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!