As a visitor to Brickfields from Bedworth in the UK this week, I think I still had the UK start time of 9am in my head. As I arrived to the park at 8.50 and could see no-one. I panicked thinking another run had succumbed to Storm Hannah, but no, a quick lap of the course and I found Run Director Lorraine MITCHELL, out clearing branches and debris ensuring a safe run for all.
It was wonderful to see more women than men running. I don't think I've been to a parkrun before with more Female finishers than Male, so bualadh bos do na mná!
The course it's self is four laps and all on path, meaning it was perfect for the few hardcore parents running with buggies. There were also some very good doggies ensuring they kept their owners on a short lead, and who were grateful of the bowls of water provided at the finish line.
I found the park charming, and actually very quiet. There was very little noise pollution, which is a welcome change, especially in Dublin. There is a fantastic playground, with some beautiful wood carved animals my kids loved. And despite there being no cafe, there was all sorts of refreshments available at the finish line, all brought by the wonderful volunteers. Teas & coffees, and even cake! What is parkrun without cake right?!
As the run started, the wind was fierce. I thought I must be mad pushing my two youngest around in a buggy and dragging my poor Mammy out of her bed, but by 9:45 the winds died down and the sun started to appear through the clouds, making for perfect running conditions.
First finisher was Damian KELLY (19:10) for this first time at Brickfields, followed by experienced runner Colm FLAHERTY (19:57), Conor MCHUGH (20:45) rounded off the top 3.
The first of the ladies home was Siobhan MCNAMARA (21:49), followed by Jennifer O'MALLEY (23:32), Isabel NUNEZ SIERRA (26:48) was the 3rd lady back.
There were 3 Junior Runners who also deserve a mention, Noah JOHNSON (31:44) achieved a PB, hot on his heals was Rory NULTY (31:58), and first timer Eabhann FARRELL (43:25), hope to see you, and your responsible adults, back next week.
There were no course records set today, but of the 77 finishers there were 12 First Timers, 5 of whom ran their first ever parkrun and 6 PBs were achieved despite the wind. Special mention to Diarmuid MCGOWAN (25:30) who completed the dreaded second run, and Cathy TRENAMAN (31:59) the most experienced runner on the course today (198).
But it's not all about the running, it was wonderful to see so many walkers on the course today also. Following a very successful collaboration with Irish Heart Foundation and Get Walking Ireland for "Park Walk at parkrun", a number of people came and continued their walking program. And that's the wonderful thing about parkrun, no matter what your time, or ability, you will be welcomed and encouraged.
Everyone at Brickfields would be delighted to welcome even more walkers next week, so follow #parkwalkIRE and spread the word.
A huge thank you to the team of volunteers who braved the storm to bring parkrun to Brickfields this week.
Glenn LOCKHART • Jp LONERGAN • Karen SLYE • Lorraine MITCHELL • Martina CONDON • Oonag O'MAHONY • Sharon CANAVAN • Winifred GREHAN