has an eye on that record, but on this occasion he was six seconds off. Next time, Eoin! Everyone else take note, as both brothers got PBs for the course, they seem to be Naas AC's answer to the Brownlees!

With Joanne as tail walker, nursing a slightly dodgy ankle, the way was clear for first time visitor Claire O'Brien to finish as first female in 22.51.

Sean Sullivan, Katie Molinari, Patrick J Hurley, Kevin Lynch and Traolach O Suilleabhain also scored PBs.

Thanks as always to our wonderful bunch of volunteers, it was a little slow to get going this week but every post got filled eventually. Well done to Proinnsias on doing the results for the first time, first of many no doubt! Anyone else that would like to get involved please let us know, all roles are easy and training will be given. Give it a shot and come on board with the rest of our dedicated crew who this week included Dominic, Eugene, John E, Ted, Steve, Joanne, Natalie, John R, John W, Noel, Niamh, Catherine, Sheila, Aoife, Carol, Brendan and Proinnsias.

Thanks to Bere Island ferries for ferrying our mainland regulars and our many visitors across the harbor, and the drivers of the 5 buses used to transport them all to the start line. We appreciate your support every week! All the staff in the Bakehouse thank you, that was some crew you fed and watered this morning, Saturdays wouldn't be the same with out us call there.

Well done to all, and remember, next week we get the chance to do our favourite 5k loop three times, as it's time for the Bere Island Midsummer Run. Anyone wanting to test their fitness on the 10k course should enter online quickly! You can also do a 5k. Why not make a day of it , as I intend to, and do both the park run in the morning, and the midsummer run in the afternoon.


parkrun no 154

parkrun no 154 was a lively affair, lots of visitors and returning extended families keen to catch up on island news; regulars, post and pre holidays, sporting tans and healthy pallors all round. The locals were agog with stories from their recent trip to the Áras, who along with the other lucky contingents of the islands off the coast of Ireland, were feted by the President, Micheal D and proclaimed it a very enjoyable day. The weather was kind to us, a little muggy, with clouds parturient with rain and the few drops that did come were welcome as we rounded the Barracks and the Master Gunners house, hot from our efforts. The gentle breeze had its desired cooling effect and everyone declared it a lovely day with perfect walking and running conditions – not too hot that the efforts were more arduous than necessary and not too breezy that it knocked a few precious seconds off those much sought after ‘personal bests’. And there were plenty of those. Five of the fifty one runners managed to do their best ever times and modesty forbids me from crowing too much [though I’d like to take the opportunity of thanking my personal trainer, Nessa, who has the advantage of having 4 legs, so could be accused of cheating.. I couldn't have done it without you ! ]. Well done also to Vincent Croker, Caitriona Hanley, Aine Jenkins and Jennifer Barry.

But back to those visitors, today we welcomed amongst others, Roderick Hoffman from London who was completing his 258th parkrun, with an unprecedented 198 runs completed on different courses. Joined by his lady companion he declared himself pleased with the course and the run and we hope he carries the memories of Bere Island with him to no 199. Friends from Dublin including Vincent and Patsy from North Tipp as well as Wouter Gronendijk and Deirdre Moriarty from Ballincollig, all joined in the craic and young Shane Molinari tore up the course as if running to the shops, completely effortlessly and giving some of a seasoned pros a run for their money. First home was the welcome return of Billy Murphy at 19.41 and effervescent, Joanne Sullivan racked up an impressive 24.01 as first lady over the line.
There was a impressive turn out of volunteers also, so hearty thanks to Finola, Jacinta, Dominic, Barry, Christine, Carol, Brendan, Steve, Ted, John R, John W, Joanne, Natalie and Sheila. Week in, week out, the volunteers show up, ready to do their bit and make it possible for the rest of us to have a fantastic morning so don’t forget to sign up occasionally and make it a community effort all round.

Once again, it was great to have the Bakehouse to repair to, post run, to indulge in some tasty treats and as Una said to me, 'your metabolism is working twice as hard after the run, so there’s no guilt’ ! Thanks Edel, family and colleagues, for all your hard work and warm welcome. Thanks also to Colm for the ferry and bus special – where else would you get the local Doctor driving the minibus ! Thanks for the combined efforts of a small community who prove time and time again that where there’s a will, there’s a way.

See you next week !!


Run 153 17/06/2017

What a beautiful morning on Bere Island, the sun was shining, a few clouds fluttering around the bright blue sky, what more do you want the morning of our weekly parkrun. 34 gathered this morning along with our ever faithful Nessa the dog, i think she could qualify as our mascot:). While the run was warm especially for those running(we wont complain about it though), those who were walking could enjoy the scenery around the loop, which looked exceptional today. For a change Humphries was more pleasurable, as the trees created a shade for that small spell, although the hill itself was still as tough as ever. All the joys of Bere Island parkrun. Silage season is upon us which means meadows have been cut along the loop,so there was a lovely smell from the freshly cut grass, but that changed to an even fresher pong passing the piggery. All you can do is take a deep breath and run faster to the finish line. The pigs, I believe, are being left out today(once they're plastered in sunscreen) so we should have the pleasure of seeing them next week

Aaron Hanley was first finisher today, home in 20.24, there must have been a healthy competition as Garry Moriarty was only 6 seconds behind, although in terms of running that 6 seconds can be longer than you might think! They were followed in hot pursuit by Colin Gleeson in 22.29 and First timer Ashley Wood in 22.54. As per usual Joanne Sullivan was first lady home, only 3 and a half  mins behind Aaron, in 23.54. Well done to you all. The weather must have had an unwelcome effect on all runners/walkers as there was no new PB's recorded today. We had 2 registered first timers, welcome to Ashley Wood from Ballincollig parkrun and Chris Saunders all the way from Kapiti parkrun in New Zealand. Chris was visiting with his wife. We also had visitors from Killkenny. We hope you all enjoyed the Bere Island parkrun experience, and your visit to our beautiful island, ye sure did pick a good day to drop by! Come back again to see us:)

After a tough week trying to fill the roles we managed to fill all roles, our juniors are always happy to step up when needed, This weeks run was brought to  by Dominic, Ted, Barry, Joanne, Ann Marie, Ultan, Sean, Carol, John, Finola, Catherine, Brendan and Steve. Thank you all, we appreciate all your hard work on a regular basis. Some of those names are there week after week so we ask yet again for more to get involved, really all jobs are easy and some can be done without you missing a run. We are in need of more result processors as at the moment we only have 2 trained to do so. Luckily one of them has always been around but if not the results won't get done! Please, please try one of the roles, Let us know what and when you want to try!

Bere Island Midsummer run is just around the corner, if you're free on the 8th July and want to help  with the upkeep of the dressings rooms we use every week, join us to run the same loop as the parkrun. You will have the option of doing 5k or 10 k run. There will also be a family walk around the loop as well as underage runs on the pitch. Check out Bere Island Midsummer's run online, the first 100 to register online will also receive a free t shirt. Its only 3 weeks away so only 3 more parkruns to help with the training.

Best of luck to everyone doing the Allihies 5 mile tomorrow, hope all goes well  for ye. Bere Island have a match at 1.30 which means unfortunately some of our regular runners wont make it west. Hope ye have a fantastic day, the weather will be good so that helps.

We had some bananas and satsumas after the run this morning which was a lovely treat, Thank you Patrick!

Thank you to Bere Island Ferries and Colin for the ferry trips and the use of the bus to transfer our mainland visitors. We are grateful for your continued support. You've been missing a while now Colum, time to get back to the parkrun.

Eileen and Edel had the kettles boiled and the rashers on, to feed the weary after the run. Thank you to all the staff in the Bakehouse for refueling us so we can get on with our day. It was very welcome today.

We were spoiled last week with the photos being added to the report, unfortunately its something I haven't mastered the art of yet although Tony kindly sent me instructions on how to work them with "Flickr" or from facebook. Anyone on the Island that might be able to assist me with this (Flickr) please let me know!

Another week done, We'll see some of you again next week same time same place. Have a good week


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