Joun us to ring in the new year in a healthy way at our New Year’s Day parkrun. This is now an annual event on the island and always attracts a nice crowd. Come along and run, walk, jog or volunteer and start a New Years resolution in the best possible way.
Join us on Christmas morning to do our annual Christmas Day parkrun. It is always a fantastic event with plenty Christmas cheer. After your parkrun join us in the GAA clubhouse for some festive treats.
Happy Birthday to us, Happy Birthday to us, Happy Birthday Bere Island parkrun, Happy Birthday to us…
How many of you sang it?
So there you have it, we celebrated our 5th birthday on Saturday, and we did it in style as we always do. How many people thought back in 2014 it would keep going, but it has and it’s all down to you, for running, walking, volunteering, driving, and travelling! Thank you so much. We had cake, we had goodies, we had music and we had a very special guest to mark the occasion. After heavy rain on Friday night we were delighted to wake to the sun shining down on us. Our many visitors got to enjoy our stunning scenery, so much so that first timer John Robson ran around the course before we started, he ran it again with parkrun and he ran it for the third time after the parkrun. Mad or dedicated? He was one of a group that travelled from England, landing in Cork airport an 7pm, they drove as far as Ballylickey where they stayed for the night. They got the 8am ferry from the pontoon sat morning, got the 12 ferry, drove back to Cork where they caught a flight back before driving home, and all that was just to do Bere Island parkrun. While we know it’s worth the trip we hope having done it ye feel the same. Thank you for joining us, going to all that trouble to be here, well done to you all.
Run Director on this occasion was Dominic, who welcomed our special guest Darragh McElhinney. Darragh, from Glengarriff, holds the bronze medal for the under 20 5000 metre European championship. He led the run on Dominic’s countdown.
First finisher today was first timer John Robson, who raced home in 18.59. First lady was Breeda O’Sullivan crossing the finish line in 24.41. 11 ran their first Bere Island parkrun, of that 11 3 did their very first parkrun ever. Well done to you all, we hope to see you back again. Only 1 participant recorded a new pb, well done Theresa Hall!
There are only 2 days in the year we don’t go to the Bakehouse for our post run refreshments, Christmas Day and our Birthday, so Edel and her crew can join in the celebrations, mix and mingle like we get to do every other week. So on our birthday we have a bring and share in the clubhouse, the table was filling up quickly upon everyone’s arrival, with an array of beautiful goodies. Tea and coffee was also provided. This year the amazing cake was made by Leahanne Sullivan, daughter of Joanne. Not only did it look fantastic (see the photos) but it tasted every bit as good! Thank you Leahanne.
Once everybody had filled their bellies, and consumed their fluids, Dominic asked Darragh back up to make a few presentations on behalf of Bere Island parkrun. Michael Harrington takes on the role of marshal nearly every week, and so has surpassed his 100 volunteer roles. He was presented with a framed photo of himself in his high vis jacket, with the stats of all his volunteer roles, he was also given a card we all signed before the run. Well Done Mike and thanks for your dedication down through the years. There were also presentations made to the core group for their time, effort and dedication to Bere Island parkrun. They were the Murphy family, the Sullivan family, the Walsh family, Catherine K, Finola aka granny, Breeda (on behalf of all who come in from the mainland), Ann Marie and last but not least Carol who has been in the role of volunteer coordinator sine our run started, filling the roster week after week. Sometimes begging and pleading to get the roles filled, but she always does. Have you volunteered yet? Why not take up one of the many roles we have, let those who do it every week have a break! Thank you to all our volunteers, all familiar faces at this stage. Darragh was also presented with framed photo, including stats of his parkruns to date, as a token of our appreciation for his company. He was very gracious and happily posed for many photos, thank you Darragh, and well done on all you’ve achieved to date, and best of luck in the future. We’ll all be glued to the telly to watch you in future! Before rushing off to catch the ferry he cut our cake which was then handed out.
Thanks to Bere Island ferries for supplying the transport for our mainland gang.
Thank you to everyone today for making our 5th birthday celebrations an enjoyable occasion! We look forward to the next 5 years.
Next Saturday 7th August Joanne will hopefully be running her 250th parkrun, and all 250 have been run here on the island. So why not come along and run with her, or if you’re like me you’ll be well behind. The very best of luck Joanne.
Joanne will also be leading a couch to 5k for the next 8 weeks, and walkers/runners of every ability are welcome to come along. Wednesday the 11th will be the first night, so join us at the community centerat 7pm. Please wear your hi vis jacket!
Bere Island parkrun...what can I say?! Here goes nothing!
Self-styled "parkrun Fixer" Tony Higgins has been telling me about Bere Island parkrun for a little over a year now. 13 months later, I finally got my act together and planned this weekend's trip, having convinced my dad, Seamus, along with the Piotrowski family, Adam, Adrian, Filip, and Marta to come along too. Another bunch of Limerick regulars had to rush to Croke Park on urgent business (with an unfortunate outcome as it happens) and dutifully passed on their apologies.
I had the pleasure of meeting ED John Walsh in early July, who, with his wife Sheila and daughter Aoife, very kindly "ferried" us around yesterday, giving us a rapid history of the island in the process.
I recalled Tony mentioning in a previous Run Report that Bere Island parkrun is the only one in the country that does not start at 9:30am, but rather when everyone is ready - what a wonderful example of community spirit. In fact, it was the first of many!
A total of 18 volunteers made event 266 possible, starting with Volunteer Coordinator Carol Murphy and Michael Killen, who was responsible for Pre-event Setup. Tony Higgins was first to address the crowd for the First Timers' Briefing on a beautiful morning, followed by Run Director Peter Killen. Among those welcomed in Peter's pre-parkrun briefing were Chris and Jamie visiting from Queenstown in New Zealand, and a group of Running Chicks (ForgetTheGym.ie) from Dublin.
All ears for Tony's First-Timers' Briefing (above) and RD Peter's pre-parkrun briefing (below)
With Timekeepers Dominic Hallahan and Katie Verdon standing at the ready, the 157-strong crowd headed off for a loop of the eastern end of the island on RD Peter's command (with his warning to avoid skidding due to some rogue cattle having been on part of the course earlier in the morning fresh in our minds).
Ready to start
My home parkrun in Limerick is a 4-lap course, so it was a nice change to run the single-lap Bere Island course, where a smattering of locals and animals were spectating at various points along the route.
parkrunners out on the course
I later found out from Sheila that a section of the route includes the (in my opinion) aptly-named "Hell Hill" - I think I'm glad I didn't know that beforehand! I was relieved that I wasn't the only one whose breathing was a bit laboured as we began the first climb. However once the hill levelled off, the panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Viking Lonehort Harbour were, as promised, breathtaking.
The views were so spectacular I ran the first mile-and-a-half again to take some photos!
The climb up to the old Irish army training camp seemed almost never-ending, until arriving at Proinnsias' water station, and then beginning the welcome descent back to Rerrin Village.
Proinnsias' very thoughtful water stop for whoever might need it
I panicked momentarily when we got back to Rerrin, thinking the route involved climbing the hill past Murphy's and Dessie's Bar, but Marshal Michael Harrington was on hand to direct us right, and then left back to the GAA pitch.
Michael cheering on and directing parkrunners
The finish was a welcome sight, where Dominic and Katie stood cheering us all home down the final straight. Leading the way was Kevin Gleeson, who ran a course PB on his 30th Bere Island parkrun and his 49th parkrun in total. Daniel was the fastest junior boy, running a PB on his 5th parkrun on the island and 9th in total. Sadhbh, visiting from Tralee for the first time, was the fastest junior girl. This week's highest age-graded percentage was achieved by Finola Crowley, with a score of 77.27%.
Coming in to the finish
Halfway down the funnel was Peter with words of encouragement while Patrick Stephen O'Sullivan, who was on Finish Tokens, was next to greet everybody.
En route through the funnel to collect a finish token
Tail Walker Ann Marie Harrington made sure everybody was safely home, smiling all the way.
Ann Marie and Catherine Sullivan bringing up the rear
Recovery was aided by water at the GAA Club, along with not one, but two flavours of tasty muffins (chocolate and raspberry, and orange and blueberry) kindly brought by Marta, visiting from Limerick.
Recovering at the GAA pitch The delectable muffins Marta made didn't last long!
Once breathing normally again, it was over to Aoife Walsh, Clare Kenward (who hails from Clair parkrun and was volunteering on the 125th separate occasion!), and Filip Piotrowski, for Barcode Scanning.
A general view of the finish: queuing for scanning, rehydrating, stretching, and of course chatting!
Joanne Sullivan, on Token Sorting, and Sheila Walsh, on Finish Token Support, then set about reorganising the finish tokens for next week's parkrun.
Joanne making sure no tokens got lost A pause in Token Sorting while Joanne tracked down missing tokens
Finola Crowley then took charge of Post-event Close Down, ably assisted by John and Peter, as everybody either headed to Murphy's Bakehouse or back to the ferry.
Putting the equipment away until next week
Finally, Results Processor Proinnsias O'Keeffe was responsible for downloading, uploading, and submitting the times along with confirming the volunteers to parkrun HQ. Proinnsias approaching the finish ready to look after the results
Beverly Killen was Photographer yesterday, and captured plenty of shots of most of the above - these can be viewed on the Bere Island parkrun Facebook page.
Beverly in action while Peter delivered the briefing
Of course, volunteers are essential for parkrun to go ahead, so do please get in touch if you are interested in volunteering at some point. You can see the schedule for the coming weeks on the future roster page on the website. I promise volunteering is just as enjoyable as running/walking/jogging!
Of the 157 participants yesterday morning, 10 different clubs were represented. The visitors included Chris and Jamie Seymour, co-EDs of Queenstown parkrun in New Zealand, Debbie Henvey, ED of Tolka Valley parkrun, Anna, Clare, and Graham Kenward from Sussex, Alison and Steve Wise from Bangor, a group of Running Chicks (ForgetTheGym.ie) from Dublin, Adam, Adrian, Filip, Marta, Seamus, and I from Limerick, a group from Causeway with a Tralee connection, and Maria O'Regan from Castlehaven. There were 45 people visiting Bere Island parkrun for the first time, including 12 people who took part in their first parkrun, and 15 parkrunners achieved new Personal Bests. Times are available here - well done to everybody who took part in event 266!
Congratulations to junior parkrunners Lucy and Seán, both of whom joined the 10-club yesterday - here's to your next milestones, Lucy and Seán!
After parkrun, it was time to relax in/outside the Bakehouse discussing all and sundry over coffee, confectionery, or for some the "full Irish" to replenish the calories burned. Gathering at Murphy's Bakehouse post-parkrun
Although I didn't sample any food, I've been reliably informed that every last morsel was delicious. I'll just have to come back with a larger appetite! There wasn't much time then before the ferry was departing for the mainland, laden with happy, smiling parkrunners exchanging stories and yarns.
Time to board the ferry back to the mainland - far too soon!
If you're still reading, thanks for Bere-ing with me (see what I did there?) through this admittedly mammoth Run Report! Thanks so much for having us - it was a treat to experience the Bere Island hospitality. I think I can safely say on behalf of all the Limerick gang that we thoroughly enjoyed our spot of parkrun tourism on the island. I'm already looking forward to visiting again!
Everybody is of course welcome in Limerick anytime, we'd be delighted to see you!
Shona Ní Fhloinn
20 July 2019
What is it about this parkrun that keeps bringing us back! Yesterday in the wind and rain, you would have said no it's too wet and too windy but as usual the parkrun weather window opened and we had a morning where the island, Bantry Bay and Castletownberehaven showed themselves off at their very best. We welcomed visitors from Guernsey in the Channel Islands (our first visitors from there I think), from Antrim, Poppintree and Marlay in Dublin, Tralee (no T cosy needed today) Ballincollig and Glengariff among other places.
After a briefing from our first time RD Maeve Killeen, we marked the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing with an attempted moon from the Doc! A south westerly wind blowing force 3 to 4 was at our backs at the start and helped us up towards the first of the hills, Markey's hill.
"a few ppl ahead of us said "cow on the rd" Joanne looked and said that's not a cow it's a bull I was expecting the crowd to turn around but luckily he jumped back into the field he came out of. Myself and Joanne running towards him probably scared him alright!" I should add that Suzanne was wearing red!
It seems that while we have names for the uphills, we have none for the wonderful downhills so the first downhill section we meet is Scairt down to the beach hill. Up again on Long Johnnies hill before the Lonhort Viking downhill. Another rise brings us to the furthest point from the start with the gentle rise of battery hill. We get to recharge on the cuttings downhill before tackling the now infamous Humphries Hill up to the barracks and the highest point on our parkrun.
Next downhill could be called the Barrack downhill or the Master Gunners Descent. On the way this morning, the ferry slip was a hive of activity and enjoyment with children doing their test after the swim week on the island and so to what one athlete thought was the last uphill section, the Rerrin to go up hill!
As we rounded by Dessies last weekend, my compatriot said "I've got you now" as he sped down the final large descent Dessies downhill only to be caught on the piggery uphill and being heard to cry "duck, duck duck" as I overtook him again.
We had 89 finishers today, just one less than last week.
Well done to our regular parkrunners who took on Killarney 10k and half marathon today! Your work on our downhills paid off!
Thanks as always to our volunteers this week who included one of our visitors on his second parkrun away from home in a week!
We are totally dependent on volunteers to keep our parkrun going.
Why not give the locals a weekend off and volunteer if you're visiting!
Thanks to Bere Island Ferries and Colm for the ferry and bus service and to the Bakehouse for the wonderful refreshments after our run.
This week 89 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 22 were first timers and 9 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 6 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 13 volunteers: Michael KILLEN • John WALSH • Proinnsias O'KEEFFE • Sheila WALSH • Carol MURPHY • Joanne SULLIVAN • Finola CROWLEY • Eugene GLENDON • Sylvia GLENDON • Maeve KILLEN • Michael HARRINGTON • Kevin GLEESON • Maureen POWER
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Bere Island parkrun Results Page.
The male record is held by Alex POSTHUMUS who recorded a time of 16:04 on 11th October 2014 (event number 7). The female record is held by Hannah OLDROYD who recorded a time of 18:36 on 6th December 2014 (event number 15). The Age Grade course record is held by Noel BERKELEY who recorded 86.59% (17:02) on 6th December 2014 (event number 15).
Bere Island parkrun started on 30th August 2014. Since then 1,767 participants have completed 12,301 parkruns covering a total distance of 61,505 km, including 1,429 new Personal Bests. A total of 215 individuals have volunteered 3,350 times.