Run 218 08/09/18

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  -

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  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.




Run 216 25/08/18

Thanks to Jacinta for the report and Proinnsias for the photos posted on our parkrun page on Saturday.

This week we celebrated our 4th birthday and what a beautiful morning it was, bright sunshine to entice us out of our beds, get the runners laced up and head for Bere Island.  We had 100 participants and a close finish at the end with the first three home having new PB’s, but first in was newly wed Kevin Gleeson who obviously had a pep in his step this week, congratulations again to him and his new wife Lina, best wishes to you both from all at Bere Island Parkrun.  We also had four more PB’s and 16 first timers.  Along with our birthday celebrations Breandan Murphy reached his 100th parkrun, which gave us an excuse to have two cakes! Breandan is an inspiration to any of us who may be out with injury as he was unable to run for quite a while due to surgery, but he came back stronger than ever and I’m backchasing him up the hill again.

The birthday celebrations gave us a chance to reflect on what a fantastic thing Parkrun is and in particular Bere Island Parkrun (biased I Know).  The Island has a population of 167 and yet 825 people have registered Bere Island as their home Parkrun. Over the four years we have had 1449 participants from all over the world. We have a core group of volunteers who turn up every week and who keep the whole thing running like clockwork, we appreciate every single participant, those who come every week and all our visitors, those who run super fast and those who like a leisurely stroll. We also have to mention Bere Island Ferries who changed their timetable to suit Parkrun and who also provide the buses needed, we cannot mention buses without a special thanks to our regular driver Colin who has provided many an interesting journey!  And last but definetly not least a huge thank you to Edel and Brendan and all at the Bakehouse, because this is the most important part of the morning where we all get to chat and relax with a well deserved scone and coffee.

So well done to all involved and here’s to many more Saturday mornings in Bere Island, because when you are running around the course on a morning like this and the sun is glistening on the sea you realise how lucky we are to have such a stunning location for a Parkrun, so come along all you runners, walkers, joggers, and join the adventure, you won’t be disappointed.

Latest results


Run 213 04/08/2018

As I prepared to write this report I didn’t think we had any “milestones” – individuals who have completed 50 or 100 Park Runs- this week, and I had primed myself to extol the virtues of “first timers”. A scan of the results showed me that we did have a memorable “milestone” but mercifully the person concerned had the good grace to fit in with the “first timers” theme. So, conflict and confusion hopefully averted on we go with the weekly roundup.

They say the first step is the hardest, or the journey to the start line is harder than the journey to the finish line. The truth in these words of wisdom hit home to me, pretty much for the first time, today as I reflected on the journey Beara AC’s  small group of “Couch 2 5K” participants went on to work up to a 5k run. The training required dedication and commitment and most of all consistency. Training in all weathers, including the famous heatwave, to steadily build their fitness. I reflected on the challenge of that first day at a running group, the first anxious minutes of jogging, the first mile, and the first Park Run. There are so many distractions and diversions, competing priorities and reasons to just give it up.

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First timers, it would appear, are often the unsung heroes, whose achievement of getting to the start line is typically overshadowed by that of their more experienced colleagues. As a regular report writer, I am a guilty of this as anyone ... so I am taking this opportunity to atone, and put the first timers in the spotlight!

Today was a day to salute the first time volunteers as well as runners! Well done to Race Director Audrey Murphy who really needed a loud hailer to get the attention of all 174 participants. She was accompanied by visiting volunteers including three of the family Killen – Michael, Mary and Peter. What a day to be Race Director for the first time. 174, for statistics fans, is only 7 short of our highest ever attendance, so maybe that particular record will go next week. Of those registered, 30 were first timers, and I expect there were significantly more unofficial first timers – so a good number of people to be organised into an orderly “run-scan-scone” conveyor belt!

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One record that did fall this week was the SW18-19 record to first-timer and first female Anna Camps in 21.21. Superb! It was not only Anna’s first time at the Bere Island event, but her first Park Run.  First finishing male was also a first-timer this week – James Kelly of Castlecomer Athletics Club in 18.12, another superb time ... unfortunately for James that SM30-34 is a very competitive category.

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Running conditions today were very good – a little sticky- but the sea was like a mirror and the wind was still. The clouds that threatened rain stayed off and the sun came out just in time for us to sit outside to enjoy our coffee. Great conditions for first timers, with no surprises.

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The results reflected those conditions and there were 17 PBs!! This report is already too long for me to mention them all but Traolach is seemingly getting faster every week, Tony Macnamara wants a piece of the action at the top of the VM65-69 category and David O’Driscoll of Beara AC significantly improved on his best ... all try to remember what you had for breakfast!

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The final-first timer to mention is Kieron Campion, visiting from the UK, who achieved his 100 Park Run milestone with us on Bere Island. We hope you enjoyed it and it was suitably memorable!

From someone on their 100th Park Run to someone doing her first, I have to reiterate my congratulations to Emer O’Neill who “graduated” from the Beara AC “couch25k” programme. I hope that Emer and the others of the group that couldn’t make it today, continue to enjoy running and all the joys it brings. Thanks also to Breda O’Sullivan, first time run leader and coach, a real asset to Beara AC.

Congratulations must also go to those volunteers that organised the very successful Bere Island Sailing week this week and best of luck to all involved in the forthcoming festival and regatta. There’s loads to get involved with – so consider throwing your hat in the ring, and maybe trying something for the first time.

Finally, our thanks to the supporters and volunteers who probably struggle to remember, and possibly rue (!), the first time they were involved with Park Run – the core team of tireless volunteers, the Bake House, and Bere Island Ferries – who welcome and accommodate everyone, no matter how many show up on the day! Fingers crossed for a record-breaking number nest week. I can’t wait to do it all again!

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Run 212 28/07/2018

After a long period of hot weather I was woken rain pounding on the window. I peeled myself out of bed and threw a rain jacket in my bag ... preparing for the worst. However, by the time I made it to the ferry, only a minute before it left, the rain had abated, the Elbow style strings had kicked in, and it was looking like a beautiful day.

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There was definitely something in the air that felt a bit like renewal and freshness – but I hope whoever described it as autumnal this morning  was a bit premature! 70 park runners along with some four-legged friends, sadly sans prize-winning costumes, gathered to hear the measured tones of Run Director Barry set us underway, after welcoming visitors from Cork and California.

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The fresh breeze blew in seven fantastic first timers and clearly put wind in the sails of both newcomers and natives as eight of our number sped to PBs!

There surely was something in the air as our first finisher, Ben Murphy bagged a PB and also, just nicked the top spot from Garry Moriarty who finished in the same time. Mairead Murphy, first female finisher, also managed a PB by 20 seconds!

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So, so far we have a dead heat for first, and first male and females with PBs, but there was some icing on the cake to come though in these magical conditions. PBs were also achieved by Proinnsias – whose times have been toppling of late- and Martha O’Conner completed her 100th Park Run on Bere Island with a PB to top it off.

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In the packed Bake House, due to a later ferry schedule, there was extra time for mainlanders to hang around and enjoy the cake and celebrations of a century of runs for Martha and a half century birthday for John Walsh, a central park run protagonist.

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Away from the Park Run, regulars Jacinta and Carol Hurley were racing over 10k in Kilarney and Claire Elphick was further afield at a Park Run in Belfast.

Well done and congratulations to everyone celebrating this weekend, let’s hope the fresher weather continues into festival season.

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We should have some more celebrations next week when Beara ACs small band of C25K runners come to “graduate” by completing the Park Run next week. Next Sunday, also consider joining Beara AC, Bantry AC and West Cork Trail Runners as we make our way from the Pontoon to the memorial at the historical burial place of princess Beara.

As ever, thanks to the Bakehouse and Bere Island ferries – visitors enjoyed the chance to linger over our post-run treats. Thanks also to volunteers young and not so young, new and experienced. There was some particularly wonderful intergenerational marshalling from the Hanley family this week. Already looking forward to next time – see you then!

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Run 211 21/07/18

Another busy Saturday on Bere Island means another busy parkrun, and what a park run it was! We welcomed Tracy Kennedy chair of the Cork county board who was visiting all the clubs in Beara. Tracy met all the Bere Island Cúl camp participants. We also welcomed parkrunners from Australia, the UK, clonakilty and Ballincollig.

The sun was absolutely splitting the stones and there was a real summer buzz running through the crowd as we all lined up at the start line to hear the weekly introduction from the run director Eugene. He started off by telling A few good jokes to get us all laughing and to calm our nerves at what we knew was going to be a tough parkrun in the heat. Before we knew it, the countdown was over and we began the pilgrimage to the finish line. The run was beautiful, the water was crystal clear and not a cloud covered the sky surrounding the island. Slowly (for some) we motored on towards the finish line. First Timer Dan Murphy crossed the line first today with an incredible time of 18:52, closely followed by Garry Moriarty with a time of 19:49. Two incredible performances. A huge congratulations must go out to our very own Jack Barry who completed his 50th parkrun today! Starting out, Jack was only managing a time of 59:00 minutes, but by his 50th parkrun, he had cut his time by a whopping 20 minutes and currently holds a time of 37 minutes! Once the initial celebrations were held at the finish line, we all headed over to the Bake House for some well deserved treats baked by the brilliant Edel who does a super job every Saturday! All in all, another super parkrun.

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