Today’s parkrun centered around one lady in particular, she has a lot of names under her belt since she did her first run back in August 2014, Granny, Supergran, Glamorous Granny and my all-time favourite the Epileptic Octopus, but also the “lady” who likened us to a herd of cattle. I’ll come back to her in a bit..
We have been blessed with the weather since Christmas really, no wind, no rain, so no puddles or water logged potholes, no muck, no complaints. What a great way to start Bere Island parkrun 2019, dry and calm. 35 gathered to take on the 5k loop. We welcomed first timer Sean Buckley, hopefully his first was so enjoyable, he is now convinced to take the weekly trip across the harbour, from his home in Castletownbere. Well done Sean and welcome aboard. First finisher was Kevin Sullivan, rounding the corner and finishing in 20.17, followed by Pat Sheehan home in 21.07, and Ben Murphy home in 21.56 Well done guys, great running. First lady home was Clare Murphy, finishing in 24.49, with Joanne 20 seconds behind in 25.02(young Ultan pipped her to the post by 1 second,25.01. I need to know how you managed that?). Third lady finisher was Breeda O Sullivan, home in 25.35. Well done ladies. We had 2 pb’s today, Breandan flew home in 27.33 knocking another 1 min 3 sec off last week which was 30sec off his previous, so that 1.5 minutes off in 2 weeks, which is a phenomenal amount of tie in running. Well done Breandan, we hope you feeling proud, Wednesday night’s running is paying off. Our second pb of the day went to Fionn Hanley, who must have gotten some inspiration from wearing his Dad’s Dublin City Marathon t shirt, by knocking 3 seconds off his previous best time of 39.28 to finish in 39.35. Well done Fionn, onwards and upwards.
Dominic who was in charge (for a certain young lady’s milestone), ran another great show, without running! Himself and his crew of Barry, Colin, Sean, Olan, Brendan, Carol, Suzanne, Sinead, Finola, Edel, Sheila, Aoife, John, Joanne, Niamh , Ann Marie and those who always stay around to help out, secured another great performance for Bere Island parkrun volunteers. If you would like to become part of this elite group please contact us to choose your role, there’s loads to choose from. The more volunteers we have the merrier we are!! Thank you for this week guys, well done to you all. Thanks to Edel and crew in the Bakehouse, for re hydrating, and refueling us, and to Bere Island Ferries for the transport..
WARNING, this paragraph might be offensive to some, but he knows me too well!!
And in his own words, everything said at parkrun is only in jest, and when I’m writing the report you should all know whatever you say might be used against you in a Bere Island parkrun run report. And so to the milestone and the Lady of the moment with so many names, have you guessed correctly, its none other than Finola Crowley, who amazingly at her age ( wink wink;) )completed her 200th (yes you read right 200th) parkrun, and more astonishingly she completed it in under 30 mins which was her aim before starting, I think she needs to be drug tested next week, she has to be on something, or is she just high on life, on the excitement of Saturday morning runs in whatever weather with whoever might be there to have a cheery hello or ad auld moan with. Whatever the answer she’s an amazing woman, always smiling and laughing, making jokes, which you might just be the butt of but you have to laugh anyway, always cool calm and collected and never with a hair out of place. Good old Granny to all her Bere Island parkrun family. She missed the first 3 parkruns but got stuck in on the forth and hasn’t stopped since, she as one away under her belt, Killarney parkrun, but because it didn’t have the same je ne sais quoi as ours, she hasn’t been in a hurry to leave us again for pastures green, as the saying goes “The grass isn’t always greener on the other side”. Here first run on 20/09/2014 was in 36.31. She got it down to 28.37 for her 100th on 21/11/2017, and has just kept a steady pace since. All she wanted this morning was to get it done under 30, she was rather disheartened in the village as Run Director/marshall/friend Dominic told her to forget it, she was off the mark but Carol Hurley was right behind her and told her she still had 2 minutes, so she gave it her all and proved Dominic wrong by finishing in 29.28. There was a tense moment in the Bakehouse waiting on the results, but yippee, they were right”. Well done Finola, every one of us is extremely proud and delighted with you and for you. Here’s to the next 200. When I wrote for your 100th (lucky you having me write both) I said I wanted to run like you when I grow up, I think that boat has sailed, I’m too tired and old to try to catch up!!. So following on with tradition, although with a slight change, and, perhaps a bit of favoritism showing, Finola received her beautiful montage of photographs from Dominic in the Bakehouse after her 200th was completed. Poor Joanne had to stand under the cold naked sky to get hers, and I was upgraded to the clubhouse kitchen, both not yet having completed our 200th technically. Good job we didn’t get injured, it might have been revoked. So Granny got special treatment, or maybe it was a prank, because we got our prerun she may have thought he forgot to do up her one, so the element of surprise was there post run. Either way it is a beautiful recognition of the efforts that have gone to complete so many as well as volunteering. I may joke about it but I will reiterate it is a beautiful gift to receive, no matter where or when. When Dominic was giving his speech before presenting it to her, he did comment on family. Not only was she surrounded by her real family, daughter Joanne, granddaughters Leahanne and Niamh and grandsons Kevin and Sean, but he said she was also surrounded by her parkrun family, which we are, meeting every sat, for not just the run but for the coffee, chat and company. That’s just too soppy!!! And in another tradition, but more favouritism, because she had asked for pink gin instead of Prosecco for which the answer was “you can, you know what” she did however get the choice of 3 glasses from which to drink her bubbly, all different sizes, with strawberries, ice, straws and umbrellas, we didn’t get that Joanne did ye, and she didn’t offer a drink to anyone, but she drank half ours.. So all in all it was another great morning, another great celebration, and another great story for Bere island parkrun. Let me finish by reminding you Dominic when you gave that speech you did say even with all the things that are said and all the slagging that goes on we all know everything is meant in jest and no offence ever intended, we have fun and banter. So Dominic just in case you’ve taken offence I will just say if it had been given to me in the pouring rain, freezing cold with thunder and lightning or any other way possible it wouldn’t change the fact how fantastic it is and an honour to receive, you just prefer Finola ;););). So to everyone else if you want this stunning montage of photographs depicting your 200 runs, get running!
Until we meet again