Run 238 12/01/2019

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



Run 236 01/01/19

The New Year’s Day parkrun took place at 11.00am in near perfect conditions.  The temperature was 11 degrees, sky overcast and no wind.  This has to be one of the most beautiful parkrun destinations, one of only eight island parkruns in the world.  The view from the course looking out over the sea can only be described as breath taking.   The Course is a single loop with a climb at the very beginning leading towards the fortifications at the east of the island and then turning directly westwards towards Rerrin village and finishing at the GAA club house.

Seventy-four people completed the course.  A brilliant start to the 2019 parkrun Year.  Keep up the good work.

The first three registered positions were taken by Kevin Gleeson, Garry Hilliard and Colin Gleeson.  The first lady home and also a first timer for park run Bere Island was Sorcha Humphreys.  The 2nd and 3rd ladies’ home were Clare Murphy and Breeda O’Sullivan.  Congratulations to those who recorded Personal bests today.  These included Barry Lynch, Eddie Sullivan, Margaret Frawley, Moya De Buitleir,Catriona De Buitleir and Lina Galvis.  There were five other first-timers, Mary Smyth, Caoimhe O’Shea, Liam Lynch and Mona Lynch and finally myself.

After the run, we all adjourned to the Café for a very welcome tea, coffee and scones.  There was a great buzz and sense of achievement by all involved and a deep sense of camaraderie.  Newcomers are immediately made to feelwelcome.   Well done to all.  We will be back!



Run 235 29/12/18

Run report thanks to Noelette. Photos thanks to Joanne Dominic and John

parkrun No. 235 and the last parkrun of 2018 is a good time to stop and reflect. But before I wallow in nostalgia, let me declare this final parkrun to be a great milestone for one runner in particular – Kevin Sullivan, who notched up an impressive 100 parkruns today, proving that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree as he is the third generation of runners from one family to have reached that particular accolade! And so proud Mammy Joanne, along with extra-proud Granny Finola, were on hand with Kevin’s other siblings and wider family to cheer him on, and offer congratulations for his time of 20.52 in an enviable display of raw talent and determination. Only pipped to the post of first position by Kevin Gleeson at 19.50 he left his mother, who also happened to be first lady home, a little behind him at 25.24... some of us can but dream…!!

For the other 43 participants either running, jogging, walking or crawling (in my case), it was a great way to shake off the post-Christmas stupor and though every step reminded me of my own personal overindulgence of sherry trifle and plum pudding, it didn’t take long to get back into the swing of things and a good lung full of fresh island air with the added enthusiasm of Nessa (dog) was enough to propel me up some of those more challenging hills. Clearly some of the group weren’t allowing the Christmas season to throw them off course as there was a phenomenal five PB’s demonstrating that the extra mince pie can sometimes add extra fuel to the tank. And because it’s these achievements that make the difference each week, let’s hear it for Patrick Hurley at 23.39 ; Breandán Murphy at 29.01, Cormac O Sullivan at 29.05, Donal Francis de Buitlear at 29.36, and Mary McDyer at 49.19 – plenty of first timers showed up with great enthusiasm and good cheer, and the proceedings were done and dusted in less and hour overall with tail walker Peter clocking in at 56.44 No slouches for the closing parkrun of 2018 on Bere Island! (Mind you, whoever erected the Parkrun signage this week must have been imbibing from a festive hip flask when it was spotted to be upside down!)

Otherwise all aspects of the morning were fine examples of military precision with Run Director Dominic, having picked up a thing of two from the Gillet Jaunes in Paris, cracking the whip with a welcome and safety briefing before we took to the hills, babies, buggies and dogs in toe. Those new Fitbits, Apple Watches and Pacemakers bleeping and vibrating all the way! As always the parkrun wouldn’t be possible without the merry band of selfless volunteers they are in no particular order (cue drum roll please Ed..) thanks to Finola CROWLEY, Colin GLEESON, Kevin GLEESON, Eugene GLENDON, Sylvia GLENDON, Dominic HALLAHAN, Barry HANLEY, Michael HARRINGTON, Peter KILLEN, Carol MURPHY, Brendan MURPHY, Proinnsias O'KEEFFE, Joanne SULLIVAN, Natalie TREACHER, Sheila WALSH, and John WALSH, and of course along with Edel and the Murphy Family who provide the essential post-run refreshments, and finally Colm Harrington who provides the ferry and bus transfers, for our stalwart mainland friends who contribute so much to the run its atmosphere (not to mention the fantabulous parkrun annual dinner….which I won’t be mentioning atall, atall. There I haven’t mentioned it. Atall, atall.)

The end of the year is always a good opportunity to think about the happy (and occasionally little sad moments) of the passing year before we launch into our New Year Resolutions with gay abandon! There are a few stand out moments for me personally that will remind me of 2018. I’m not great at statistics, or maths for that matter (sorry Sr. Rosario!) so don’t expect a list of numbers and times and personal achievements though I know we had many, many moments of great triumphs but just showing up sometimes is enough. The start of the year heralded the introduction of the Beara AC by a group of our regular parkrunners and throughout the year it’s gone from strength to strength with many personal goals being set and surpassed – the fraternity of parkrunners have also gone on to participate in the “Couch to 5k” Programme, the Cork City Marathon, the Eyeries 5-Mile, the Allihies 5-Mile, the Whiddy Island 5k and many more such community events. There was an outreach to the home of parkrun, Bushy Park in Teddington, south west of London, last January, with a contingent from Bere Island and Tralee travelling over. This trip also provided (as if it were necessary) the hard proof that breakfasts as provided by Edel and Co. in the Bakehouse each Saturday are the biggest and best in the world. In February we had the sad passing of doggie regular Jennings, reminding us how important our canine companions are to us (yes Ed, they are!). Who remembers ‘The Beast from the East’ which forced an unprecedented cancellation of the Saturday run? Anyway we all got exercise by making snowmen instead… St Patrick’s Day run was a novel affair not least as we were joined by Daniel and Majella with RTE Crew in tow, who were visiting celebrities to Bere Island, a day to remember! And home grown Jennifer Barry showed not one hint of her character from The Young Offenders when she took to the trail… Spring calves arrived in glorious sunshine and parkrun No. 200 was Country and Western Themed in May with lots of ‘yeehaws’ and gunfire to be heard (ok Ed, maybe not the gunfire!) – The Bere Midsummer parkrun was a triumph with lots of the regulars either running or volunteering at TWO events on the same day. Also in the Summer, we had a somewhat damper Inter-Islands Football Tournament which went off with great aplomb despite torrential rain. Junior Wonky Bear showed up with a list of contractual demands that put Tom Cruise to shame, but in the end turned out to be an ordinary decent guy. Our gorgeous Summer months were spent sweating and panting as we battled soaring temperatures and the 4th Birthday Bash for the Bere Island parkrun in August and a great opportunity to kick up our heels and celebrate. We must also mention the nuptials of mainland regulars Natalie and Steve in September, did I mention The Christmas Party(?), which is fast becoming the social event of the year! There are many more worthy events which I have not room for, and the above are only a brief reminder of the wonderful and varied adventure that Bere Island and the parkrun is, but finally, and whilst there have been many, many amazing contributions throughout 2018 in the form of our much anticipated Run Report every week, I have to say my own personal favourite was the recent Report “filed” in early December by Ann-Marie which embodied those many and varied adventures; the challenge, the fun, and the very personal experience that all make the Bere Island parkrun what it is.

So to all our visitors from far and wide, to our friends, family and whole community, to everyone who simply showed up – thank you for a year of great memories and mutual support and ‘craic’ and here’s wishing you all a very Happy and Healthy and Fun New Year.

Onwards to 2019…..
….and to kick it all off: see you on New Years Day!


Run 234 25/12/18

Run report 234 thanks to Natalie and photos thanks to Edel and Steve.

Our story starts with a familiar theme: Three wise men, coming from the distant East … Well, I’m already stretching it a bit - Kevin and Colin Gleeson and Steve all came from the East pontoon, a good start.

As it happens, we did bring Frank(incense), or rather he brought us, gold in the form of wedding rings exchanged this year, and mulled cider in the place of the traditional embalming spice - an upgrade on the original.

So far so good.

To complete our Christmas scene we need some shepherds (I am going to substitute shepherd for farmers, since I’ve granted myself quite a lot of poetic license so far). Obviously we also need some attendant bovines; Peter Killen, in his role as Run director, helpfully informed us that there could possibly be cows on the course, so that was covered

As in many school nativity plays, some participants play multiple parts - Billy Murphy was the star everyone followed, finishing first in 19.13, in following him so closely Kevin Gleeson propelled himself to a PB of 19.36. Billy was also our Christmas birthday, celebrated on Christmas Eve. Mary O’sullivan was on hand for that important role .. but, amazingly, we had no Joseph … so I will have to assume he went on some hasty paternity leave. Deirdre M O’Sullivan also brought us a very festively dressed infant - not quite new born, but near enough. Holy Family - check! Christmas story just about complete!

A little further through the field Lina Galvis/Gleeson followed her husbands footsteps to also bag a PB and Beverly Killeen, as tail walker, guided by the promise of Christmas spirit (hot whiskey) briskly marched her way to a PB too. Sadhbh Sullivan (two legs) and Jessie Glendon (four legs) got to experience our circuit for for the first time …officially.

I love the simplicity of our single circuit parkrun; guided by some stella runners we all get round in the end, back to where we started, but just a bit different for the journey. Just like at Christmas so many of us come home and come together, give thanks for the year gone and get ready for the year ahead. The simple cycle of the year, the seasons, all captured in a 5k walk/run/gathering.

And in case we weren’t Christmassy enough here we go with the annual top three Christmas Names: we have a Natalie (Nativity to you), tied second place: a Christmas Carol (Murphy) and (St.) Stephen (O’Donovan) but overall champion, naturally, Noelette. "Santa Claus" wasn’t with us this year … and so I feel the prize couldn’t have possibly gone elsewhere!

In other exciting news, Nessa has discovered “Bottom Sniffer”, dog beer apparently infused with dandelion and seaweed properties. After a few sips it soon became apparent that this non-alcoholic concoction had the same effect on Nessa as the alcoholic brand does on some humans … her behaviour changed rapidly and further consumption would definitely have invited a long afternoon nap, laughing at cracker jokes, and possibly ill-advised charades.

Thanks to all the volunteers, our Christmas angels (the last piece of the puzzle), for a very special Christmas Day parkrun including the providers of post-run snacks and hot whiskeys and Frank for speedy lift to and from the mainland. Already looking forward to the next time.


Run 233 22/12/2018

A cool , fresh , calm morning it was for Parkrun no.233 . 34 brave souls faced the few hills , but for Neil Harper it was the hilliest parkrun he’s ever completed , but without the unique views ( unfortunately at the top of every hill ) he wouldn’t have completed it at all . Today was Junior Parkrun Volunteer Day , so I’d like to thank all the volunteers who helped out today , and to Run Director Aoife who made a prompt speech . The parkrun wouldn’t be complete without the timekeepers , Olan and Seán , and Ultan on tokens , Kevin who was on scanning duty after his run . Niamh was making memories as photographer . Michelagh and Emma were tailwalkers and were making sure everyone got around the course safely . We also had two new volunteers , Jack and Kate , who did an amazing job at starting the clock . Hopefully they will be back soon . Now , down to business , 34 participants made their way to the start line , including 3 canine friends , Riley , Jessie and Nessa who turn up every week and trot the course . We had two newcomers , Neil Harper and Karen Waring , from Carrickfergus . Kevin was first in today with an impressive time of 20:15 , then it was Pat Sheehan with a new pb , followed by 32 others . We all headed back to the Bakehouse for some tasty treats , and of course , the tea and coffee . The Junior Volunteers received their beautiful breakfast for all the hard work throughout the year complements of the Bakehouse. Natalie made a quick welcome to Cormac, Debbie and Geraldine who joined Beara Athletic Club and completed their first 5k. It was an enjoyable morning by everyone . Hopefully we will see you all again on Christmas Day or next Saturday morning , if not , have a jolly Christmas and a fantastic New Year . See you next week,


⇐ Newer Posts