Get the new year off to a positive start and run walk or jog the Bere Island parkrun with the usual suspects. A great mornings entertainment is guaranteed.
Join us on Christmas morning to run walk or jog the Bere Island parkrun. Afterwards in the clubhouse enjoy a few Christmas treats before heading home for the Christmas Dinner.
So here we are at run 175, who would have thought that possible of our little pebble off the south west corner of our little rock in the midst of the wild Atlantic Ocean. But here we are indeed. Running in the wild Atlantic brings its share of misery as ye may have read in the last few reports but I'm glad to say today was an exception. There was a bit of a chill while we were gathering, although I think I was the only one complaining (no surprise there I hear ye say;) ). Our pre run briefing was to the point, 25 runners/walker experienced in Bere Island parkrun, its loop and terrain so no intensive brief needed. Dominic did however warn us of a bit of muck on parts of the road, top of Scort road(new build) and down the back road after the council themselves, but no other hazards to be concerned with, well maybe just the bends, turns and hills!!! As we went along there were a few puddles we needed to run around but nothing else major, no wind, no rain, and no cold, I had to ditch my jacket halfway around which the tail walkers brought back for me (they're well trained). I haven't finished in a t shirt in weeks. It was a lovely morning for a parkrun.
And apparently others thought so too as we had 25 this morning, a pleasant number for November. Kevin Sullivan (junior u 14) galloped home in 20.28 and for the 8th time was first finisher. I must add today, while he didn't get a pb it was his fastest time as first finisher so well done Kevin. We know where he gets it from, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree as they say, because, surprise surprise, his mother Joanne was first lady home in 24.16 a record 114th first finish for her out of 158 runs completed. There are no words..... There was only 1 record broken today and that was Kenny Williams racing home in 25.13, knocking nearly 2 minutes of his previous time here. Well done Kenny. We had no first timers today but we did welcome back some missing ladies. Sinead and Susanne were back in from the mainland, Suzanne is back form maternity leave, the peace and quiet of Bere Island's roads work wonders for the soul! Also back after weeks across the water, the Irish sea rather than Berehaven harbour was Noelette and her trusty companion Nessa(who was looking great to see ye all back, no more lengthy absences permitted! Tail walker today was Jean accompanied by the Golden girls Edel, Catherine and Noelette. Another fast finish this week, 43.20, 11 seconds off last week. Our other volunteers today were Dominic, Eugene, Sean(junior), Sylvia, Ultan(junior), Brendan, Joanne, Sheila, Ann Marie, Carol. Because of these people and more we have 175 runs completed. Every week without fail someone steps up to the plate, some multitasking, but the jobs get done. We are always asking more to get involved in every role to change things up sometimes, variety is the spice of life after all. PLEASE if you haven't done so before do try, you actually might surprise yourself and enjoy it. Plus sometimes, it needs to be reminded,if we don't get enough volunteers we don't get to run.Health and safety always come first At lot on the roster from week to week are the same, give them a break, let them have some mornings off. Anyway thanks you to this weeks wonderful crew of jolly men and women for keeping parkrun alive and kicking on Bere Island.
Well done to all who took part in the Eyeries five mile last weekend. Some brave enough to do here in the morning and outside in the afternoon. It wasn't a very nice day for it and when people mention the hills there being tough, well enough said. I didn't do it myself this year, but have done it before, it is tough, but a great run all the same and the people out in Eyeries are nearly as nice as us:). So put it on the list for next year when your planning your running diary in January, its definitely worth doing. Congratulations to all who took part and also to all involved in the organisation. The money raised was for the newly formed Beara AC, which is great for the whole area. Coincidentally some of our regulars were missing this morning as they were down in Bantry doing a coaching course which was organised by Beara AC, we'll look forward to hearing all about it next week in the bakehouse! Thanks to Bere Island ferries for transporting out mainlanders, and to Edel, Brendan and co for pick me ups in the Bakehouse, always good fun.
And on a final note I have to mention the word i hate hearing until at least December but in order to give ye all enough notice we will be holding our Christmas party in the Bakehouse on Thursday the 14th of December. As far as we know Bere Island ferries will oblige those of you from outside by doing a late ferry so ye can enjoy the festivities. So dig out your Christmas jumpers and party wear and join us on the 14th. Edel would like to have an idea of numbers by Saturday 9th if possible. You can confirm with us here or directly with Edel. If its anything like the previous years it promises to be a good night!
For another week over and out
Apparently today was a veritable feast for Irish sports fans with two major sporting events co-incideing - That’s right, the 174th running of the Bere Island Park Run and the Eyeries 5 Mile!
It was the kind of day when warm and cosy is just the job - you hear the wind wailing outside and through bleary eyes you see the horizontal rain and stubborn mist, but your name is on the list and so you peel yourself out of bed and pitch up. We were running a bit late to the ferry - so late that my feet got wet as the ramp started to shift under my feet. My feet would barely be properly dry and warm again until much later in the day!
It was a select group of 13 who gathered on this soggy morning to stretch our legs on the hills. Eight experienced islanders, three mainland regulars and two first timers. Visitors Leah Owen and Kevin Bennett brought their beautiful greyhound “Wonder”. Anyone tempted to take a bet on Wonder romping round the course in record time was wise to keep their cash in their pocket, as, on this occasion, Wonder was more like Wander, deciding it was the sort of day that one shouldn’t break into anything above a stroll. Wonder might have had the right idea. Though the air was warm and the rain was soft, the wind was undeniably both strong and cruel. Not once, around a circular course, did it deign to blow in the right direction! Nonetheless - two of our number seem to always have the wind at their heels. Colin Gleeson finished first in 23.34 and Joanna Sullivan was first female in 24.36. Great times considering the very tough conditions.
Otherwise, this week was a great show of sisterly solidarity - of the eight islanders running, six were women and all of them have completed over 100 Park Runs. Impressive! To underline this achievement, there was a very special delivery for Catherine, as her framed certificate celebrating her centenary had arrived and Dominic made the presentation in the Bakehouse. There was an even warmer atmosphere in the Bakehouse than usual - it was lovely to all sit round a single table and enjoy our coffee and scones. I’d go so far as to say the scones were a bit of a secret weapon to get us to Eyeries still full of energy. They were practically prescribed by the officiating medical professional!
In the afternoon Bere Island was strongly represented at the Eyeries 5 Mile, joining a great community of runners from Beara, Bantry and beyond. I’ll refrain from reporting on that race, but let’s just say I left with a good pocketful of prizes,Laura won third place in the Junior Female category a bottle of pop and a little hand cream sample and Finola won a lovely hamper of toiletries for winning the Female 70 prize. Dominic also won a prize for 3rd in M65, that can be given out next week at the Park Run. It was also great to see people, that after nearly a year on Beara, I count not only friends of running, friends of Park Run, but also friends of mine.
Someone with more wisdom than me, on finishing the second run of the day, said - “All I need now is a hot shower and a hot toddy”. I have to agree!
We are now in the season that brings with it all those cunningly crafted adverts demanding that we consume comfort. I am from the (maybe slightly old) school of thought that says comfort can’t be consumed. It can only be fully experienced if you have roughed it a bit - Cosying in our favourite cafe with marshmallows melting into hot chocolate, sharing sumptuous scones, makes even more sense once you have battled the Bere Island hills. Sitting next to the fire in O’Shea's in dry clothes, cider in hand is all the more blissful having seemingly senselessly tackled yet more punishing Beara hills in the driving rain.
Thanks to everyone that enable us to puzzle out this particular pain/pleasure paradox every Saturday - the dedicated volunteers, the glorious Bakehouse and the brilliant Bere Island ferries.
Next week a few regulars will be up in Bantry training to be Assistant Athletics Coaches via Beara AC, beneficiary of funds raised from the Eyeries 5 Mile. We are sad to be missing the Park Run but will hopefully come away from the day with some skills to pass on to young, new and improving athletes on Beara in the New Year.
After the magical spookiness of last week it soon became quite apparent that powers greater and more mysterious than ourselves remained in the crisp autumn air. Today was an occasion when the axis of endurance and industry intersected, at just the right time, with that of fortune, making for the sort of poetic outcome it is impossible not to celebrate … and of course, enshrine in the ramblings of the Race Report for posterity.
54 participants gathered in the early morning sun and it was great to see Sylvia Glendon back in her familiar hi-viz. There is nothing quite like her supportive smile when you are doubled over having run "eyeballs out”, barely able to mutter a stifled “thanks” in exchange for a precious token! Speaking of hi-viz, it should be noted that our exceedingly glamorous first-time tail walker had, with uncanny accuracy, matched the shade of her running jacket exactly to the tail walker vest, so becoming a veritable vision in luminous orange!
Steve, Grim Reaper time keeper of last week, donned the Race Director’s jacket for a second time and tried to make short work of the briefing, all the sooner to enjoy his hard-won Bakehouse breakfast. Brendan and Eugene were having none of it, however, and made sure he kept up the proud tradition of ensuring everyone was welcomed and aware of the surprisingly wide variety of risky features of our undulating loop. He needed to do this because we had a number of visitors from the navy, training on the island, and seven first-timers including Colin and Michelle Younger, natives of Andover Park Run. It soon became clear that the power of being the angel of death and now Race Director on consecutive weeks had gone to Steve’s head, as he practically instructed Bere Island's newest Park Run centenarian, Catherine Sullivan, that she ‘had’ to get a PB! It seemed like that was going to be a tough ask - although she’s pretty consistently speedy- Catherine last gained a PB in May 2016 .. who does this guy think he is?!
So off we sped into the cold air and raced to get the first hill out of the way and take in the view towards the Sheep’s Head. At the front of the field first timer Dara O’Sullivan followed the white arrows home in a speedy 19.29 - just stretching his legs in preparation for the Eyeries 5 miles next week. One to watch! Also primed for a speedy race next week was first-finishing female Breeda O’Sullivan who also scored a PB by a single second making it over the line in 24.07.
In other news, Darragh Laffan finished in fourth position and scored a PB by 12 seconds - improving on his last attempt almost two years ago. One of our first timers has many a Park Run in front of her, as she is barely 4 months old and remained in blissful slumber all the way round the circuit. All those who turned to face the wind and struggled past the army barracks fully awake are extremely envious! And who was the final person to get a PB? Well, in a triumph of serendipity, Catherine Sullivan on her 100th run managed to beat her previous PB by 10 seconds fishing in 26.33. You just couldn’t have made it up! What a day!
As his final act as Race Director Steve managed to co-ordinate the presentation of card and cake to centenarian Catherine and thank her for her commitment and consistency. (The “c” on my keyboard has now gone on strike!). He was then free to join me in relishing our bonus Bake House breakfast which was all the more wonderful for being enjoyed in plenty of time and in great company.
Thank you to Edel, Brendan and all their marvellous helpers at the Bake House. Happy 13th birthday Laura Walsh. Thanks to Bere Island Ferries and all the volunteers who give so much to proceedings every week. Next week I’ll be enjoying the Park Run in the morning, scoffing a couple of scones, and heading over to Eyeries for the 5 Miler in the afternoon. Why not join me?