Run Report #245 – My Favourite Overseas parkrun!

1 route

It goes without saying that everyone who visits Bere Island parkrun enjoys it. But there's two very different ways to experience it, either as a day trip or an over-nighter. The question is, which is the best way to do it?

This was my sixth time running my favourite "away" parkrun (I have to put in the word "away" in case any of my friends in Tralee stumble across this report!), so I think I can now speak with some authority on ths subject. But still I have to say, you have to visit at least twice to get the full experience, as each of the two alternatives has its attractions!

Stay overnight and you miss the craic on the short ferry trip and the white-knuckle ride in the bus with Colin at the wheel, he drives like he runs, and the slam-bam-thank-you-mam visit to the Bakehouse before the return. It's all over in about three hours - but let's face it, that's much more value than you get from any "ordinary" parkrun!


2 ferryBut take the longer option and then you have the pleasure of a leisurely cruise in Brendan's boat which delivers you to the east end of the island, and you get to stay with Edel and Brendan in what must be one of the nicest, most relaxed B&B experiences you can have! And if you're lucky, you get a few hours in the pub with Dominic and Proinnsias that passes very quickly!


3 neil pubMy trip this time was in the company of Neil Marshall, Ireland Administrator for parkrun, who spent a long weekend visiting seven different parkruns in West Cork and Kerry. Of course, he could only do one offical parkrun, and he asked lots of people which one he should do at 9:30 on the Saturday (well, 9:45 in Bere Island, but we don't mind that!) It wasn't just me that told him this was the one to do!

So even though he's the parkrun expert, he learned a lot in those four hours - about Bere Island parkrun, Bere Island, and the world in general! Including the effect Guinness has on parkrun times - but more of that later!


5 carrolls

And you are likely to be sharing the house with like-minded parkrunners - this time it was the Carroll's, just Steve running this time as Dave was injured, but they had a couple of supporters cheering too. Dave is on the core team of the next Irish parkrun to start up in Cloughjordan (Knockanacree Woods) later this month, so he was interested to see how it all works - a bit of industrial espionage, I'd say. He was snapping away with a camera all morning - you'll be able to see his photos on Facebook!

The great thing about Edel's B&B is that you can save your breakfast until after the parkrun - if Neil had eaten that breakfast after those few pints his time would have been a lot slower.


13 socks

By the way, my time is much slower than Neil's not because of the Guinness, but because I realised too late that not only was I wearing cycling socks instead of running socks, but I had them on the wrong feet - maybe I should have been running clockwise!


7 jocelyn

It was a pretty rotten morning all over the country, but there were still nearly 40 runners and walkers on the start line for Jocelyn Dufétel's Debut as Run Director. And a few minutes after the rest of the country (not Jocelyn's fault, he wasn't driving the bus!), we were off.



The route is stunning, but it's not easy, so you have plenty of time to enjoy it. I didn't have the pleasure of John Walsh's company, last time he paced me to a Bere Island PB by distracting my with tales of the island. Instead I had the equal pleasure of running with my friend and fellow tourist Deirdre NiDrisceoil and did my best to remember some of what John had told me!

You always know when Proinnsias is on the island because there is a water station (in a very fancy decanter now) outside his house at the 3.5 km mark, just when you need it, something I've never seen at another parkrun and a real treat - and just another of the many things that make this event stand out from the rest.


8 benFirst across the line this week was Ben Murphy - he's only done 11 parkruns but has finished first three times. Not far behind was visitor Steve Carroll followed by Neil.

9 2nd 4rd



10 joanne

First lady home was... you guessed it... the legendary Joanne Sullivan! Pretty soon Joanne will have her 150th First Finish on Bere Island, and not too long after will do her 250th parkrun - hopefully then she will do a bit of parkrun tourism and visit us in Tralee! There was a tussle for second and third ladies with Breeda O'Sullivan coming in ahead of Mags O'Neill.

11 breeda mahs

The Full Results are here.



12 karen P

There was another inspirational lady at the other end of the field. We had the treat of meeting Karen Penny, who is a couple of months into a very long walk - 19,000 miles around the coastline of the UK and Ireland in support of Alzheimer's Research UK (a charity much beloved on parkrun) - she's already more than a quarter of the way to her target of £100,000! She'll clock up a few parkruns on the way, and I've reminded her than Inch Beach and Tralee are both on her route so hopefully I will meet her again soon!

(And here's another little story that is typical of Bere Island. Karen's husband made contact through parkrun Ireland to see if anyone could help her with a lift to the ferry, I couldn't help as I was staying overnight but John Walsh had two offers of a lift within minutes. Thanks Geraldine!)

14 bakehouseAfter the run, everyone goes to the Bakehouse - the entire Murphy Family are working in unison to feed the masses in the short hiatus before the return coach transfer (sounds very posh, doesn't it!). There's always a lovely atmosphere, and we had plenty of time as our later ferry gave us a chance to eat a very Full Irish... and scones... and lemon drizzle cake... and coffee cake (now you can understand my finishing time of just under 40 minutes!)

15 tropicalIt's always a great pleasure to do my favourite overseas parkrun, and I'll be back again later in the year. Meanwhile, we always love to welcome tourists in Tralee, it's a very different experience but hopefully as enjoyable! And I know we have one Islander at least visiting next week!

Tony Higgins
Tralee parkrun



Run 242 09/02/2019

The traditional post run bonding happened much earlier today as a horizontal hailstorm lashed all the 29 participants just before the start of event 242. Thom Kleiss the race director was amazed at his rapid promotion with little training after only two previous volunteering jobs. Thankfully Thom cut his intended thirty minute opening speech down to 30 seconds and off we went. A few keen runners jumped the starting gun but it was hardly noticed. The strong westerly made it easier getting to the East End Loop turn and sunshine came out and as ever spectacular views over Lonehort Harbour. On the return loop the wind pushed hard, the clouds were moving faster than I was and getting any PB’s was not going to be easy but Theresa Sherwood managed it as did Suzanne O’Sullivan. Oh and I did too but it was my first timed run so that was automatic ! International visitors from Germany and England and Eyeries. (Johnny kept his promise of course !) Older walkers and young kids too. Great way to spend a saturday morning. First in was Kevin Sullivan with a time of 20.29 followed by first timer and guest Ralf Rosenberger with 21.42. Tailwalkers time was 51.54. The volunteer roster was full and excellently attended by the following supportive people Finalo CROWLEY, Jean GLENDON, Pauline HANLEY, Anne-Marie HARRINGTON, Michael HARRINGTON,Thom KLEISS, Edel MURPHY, Brendan MURPHY, Carol MURPHY, Breeda O’SULLIVAN, Steve O’DONOVAN and Joanne O’SULLIVAN. Many thanks for your help on this cold and blustery day. The apres ski atmosphere in the Bake House was warm and cosy and all were well fed by Edel and Brendan’s family’s good care and attention. I am only sorry it will be June before I am back here for my next Bere Island Park Run that’s if I can get a visa after March 29th! Hopefully no Berexit for me...



Run 240 26/01/2019

System failures, thingamejigs, 5 in a row and communal showers! There was a lot going on in the clubhouse this morning. I have warned before when I’m down as report writer what is said pre or post run in public in the kitchen can be used against you in Bere Island parkrun run report.

It was a very wet wet wet morning, nobody was singing in the rain, unless they were stone mad, mind u I often do, but that’s beside the point. In the words of Vladimir Nabokov “Don’t be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards”. Bear that in mind the next time we have a bad morning. Another cold wet windy morning, fresh and wintery, blows all the cobwebs away! And yet 22 gathered to run or walk the 5k loop. With Edel in charge, keeping her mighty crew of volunteers on their toes, they all did yet another sterling job. Whatever you might say about us to be running or walking around in the rain, these poor souls have to stand in position in the rain and wind until the tail walker crosses the finish line, which this week was Thom Kleiss, in a respectable time of 50 mins, also securing the only  pb of the day, well done Thom. This week’s other volunteers included Noelette, Finola, Colin, Eugene, Sylvia, Dominic, Mike, Ann Marie, Thom, Carol, Olan, Edel, Brendan, Mags, Joanne, Michael and Sheila. Well done and thank you all. Were always looking for volunteers, from the post of run director to run report writer and every post in between so please get in touch, offer your help once in a while, so we can keep Bere Island parkrun running smoothly.

First finisher was Michael O’Sullivan who trotted home in 25.13, followed, hot on his heels with only 4 seconds between them, was first lady Joanne Sullivan, home in 25.17. And so when Michael finished he went on barcode duty which is where the System failure came in, nothing serious or nothing that can’t be fixed(in case you get put off from trying that particular role) but he scanned his own in the wrong order, and all he was worried about was Joanne being given his first position. I might have made a few bob if I had a bidding war between them. But all is well that ends well, the order is above board and correct. Well done to both finishers today.

As most of you are aware we have books with our barcodes in to keep them there safe, but Carol usually brings her own with her. This morning she had left it in her bag. She told Michael she didn’t have her thingamajig with her, I think there’s still a blank look on his face! So not only did she forget to bring it with her, she actually forgot what it’s called. Moral of the story DONT FORGET YOUR BARCODE…

Johnny has surprised most of us by coming in for the last 5 weeks. He promised last week he would be in this week to do what Kerry couldn’t by completing 5 in a row. Such was everyone’s shock and delight to see him conquer his dream, not only did he get a cheer fit for any all-Ireland final at the start line but he was also given a slice of cake as a way to celebrate his success in the Bakehouse under the watchful eye of former Cork player and selector Ciaran O’Sullivan. Well done Johnny, here’s to the next 5!

So the Communal showers, I’m not entirely sure how to word this, but here goes. We’ve been having a few issues with hot water for the showers, Finola blames Brendan, Brendan blames Finola, everyone blames everyone else, today it was taken a step further, when someone had the audacity to blame our oil man, simply because he was there and had to have a cold shower, they’re simply taking the HEAT off themselves ;);). Any way I’m not sure if it’s the way there isn’t enough hot water or none at all but there was a bit of a discussion as to how to fix it. This discussion was between 2 ladies, I might add, who I won’t name to save their embarrassment, so it might surprise you all to know there were suggesting communal or unisex showers, to save the hot water, perhaps what they meant was everyone under the same shower, which would be all well and good but we decided the biggest problem would be filling the role of security or chaperones. Filling that role wouldn’t be a problem perhaps; the problem would be too many volunteers for the role. So Noelette and Joanne while it may help with the water problem, we might just put your idea on file in a filing cabinet for the time being!

I’m sure our visitors today think we’re a crazy bunch of people, but we hope you enjoyed the craic, and will come back to us again and bring friends. David and Sharon Schindler joined us from Portrush parkrun in Antrim, while Chris Rafferty joined us from Cabinteely parkrun in Dublin, who I’ve just noticed was only 1 second behind our Joanne. I wonder was there a bit of chivalry there on his part???

Thanks again to all our volunteers, roster still has empty spaces for next week, so why not put your name forward for one of the many roles. Thanks to Brendan and his crew in the Bakehouse, he kept the show going until Edel finished her role as Run Director, and thanks to Bere Island ferries for the transport both on sea and on land.

So parkrun 240 completed, Join us next week for our next instalement.



Run 239 19/01/2019

Saturday morning’s parkrun had 28 hardy participants who came out to run or walk our beautiful course, and what a morning it turned out to be! It was cold, crisp and sunny, a wonderful morning to be out and about.  Kevin Sullivan was first home in 20.45, and first lady home was his Mom Joanne in 24.34.  Congratulations to Breandán Murphy with his fourth PB in a row with a time of 26.52, and also to Geraldine O’Sullivan who is only running a few months and had a PB of 30.42, her comment when she walked to the café for our après parkrun sustenance was “where else would you want to be on a morning like this”.

As for myself, I had an achievement also in that I ran the whole course for the first time, it’s the small things like this that give you such a positive feeling when you finish. It goes to show that no matter what your time, there is always something good to take away from every parkrun, the first positive thing is to get out of bed on a Saturday morning to head for the ferry and everything after that is a bonus. So for any of you who think you won’t be fast enough or fit enough, just come along and you will see that none of that matters, it’s all inclusive!  Don’t forget your O.T. walks in Beara this week, and please take the time to volunteer at your local parkrun as it can’t operate without you.  That’s it for this week, keep up the good work and see you all Saturday where we’ll do it all again.



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,



Run 232 15/12/2018

We had it all this morning, we had wind, we had rain (although maybe not as much as we had been expecting if you saw all the rain gear), we had an epileptic Octopus, we had a Fat Alcoholic, we had a geriatric sidekick but most importantly we had fun, we had laughs, we had mighty company, and we had all this at Bere Island parkrun. Most of you reading this (I’m being hopeful that’s a few at least), know our run, ye know the hills,(the 50000 ups, a slight exaggeration of course, and the 1 down), the bends, the worst patches where the wind hits you hard so u try to sprint but fail miserably, well today was a bit of a shock to the system.  There were a few of us happy to do tail walker, and tried everything to convince Joanne to run, cause trying to keep her pace at walking is as hard as trying to keep her pace at running, but no, she wasn’t having any of it and happily plodded along with the rest of the walkers. Before the rain had cleared a window for us Dominic, who stood in as Run Director for Aoife today, gave the pre run briefing in the clubhouse kitchen. Out off we headed for the start line, some of like we were heading into a battlefield of rain, but it took a little break for the 45 mins or so we needed. Dominic was in such a hurry to let us off I didn’t even get time to take to start line before he counted down and the Doc shouted at everyone not to run me down, phew, it was a close call.. I gathered my composure, fell in with my sidekick and ran. Markie’s hill, grand, I can’t breathe but grand, Kelly’s height a little better, I can breathe, John Murphy’s no bother when we decided to walk it from Vincie’s small gate(was supposed to be the big one but we were brave enough to venture further. Plodding along nicely, passed the half way mark, great, but yet to face into Humphries hill, everyone’s favourite! But it too was fine once the decision was made to walk. So yes, we’re going great guns, thought passing the barracks might be breezy but it was ok. Wahoo, delighted we’re on the beautiful back road only downhill in sight, worst of the run is over, run like you were when you were a child, like a floppy doll going downhill, Yippee…….  All of a sudden coming around Ned Murphy’s bend, BANG, SLAP, WALLOP. What is happening you might ask, well the wind that blew there would knock the feathers off a duck (unfortunately not a few lb off the fat alcoholic but can’t have everything). As Miley used to say in Glenroe “well Holy God”, Talk about a shock to the system, the last place you would expect to be hit by a hurricane, it didn’t last long but it took all the enjoyment out of the lovely back road. But it was just a matter of taking a deep breath and carrying on regardless, into the village hill which seemed a little tougher this week but that might just have been because more effort had to go in to the back road, and finally my least favourite hill of the all, the piggery, you think you’re finished and this little (unpolite word I shan’t type) of a hill appears, to thwart the effort you had just put in for 35 mins, or 20 in some cases. But I still loved every minute of it, once it was done J. So the rain and wind aside I know you all want to hear about the Epileptic Octopus, SO, Dominic did his countdown, everyone took off, and next thing he’s shouting, roaring or bellowing, we thought it was the clocks hadn’t started, so those of us behind shouted at those in front to get word up the line, Apparently our very favourite glamorous Granny, was very un-glamorous, flaying her arms around, in the good Doc’s words like an epileptic octopus. And so the run came to a standstill, but it was all in vain, Joanne was shouting at us to keep going, a little confusion needless to say. We don’t actually know why, but I think it was our big clock Dominic was shouting at, he might want to be told the clock can’t hear so he doesn’t need to shout so loud it stops us in our track. But as I said earlier it’s all part of the fun and games we have at Bere Island parkrun, Who would ever have thought 1 man roaring could stop 13 people in their tracks.

And so down to business, 13 took to the road in an array of running gear, from shorts and t shirts, to heavy jackets and rain legs, we should get points for wearing them running. Anyway 13 lined up to run with 5 staying behind so we could have our times. First finisher was Kevin Gleeson , who despite the confusion romped home in 20.02, only 17 secs off his pb, oops, would he have made it only for the octopus?? Tune in next week to see! First Lady home was Suzanne O’Sullivan, home in 29.59. Well done to you both. We had no new pb’s recorded and no first timers visiting, which might be a first time! Everyone was registered and scanned which was great for doing the results, it’s great to see full pages! Dominic and his crew pf volunteers on the ground did a great job, Eugene and Sylvia looking spectacular in matching attire were on the clocks, Claire handed out the finish tokens, Michael was marshal, Joanne was tailwalker, Kevin did the scanning when he got in. Carol put all the volunteers together, Annie like staying in the background, with results, photos and idiotic reporting this week. And in fairness everyone there always helps with the close down after, including all mentioned above along with Finola, Catherine, Jean, Paul.  A wonderful crew here at Bere Island parkrun. How lucky we are!!  Next week is our Junior week, so we want all our under 18 to volunteer next Saturday along with Aoife, Niamh Kevin Sean, who have already secured their roles.

Thank you to Eileen and Finola who ran the Bakehouse in Edel’s absence. The tea and scones hit the spot. Our Christmas party will be in the Bakehouse on Wednesday night at 7pm, we hope you will join us for some fun and cheer and if u haven’t given your name to Edel u might want to get on that ASAP. It’s always a great social night.

Joanne has been helping us out with running techniques on Tuesday nights, which speaking for myself are a huge benefit, I had kind lost myself and got into a slump, but with Joanne and her whistle I have found myself again. Thanks Joanne. Tuesday nights in the village at 7…

We will be hosting a Christmas Day parkrun this year and a New Year’s Day parkrun next year. End on a high or make Bere Island parkrun part of your New Year’s Resolution.

On a final the fat Alcoholic and the geriatric sidekick, well I’m going to let ye ponder on that, all I can say it’s a good job we’re friends!

See ye Wednesday night and again on Saturday as usual with bells on!!

Annie x

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