Run 145 22/04/2017

Can you love and hate the same thing?  while early morning runs can be difficult  ,there's no doubting that at times when you're gifted with such a beautiful morning  it makes it all worth while.

Today we were back to our usual numbers with 37 runners/walkers. The weather was cool to begin with but by the time we hit the first hill the temperatures were rising rapidly, And not just because Brendan was in his shorts!

The air became quite humid which made some runners, ie Jacinta hit the wall at Humphries.

The first finisher was Aaron Hanley in under 21 minutes and the first lady home was Joanna o Sullivan.There were 2 PBs today, the first was was Tom Crowley and the second was Olaf Dennison who also celebrated his 50th run with us, his usual Park Run is Navan.There were 3 first timers, Karen Crowley from Beara and Seamus Duffy who runs with Marley Park in Dublin.Our 3rd Robbie Hillard was born and bred in Bere Island but usually runs in Glengarriff Park Run but today was persuaded by his brother Gary to check out the competition! It was also nice to see Colm back with us again, well done.

We all made our way back to The Bake House for our usual tea and scones, the staff were not under as much pressure today compared to last week with the larger numbers the Service and Scones were exceptional as usual.

Colin Gleeson celebrated a milestone birthday this week, welcome to a new Age Category! Hope you enjoyed the apple pie and cream, you did tell us all today  fat is back!

Thanks to all the volunteers who make the park run possible, especially those who arrive early to get everything ready and stay late to clean up, without you all this wouldn't be possible. Thanks to Colm who drove us over to the run today at a nice steady pace, it was less of the fast and the furious and more like driving miss daisy and thanks also to Colm for waiting patiently for our usual last passenger, you know who you are (Carol Murphy)!


Run 144 15/04/2017

Start Line
You could have got lost in the crowd we had this morning, 140 participants came out to run, walk, jog or crawl our weekly 5km parkrun. There were babies in buggies and dogs on leads not to mention the full quota of volunteers. While it was a little cool waiting on the 2 bus loads fro the mainland, it was a lovely morning for running or walking, Nice and refreshing with a cool breeze here and there to blow the cobwebs away. We had visitors from all over, too many places to mention!

First finisher today was Aaron Hanley, home in 19.48 while first lady home was Lorraine O'Sullivan in 22.09. We had 16 recorded new pb's, Congratulations to Aaron, Garry, Lorraine, Joanne, Patrick, Michael, Mags, Breandan, Emma, Triona, Annmarie, Donal, Proinnsias, Lisa, Isolde and Batt. Well done to you all. We had 17 registered first timers, welcome to David, Colin, Brian, Eanna, Katie, Michael, Nick, Pauline, Frank, Ita, Ciara, Coleman, Annie, Maggie, Siobhan, Emer and Finn. Come back and run with us again soon.

We had a little celebration today for Joanne to mark her massive achievement in being the first parkrunner in Ireland to complete 100 first finishes. She has completed 130 runs, all on Bere Island, 100 of which were first finishes and the other 30 probably a very close second. Joanne was presented with a card signed by all those present this morning to mark the occasion. And to add icing on the cake Joanne also celebrated a new pb today. Well done Joanne, as I said last week next stop id to get to fastest lady here, only 4 and half minutes to knock off. Delighted for you, no better woman to be first! Congratulations Joanne!

Massive thanks to this weeks team for another successful parkrun. This weeks rota was filled by Dominic, John W, Eugene, Sylvia, Claire, Barry, Michael, John R, Carol M, Ann Marie, Carol H, Phil, Brendan, Vincent and Joanne. Thanks for giving up your time so freely! Its easy to get involved, check out the roster once its posted, see what roles are available and just go for it. All necessary training given on the spot.

Thanks to Colum and Bere island ferries for taking care of our mainlanders today, 1 ferry driver and 2 bus drivers needed to ferry them all to the start line!

Brendan and Edel had a busy run in the bakehouse, 140 participants + volunteers = mayhem. But no bother to them. everyone refueled again for the weekend. Cheers to you both and your merry bunch of helpers for looking after us!

Thanks again to everyone who helped out in any way today. see you again next week


Carlsberg don’t do parkruns… but if they did…

     The invasion of Tralee parkrun!

There's so much more to Bere Island parkrun than just a free, timed , 5k run. Yes, there's that of course, but there are so many more reasons why people have this one on their parkrun bucket list, and why we were delighted to accept Garry and Claire's invitation to visit.

The adventure starts long before 9:30 am. (Oh, and that's another thing, one of Bere Island's unique quirks is that it's the only parkrun in Ireland that doesn't start at 9:30 sharp, but more about that later!)
ikom k
     We love the ferry, but the crew seem a little young!

Bere Island is one of Cork's seven inhabited offshore islands, and the only way to get there is to take one of the two ferries from the mainland to either end of the island. You can take a short trip with Colum from Castletownbere, followed by a bus ride along the M1 motorway to the village of Rerrin, or you can do as some of us did this time and cross from the Pontoon just outside the town of Castletownbere and be ferried by the equally friendly Brendan on the Ikom K directly to Rerrin, a slightly longer and maybe even more scenic crossing. Of course, the latter means you miss the chance to get to know the other parkrunners making the pilgrimage to this parkrun Mecca, when you're all piled in to the small bus with Colum. And you get to know them even better on the way back!
For us, it was the welcoming committee (well, just Bairbre) waiting on the pier that made the journey extra special!

Lots of visitors make an overnight or even a weekend trip of it, and there are plenty of places to stay on the island. We were lucky to be staying with Edel in Laurence Cove, who told us what parkrun has done for this lovely place. Edel runs the B&B, makes the dinner, bakes the famous scones and then runs the parkrun before feeding the masses after the run!

Tmp_1947778A visit to "Dessie's" is a key part of the preparation for the parkrun, and might be part of the reason that many people's PB in Bere Island is a couple of minutes slower than anywhere else. We were entertained by local trio Benny and the Jets, with guest artists including Sheila and John Walsh, who brought parkrun here to Bere Island, as well as our own Claire and Garry Moriarty.

Garry is a very proud Islander, and even though he's one of our regulars in Tralee, this is where his heart is! When we did nearby Glengarriff a few months ago, Garry was to do it with us, but shortly before the start we got a call from Garry saying, "Sorry Siobhan, the pull is too strong!", and he had turned around and gone back to the Ferry to do his parkrun at home! NIK_2501
We were also welcomed by the great Dominic Hallahan, who has been Run Director an astonishing 132 times, and we got a chance to meet fellow parkrun enthusiasts Helen, Finlay and Frazer Hood, whose volunteering history eclipses even Dominic's. Both work for parkrun UK and had come to Bere Island to see what all the fuss was about!

By coincidence, their next stop is Tralee where they are all volunteering at tomorrow's junior parkrun!

Almost forgot why we were here, oh yes, the run!

NIK_2528As I said, it doesn't start at 9:30, it starts "when everyone is ready"! The bus journey after Colum's 9:00 ferry (he's been known to turn the boat back half way if he spots a parkrunner arriving late at the pier!) means that people only gather for Dominic's briefing at a bit after the half hour, and especially when there are visitors, Dominic likes to give a good welcome! And with almost 30 tourists from Tralee, and a few others, swelling the numbers to 83, that took quite a while!

The route itself is almost unique in the parkrun world, being entirely on open public roads (albeit the kind of roads with grass growing up the middle), but since there are only a handful of cars, and most of the drivers are running, it's perfectly safe for all!

For the non-runners amongst us, it's not an easy 5k, but it's a very rewarding one. Spectacular views right and left, steeped in nautical and military history and with a few testing hills thrown in. There's one possible short cut but you wouldn't dream of taking it, for fear of missing anything.
     Zach (R) was not far ahead of Billy, whose loyalties are divided!
Lots of money on the Grand National this weekend of course, but our side bets last night were on the battle of the John Walsh's, local favourite and Event Director John Walsh (with the correct Cork spelling of course) vs. Tralee's representative John Walshe who was here with all the family. Suffice it to say that Kerry has the bragging rights over Cork yet again, but only because John Bere Walsh didn't run after all, he was Timekeeper, saving himself for the Cobh ten-miler! There was more glory for the Walshe's too, with Zach Walshe not only fastest junior, but third overall, and at the age of nine now the proud holder of the under-10 record for Bere Island parkrun with an amazing time of 21:11. Another visitor also cemented his place in the Bere Island record books today too, Hugh McSweeney from Ballincollig taking a full 2 minutes off his own record for his age-group, a little older than Zach's!

NIK_2560But the highlight of the day surely belongs to one of Bere Island's own, Joanne Sullivan became the first Irish parkrunner to be first finisher on 100 occasions, comfortably holding off the challenge from Tralee's A-team of Maeve, Frances and Siobhán. Well done Joanne, what an achievement, that's exactly twice as many as her nearest rival!

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None of the visitors' times came close to Billy Murphy's 19 minutes, he's a bit behind Joanne but has still finished first on 38 occasions!

One of our runners forgot her barcode, but eagle-eyed scanner Garry spotted the near perfect forgery! (Actually, it was John and Edel to the rescue again - they printed out a barcode on Friday night so Cora's time could be recorded - above and beyond the call of duty).

After the run there's nowhere to go except The Bakehouse, because the bus won't be back for an hour, but that's no hardship as Edel has delights in store for all, from scones and cakes all the way to the Full Irish. No-one leaves Bere Island disappointed or hungry.

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Our adventure wasn't finished yet. Garry was determined to show us there's much more to Bere Island than the lovely parkrun, and took us for a walk up to the cross and back to have a closer look at the gun placements on the eastern tip of the island (we were running so fast earlier that the scenery was just a blur). Thanks to Garry, Claire, Billy, John, Sheila, Edel, Brendan, Dominic... I could go on and on... for the incredible hospitality for which you are rightly famous.

Just by the way, I did the 5k again later in the afternoon, just to have a second crack at it and see if I could better my own time (although I was already delighted having taken a half a minute off my admittedly slow previous attempt). With no Dominic to delay me, no crowds to slow me down, no John Walshe to time me, I managed to break the course record and finish in 14:48! I know, it's unofficial because no-one was there to see it. Oh, and I was on a bike!

This is by far the longest Run Report I've ever written, but the last words aren't mine, we had a recital from Frances on the pier just before we left:

I came to this place once before, this will be my second time to shore.
I often wondered when my dad came here, what was the attraction, now I know it's quite clear.
Ireland's tidiest island retains its charm, it is peaceful, rural and distant from the daily clamorous alarm...
A retreat with wonderful mainland and coastal views, of Miskish, Caha and Beara to name but a few...
A secluded hideaway cranny, steeped in military history not confinement
Its four recognised loops can be walked or cycled.
A ten-minute trip and you're across to the island,
The lighthouse, Martello towers and Viking heritage...
Sure nothing can stand in your way not even the weather...
And now there's a parkrun... to my delight... the Moriarty's brought us here to spend the night...
Of course this was based on invite
Groups are always welcome subject to prior notice
I wonder Gary will you ask us again once you hear our singing it's atrocious...

Frances Quinn

Full results are here and there are lots of photos on Facebook, taken by visiting photographer Bernie O'Regan

Tony Higgins


Run 142 01/04/2017

Well today was a little different, a lot different really, completely backwards truth be told! We were faced in the opposite direction at the start line, started running in the wrong direction, ran down the village instead of up, up the back road instead of down, up down hills, down up hills and came to the finish line from the wrong direction, all a little confusing, April fools you might think, but no, we actually did run it in reverse. But we did it differently for April fools day. I think people were waiting for Dominic to turn us around with the words"Ha got ye, April fools" but nope, we ran it clockwise. And it was different, that glorious back road downhill, was worse than Humphreys on a bad day, uphill. Humphreys downhill, didn't seem as downhill as expected, the draw from Shirley's gate was long, would never consider it a downhill before any other week, Lonehart down was lovely but up past McNamaras was hardy, running down past Leonards was a dream, but that tiny little bump near the end was unexpected a bit like the piggery-you're nearly home but it just wont let you relax. Uphill, down hill, down hill, uphill, the moral of the story no matter which way you go you just cant avoid the hills, but they're all part of our unique run. I missed the bakehouse post run so have no idea of how people felt about it so will be very interested to get you opinions once I've shared this post to our facebook page, was it easier or harder? April fools wont fall on a Saturday again until 2023, hopefully Dominic will have forgotten abut doing it in reverse again by then! On the upside the weather was good, no harsh winds, no rain, a bit cloudy but the sun was up there shining down on us for some spells. In general it was a very pleasurable run as only Bere Island parkrun can be!

51 came out to join in our 142nd parkrun, Colum needed 2 busses today instead of 1 to carry our mainlanders to the start line. Along with the 51 there were also 8 extra volunteers on site as well as those volunteers who were able to take part as well as taking on a role, you don't have to give up your run or walk to volunteer, you can do both..this weeks  run was brought to you with the help of Dominic, Eugene, Steve, Sylvia, Natalie, Proinnsias, John W, John R, Carol, Brendan, Ann Marie, Joanne, Ultan, thank you team Bere Island, a gold medal performance again!.First finisher was Billy, home in 19.15, while first lady home was Joanne in 23.27. 5 recorded new pb's, congratulations and well done to Oisin, Natalie, Kenny, Avryl and Tony. we had 2 registered first timers, welcome to Aimee and David, we hope you felt the Bere Island welcome and will join us again. Genette(tailrunner) and her partner Tony(new pb)have been with us for the past few weeks all the way from Canada, unfortunately it was their last visit with us until next year so we would just like to wish them safe travels.

Today we celebrated another milestone when Breandan crossed the line to complete his 50 parkrun, Breandan completed his first run on 22/11/2014 in 39.54,he got his time down to 32.51 by April. It was to be another year before he recorded his next pb, 32.07, and December before his next with 32.00. He has since got it down to 29.42. He has volunteered on numerous occasions doing what ever role was available to him. he's always on hand to help in the bakehouse and is a mighty lad for the tidy up once we've all left t(iv'e witnessed him more than once). Breandan was presented with his baloons post run and his slice of cake in the bakehouse, i hope you were given the day off from cleaning Breandan. Congratulations an well done to you today. We're very proud of your achievements.. John Elphick received his slice of cake also to mark his 50th which he ran in Glengarriff last week!

Next week a group will join us from Tralee parkrun. They will be travelling on Friday so will enjoy the weekend with us. Make sure to come join us Saturday morning, we cant have those Kerry folk out number us Corkonians on our own doorstep, bring your family and friends, neighbors and enemies even. Lets give them a great Bere island welcome!

Thanks to Colum and Bere Island Ferries for arranging the trips and buses To bring all those for the mainland to the start line. Thanks also to Edel and Brendan in the bakehouse for taking care of our refreshments after the run.

Once again thanks to all of you for joining us this week and to our volunteers for making it happen. See you again next weekend!



Run 141 25/03/2017

I'm sitting on my rock, on a beautiful Spring, with a glass of wine in hand for Mothers Day writing this. I can only apologise for the typing errors in advance.Cheers!

Yesterday, for our 141st run the weather was just as good, although because it was 9.30am it was just a tad cooler. But the comparison to last week was unbelievable, Sylvia didn't need to wear her wet gear, there were more t shirts and shorts, more pairs of sunglasses and everyone was happy and jolly(or appeared to be). 39 gathered for our weekly parkrun, young and old, regulars and first timers, runners, joggers and walkers, mothers with babies in buggies as well as our 4 legged friends Nessa, Jenkins and Riley. So we had a lovely mix again. Dominic and his merry crew of volunteers were in action to cater to our every whim(if only),they did a fantastic job once again to ensure the run succeeded without a glitch,and another flawless week by each and every one of them. Well done to all our volunteers every week, ye do us proud!

There isn't much to say about yesterday's run, weather was great, roads were dry, company was good, competition was healthy, those in front edging you to get close, those behind pushing you to move forward(unbeknownst to them), a very happy medium all in all.. only for the hills, they are still were still there to challenge you again and again, but that all part of the fun of Bere Island parkrun. It as a pleasurable run, not too hot, not too cold, unsure what to wear at the start line so a layer less upon return. A good mornings workout accomplished on a lovely sunny morning on Bere Island. Those that come in from the mainland regularly are a testament to what we have- some come back week after week, some might need a week or two to recover but do come back and a lot of our visitors from away vow to come back again. Thanks to Colum and Bere Island ferries for looking after them every week, for the trips, the bus journeys and also for giving them the time to enjoy the postrun refreshments, which are turning into post run breakfasts, before running them backout. Its turned into a popular trip for Islanders too which is great, to see it being used. Thank you Edel and Brendan and junior Murphy's for looking after us all, refueling us and our energy levels.

glass number two brings me down to brass tacks, first finisher yesteray was Oisin Murphy, home in 23.32, while first lady home was Natalie Treacher in 24.49. I had to fight with the laptop nearly to input both those names, its so used to typing others(ye who shall remain nameless this week). Well done Oisin an Natalie:)         4 recorded new pb's, Congratulations and well done to John, William, Patrick and Sean. The ballycotton 10 mile training has paid off, that pb has been coming for awhile John. Sophie was our only registered first timer today, following in her mom Suzanne's shoes as well as her 2 brothers above Patrick and Sean. Well done Sophie, hopefully we'll see you in again.

This weeks run was brought to you with the help of Dominic, Carol, John, Steve, Eugene, Sylvia, Ultan, Aoife, Allannah, John, Natalie, Joanne, Brendan and Ann Marie. Thank you for giving up your Saturday morning so we get our weekly fix. There are a lot of names here that appear week after week, Every time i write this i ask for you to get involved, there are so many roles to be filled, every week Carol post the roster to our facebook page asking for volunteers to fill the spaces, I ask you again to please consider one of the many positions which include the roster, the results and the run report, just because you cant see them being done doesn't mean they're not there. The results are the only part that needs to be done on the island(we need the laptop, scanner and clocks every week, easier to collect on Island if John forgets it;) (or me when its my turn, or Joanne if it was given to her to bring over), the run report can be done anywhere and Mailed to either myself, John or Carol, or sent via private message to our page. As I said earlier I'm enjoying a glass of wine today typing it..

Next week is 1st of April, which sees April fools day. In his brief yesterday Dominic said we would run backwards next week, that means running the loop the other way around, past the piggery, down towards the pier, up the back road:(, down Humphries:):), around the cuttings, down past John Murphys, down Lonehart, down Markies:):):):)and home!, I'm liking all the downs there,but be warned there are a few sneaky up's too though. Unless he means actually running backwards, that could take all day. Anyway call into us next week to find out!

John Elphick ran his 50th yesterday but chose to run it in Glengarriff. He's always threatening to run there and what better tie than when the sun is shining. We were just a tad disappointed he didn't run with us, must be all the fuss and bother he Knew we would make he chose to run off quietly. Congratulations and well done all the same John, we're all still very proud of you and your achievements, you've come a long way, but yet still more to accomplish!

On a final note I wish all the mammies, wherever you might be, reading this a very Happy Mothers day, hope your children treat you today, like you treat them every day of the week, every week of the year.

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