Wednesday 1st January
Join us on Inch Beach for our special parkrun kicking off at 9am !
Tralee will be starting their parkrun at 11am.
This means a parkrun double, the only day of the year this is possible !
See you there !
All parkrun events in this country are currently suspended due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). For further details please see here
Wednesday 1st January
Join us on Inch Beach for our special parkrun kicking off at 9am !
Tralee will be starting their parkrun at 11am.
This means a parkrun double, the only day of the year this is possible !
See you there !
It was only 12 months ago, end of December 2017, when I was just dreaming of setting up a parkrun on Inch Beach. Fast forward to the present, and we have done 35 Inch Beach parkruns and it is truly now an established member of the parkrun family.
The winter months were my only concern for Inch Beach given the usual stormy wet weather that the season brings. However, bar a few misty days and damp cold weather, the Saturdays on Inch Beach have been very pleasant with some mild temperatures and blue skies. Thankfully, we have some good local support and hardy souls. One of them, one of our youngest, Fionn Spillane has only missed one Inch parkrun out of the 34 so far with his mother Suzanne always in tow. It's great how parkrun seems to gather and group families and we now have a very helpful family of Moriartys from Annascaul that either participate or are part of the core volunteers.
As the Dingle Peninsula is almost an all year round tourist destination, there are still plenty of parkrun tourists flocking to Inch Beach. Festivals like the Dingle Food Festival and Other Voices keeps numbers up. We had a visit from Olympian David Gillick who enjoyed his run on Inch Beach and paced young Fionn Spillane to a PB.
We had our first themed event with our Halloween parkrun at the end of October.
November still had mild weather and with regular RD’s Barry and Elizabeth tied up, we were lucky to have stand-in support from experienced Tralee volunteer Tom Crean and parkrun ambassador Tony Higgins. One great thing about the parkrun community is that its one big happy family no matter where you reside or which parkrun you are signed up to.
The dark December days brought our lowest attendance record but the show still went on. We had our first 25 times volunteer with RD Elizabeth Brookes who has literally only missed a handful of Saturdays since the beginning. The festive season brought a busy line up for Inch with a “Santa Hat” run on the 22nd, a post Christmas blow out on the 29th, finishing off in style with the special edition parkrun on Jan 1stwith the New Years Day Double.
This was a special day out as it gave people the chance to complete two parkruns on the same day. Both Inch and Listowel parkrun put on their events at 9am, with Tralee parkrun hosting their event at 11am.
A slightly earlier than usual start had RD’s Barry and Elizabeth on the beach setting up. The unusual dry mild spell gave a perfect setting for the parkrun and soon the numbers started to arrive. With a big contingent arriving from Tralee, we saw one of the biggest crowds since the summer of 103 on Inch beach for the 34thparkrun. A great morning that saw some adding a swim to their double run with a plunge into the Atlantic after their run! There was also a new course record set by Robert Frewen of 17.57 to mark the occasion.
Soon after 10am, everything was packed up and many then made their way into Tralee for the next parkrun. A packed park, with Tralee recording their biggest attendance of 350, made for a fun filled and enjoyable day out for everyone. It was a nice way for the different parkruns to be together just for once on the same day.
So 2019 has begun in style. Inch Beach parkrun is here to come. Whether you are a local or a tourist, it’s not one to be missed!
We will have an EXTRA parkrun on New Year's Day - this is the only day in the year that you can register TWO parkruns! We will start at the earlier time of 09:00 to allow runners time to travel to Tralee where the parkrun is at the later time of 11:00 - Drive Carefully! Lots of parkrunners from Listowel (09:00 start also) will be doing the same.
Last year over 100 people took part in both parkruns, making it the largest "parkrun Double" in the country. The signs are that this year's event will be just as popular.
We will need volunteers for this so if you'd like to get involved but don't feel like running, please let us know and we will add you to the roster.
Give parkrunners an Inch and they will come from miles around to run it. That was certainly the case last weekend when we had quite a few experienced parkrun tourists show up for the 26th Inch Beach parkrun.
Among them, proudly wearing his 250 green t-shirt was Dave OLDFIELD most often seen at Clair parkrun north of Brighton. That said Dave has made the trip to Irish shores a number of times having also ran Vicarstown parkrun on the Grand Canal and has also made the trip out to Bere Island.
Nigel with some junior parkrun tourists (all the way from Tralee!)
Also over from the UK was parkrun tourist fanatic Nigel CRONIN from Peterborough who is closing in on joining the 250 club. Nigel has a formidable reputation in the parkrun tourist community, having ran his home parkrun 50 times, 3 times each in Albert and Stewart parkruns in Middlesbrough, twice in Tring parkrun and twice in our close neighbour Tralee, every other venue he has been to has only been run once, that's a remarkable 186 parkrun venues in 241 parkruns.
Dave, Gary & Niamh
We also had several visitors down from West Dublin with Carol WALSH down from Waterstown and Niamh O'DALY and myself visiting from Griffeen parkrun for our first trips to a parkrun on the beach. Also accompanying me was my father and Lough Key parkrunner David O'DALY who along with 45 others are flying off to parkrun in Kraków in Poland at the end of the month. Congrats to Dave on running his fastest ever 5k.
From the above I think it is definitely safe to say that six months after it started Inch Beach parkrun has established itself strongly on the map as not only one of Irelands best venues to travel to but also one parkrunners the world over will travel to. That's something to be very proud of given the already appealing neighbours of the Rose Garden in Tralee and Muckross House in Killarney only down the road. I'm sure Farranfore will do well for years to come with the Kingdom offering so many picturesque parkruns in such close proximity to each other.
Scenery only counts for so much though and one cannot forget to mention the welcome from the locals and the volunteers. I had spoken briefly to local parkrun Ambassador Tony HIGGINS before I had travelled down and he had mentioned that Inch was struggling to find a Run Director for the day as Inch's usual team were all away last weekend. Fear not though, in the true spirit of parkrun, Tony rallied around with the other volunteers who had already put their names down to ensure a week wasn't missed and all of us are grateful for the event they put on. To be honest I think he was just looking for an excuse to park his camper van on the beach for a night.
Thankfully by the time the parkrunners started to arrive on Saturday morning the heavy rain from the night before had started to lift and move off towards Tralee. I think some of the Tralee parkrunners saw this coming given the number of them in attendance this week. By the time this parkrunner crossed the finish line, I could feel the heat of the sun on my back.
It was also great to see some new faces to parkrun this week with 3 people taking on their very first parkruns on Saturday. A big welcome to Georgina KENNEDY, Mark SHANAHAN and Antoinette DORGON and we hope to see you back soon.
Of course a trip to Inch Beach wouldn't be complete without a trip to Sammy's after for a warm drink and a breakfast bap. Nothing adds to a scenic parkrun more than having a gathering place after to meet up and enjoy some banter with your fellow parkrunners as the results are processed and names are given to volunteer next week.
Some of this week's volunteer team
Let us not forget that we all need to take our turn so if it's been a while or you have never volunteered before, give it a thought the next time you are at parkrun, it is one of the most rewarding things you can do all week.
I would expect that many of the local Inch parkrunners may venture up to celebrate Tralee parkruns 200th event this Saturday coming especially with parkrun hero Pat SHEEHY also celebrating his 250th time volunteering at parkrun between the 5k and Junior events. Many congrats Pat, you truly are a hero in the vibrant parkrun community that seems to live strong no matter where you go in Kerry.
Finally a special thank you to the Inch Beach parkrun core team for allowing a bunch of tourists overrun your splendid event on a refreshing November morning.
Until next time,
So the summer has come and gone but Inch Beach parkrun lives on. We couldn't have asked for a better start really for the first and only beach parkrun in the Republic of Ireland. With 20 Saturdays gone since the inaugural on the 19th of May, less than a handful of these have experienced less favourable conditions. The inaugural Inch Beach parkrun will forever be etched in my memory however, with over 200 participants showing up on what was one of the most beautiful sunny calm mornings I have ever experienced on this beach.
The heatwave during the weeks of June attracted plenty of parkrun visitors with people coming from all over the world... Australia, United States and the UK. Plenty of Irish visitors too with many travelling down for weekend breaks and longer. As the weeks went on and we welcomed any visitors, it was nice to also see a steady growth in locals participating. After all, parkrun is essentially for the local community and needs to be driven by them also. With surrounding towns and villages such as Dingle, Annascaul, Camp and Castlemaine, the word began to spread and more regulars were turning up.
The beauty of parkrun is that it is for all ages and abilities and that it's is free. Inch Beach brings added bonuses such as the Atlantic views, sea air and golden sand. In this age of indoors living and no such thing as a free lunch, Inch Beach parkrun is the antithesis of both. Even further bonuses are the post run sea dips for a wild Atlantic cool down.
We are located close to two cafes, Sammy's on the beach itself and The Strand close by overlooking the beach. It really is a unique parkrun location and in terms of health benefits for both the body and mind, it is a superfood with bells on.
To take you back to how this all started, I have been running alone on this beach for several years. After finally relocating and moving down to Annascaul on a permanent basis last year, I sat on the beach one day after a run and said “wouldn't this be a great place for a parkrun”.
An email to an acquaintance who happens to be parkrun's Chief Operating Officer, Tom Williams, put me in touch with Matt Shields who is the Irish parkrun Country Manager. I had no real clue about how to set it up but Matt gave me the instructions. I was still a lone ranger though and carrying out the instructions needed back up. It was December 2017 when I first made the contact and by the start of the new year, I had my back up in the form of Tony Higgins.
Tony has been involved with Tralee parkrun for the last number of years and also a parkrun ambassador. By mid-January Tony helped me get the ball rolling with his can do attitude and astute thinking. A good wing man to have. So by February, we were getting in touch with the local authorities and getting the boxes ticked. The local sports partnership helped with the approval from the local council. Risk assessments were completed, tide time tables were scrutinised, and a few meetings were held on the beach during some cool wintry afternoons to assess the course. By March we had sorted most of the logistics and next it was about getting the funding and core team together.
I was still flying solo with Tony showing me how to fly. So I asked around the village and got some support from a few locals. Matt Shields and the team then started to look after setting up the online system and website, all that technical mumbo jumbo stuff. By April we had the main things in place and we could start planning a start date. Being on the wild Atlantic way, and after what was a long cold winter, we thought it was best to launch the Inch Beach parkrun as the summer approached.
So May the 19th was locked in the diary and training for the core team was organized. Another parkrun ambassador from Tralee, Siobhan Kearney, came on board to help us out with the set up and training. A small but keen group of volunteers met up for a couple of volunteer training evenings over the weeks leading up to the launch date. May the 19th was given the go ahead by the parkrun HQ and Inch Beach was given its official parkrun registered number. 2 weeks before the first parkrun, a delivery truck pulled up outside my house with all the kit... scanners, stopwatches, signs and flags etc. Tony , always the thinker, had also kindly made up instruction cards and various other pieces that make things work.
So the night before the big day arrived. Like any event in Ireland, all you are hoping for is good weather! Waking up early on the 19th May was a dream come through. Myself and my better half packed the car with the kit in our shorts and t-shirts. I remember not even having to put on a pair of shoes. Drove down to Inch Beach barefoot and stayed barefoot for the day! Barely a breath of wind on the beach when we arrived, a mild air , blue skies and a hazy sunshine. Tony was there having camped out the night before in his camper and had a big smile on his face to greet us. He sort of said, “nothing can go wrong today”.
As the crowd gathered, I thankfully had plenty of volunteers with Tony and Siobhan overseeing things. As the air got warmer and the sun got brighter, I gave the first run briefing to the over 200 people that had gathered enjoying the sunshine. The weather made for some amazing photos to capture the day and at 9.30am, the first ever Inch Beach parkrun commenced.
As the end of the summer approached, the numbers of visitors dwindled and we could finally see who the locals were ! Like all parkruns, there is a great variety of participants from youngsters dragging parents along, to those more mature in their years, along with walkers, dogs and buggies!
Also, we have been lucky with a small but dedicated team of volunteers. From the beginning, Elizabeth Brookes has been the only other RD and has also herself taken the responsibility for taking photos and posting up notes about the weekly participants. We have a stalwart turnaround marshal Bernard who enjoys his barefoot run up and back with the turnaround sign. A very local volunteer Lisa Brown who has helped with the early morning set ups and mid-week recharging of the scanners and laptop. We have Keel resident Rory Prendergast who cycles up on his bike most Saturdays, not only to volunteer but is also has the most number of first finishes with 6! We are also lucky to have local endurance celebrity Shane Finn as a regular volunteer. So its a great team to be part of and some people like parkrun just for the volunteering experience so if you are someone who would enjoy being part of the core team, please do feel free to put your name down.
We now are also lucky to have RD No.3 with Marie Hallaron who has kindly stepped up to offer her services. Plenty of other volunteers to mention with many coming out for the day from Tralee as well as family groups of volunteers with parents and kids. Needless to say, parkrun does not happen without these volunteers and with the winter months approaching, we kindly ask that you keep supporting Inch Beach parkrun as it is too good for it not to happen!
Lots of very good progression and improvement of PB times over the summer too. Many taking over 5 mins off their time. Two very fast first time finishers with Shona NiFhloinn with the current fastest female time of 19.47 and Jack Miskella with the current fastest male time of 18.00. Inch Beach doesn't lend itself to consistent times due to the wind conditions so don't worry if you are not seeing consistent improvements! We have been lucky to have several very calm still air days so if you are looking for a new PB, check the forecast! Having said that, the main objective should be the enjoyment factor and being able to take part in the Rep. of Irelands only beach parkrun.
Special mention has to go out to our only parkrunner who has completed all 20 of the Inch Beach parkrun to date, junior runner Fionn. He even persuaded his mother to cut their holiday in Galway short so he could be back in time for one of his parkruns!
With balmy summer temperatures gone, we now enter the somewhat cooler months. But don't let the weather put you off! Inch Beach is beautiful no matter what the weather. The only hard part is getting out the door as once you are down on the beach, you won't regret it! Not only will we get the clear frosty mornings, but even the wet stormy mornings have their own energy and beauty. We will see who the brave are
We have been lucky to have use of the Strand Inn as a place to store the equipment. Dympna and Max who run the Strand have been very helpful over the summer months and it has been a great place to return to after each parkrun to process the results. It is also a great location for parkrun tourists with many using it as their accommodation. With the winter months in mind, we are now changing the location to Sammy's Cafe and this is now where we will gather to process the results and enjoy a well earned hot drink.
So if you would like to be part of the parkrun community, please feel free to join us there every Saturday after the parkrun. Inch Beach parkrun is unique and located on one of the most beautiful beaches in Ireland. The beauty is also in its simplicity. We only need a minimum of 5 volunteers each week to run it. It takes no more than 15 mins to set up. You run up the beach, turn once, and run back! And that's it.
In the words of the very intelligent man -
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler”
I look forward to seeing you over the winter months. Lets keep her lit.
Inch Beach parkrun was again blessed with fine weather but I guess that was to be expected as the famous Pat Sheehy was visiting from Tralee and brought the fine weather with him as usual. Pat and Stella O’Shea were on hand to help me with set up as I was running a little late.
Bernard Mac Bradaigh doing his usual job of marshal today arrived and when he saw that we had everything ok at the start line headed off to his post. Many familiar faces from Tralee could be seen preparing for the run, Hartstown in Dublin was represented by Kerstin Winkelkemper and further afield we had the Carter family from Southampton. Pride of place must go to the Rogers family from North Carolina in America who registered the whole family when they heard there was a parkrun happening on Inch Beach on Saturday morning.
At 9.30 after a quick description of the course to the newcomers and a few other essential parkrun rules the run was underway with over a hundred runners taking part again this week.
Eileen Kelliher was on the timekeeping duties making sure that all runners would get a time today.
Just under 21 minutes later Alan Mulgrew was the first across the finish line, poor Alan didn’t have much time to catch his breath or celebrate his "first first finish" as he had to assume the role of barcode scanner. Sinead Healy was also on hand to do scanning when she finished her run - thank you both.
At the other end of the field was Sharon Condon, Alan’s wife who seemed to take forever to finish. I can only assume that she spent her time talking to our tail walker Stella, admiring the beautiful scenery and taking pictures of famous landmarks on inch beach. I must also mention Sophie who celebrated her 7thbirthday and finished the run with a big smile on her face.
With the run completed Mohamed Eldahab was on hand to help with the close down and load the equipment into cars to transport back to The Strand Hotel for storage.
Tea, coffee and scones and plenty of chat was the order of the day as Ed Sheldon and I processed the results and John Robinson sorted the tokens.
Overall a wonderful experience and I hope to be back in the next few weeks to run the course. This week eight of the ten volunteers on the roster were visiting from Tralee parkrun, we all love to do our run, but it’s unfair to expect event directors Barry and Elizabeth to be there every week volunteering along with all the work they have to do during the week. Now that we have 13 events under our belt, we hope that the community of local runners step up to volunteer, if everyone volunteered about three times a year or once every ten runs we would have no difficulty filling the roster. This is vital for the long-term sustainability of Inch Beach parkrun, especially when the tourist season finishes.
You can see the roster for the coming weeks here... you'll see it's fairly empty at the moment! Please joint the team by giving your name to the Run Director any Saturday morning or by e-mailing us email@example.com. All the jobs are easy and training is given on the morning of the run. It's great fun too.
Support your own parkrun and support The Strand Hotel because they are supporting your run. It's great to meet and chat with fellow park runners after the run, and you can see the magic of Results Processing!
(Photos: Stella O'Shea)
Give them an Inch and they’ll take a mile... well 3.1 miles. Although everything is Ireland is actually in kilometres, which always gives me a mild sense of panic when I see the speed limit of 100 on your roads!
You’ve probably heard that joke a million times, so I apologise. It’s a bit like people ask which parkrun I am RD at, Westmill. Where? Yes, Ware.
I am currently sat in Kerry Airport swearing at the telly, while watching South Africa versus England, and reflecting on another fabulous bit of parkrun tourism.
Yes, I really did fly out just for Inch parkrun. Although my latest bit of Gaelic tourism (Father Collins, Malahide and Bere Island before today) did not start so well. While sat on the train to Stansted I got a message from my friend who was travelling out from Luton. Only, actually... he wasn’t. He’d forgotten his passport. Then there was a fault on the train line...
However, I got the plane and found my hire car (which just about worked), and after a drive through some glorious countryside found Inch.
If parkrun has taught me anything, it’s that you’ll never be lonely, or regret the early start. The grey clouds quickly cleared and as the tide went out, it was a relief to see the beach would actually be wide enough to hold the parkrun!
Having spotted the gathering Lycra and parkrun signage, I wandered from The Strand down to the beach and was immediately made very welcome.
Barry had marked the line in the sand and dispatched the lone marshal. Having reassured me that barefoot was fine, and the jellyfish were nothing more than squidgy, I ditched the runners and was ready.
With a jolly briefing and a quick countdown, the merry band of 35 parkrunners were blown down the beach. It was fantastic listening to the waves as I had my first experience of barefoot running.
I set off after two speedy chaps and was surprised to find myself in top three. The return journey was made a lot easier by the smiling faces and high-5s of fellow parkrunners, despite the gusty headwind.
All too soon parkrun number 126 (46th different event) was complete. After the obligatory paddle in the Atlantic, I had a cuppa and a scone with the core team; the perfect parkrun experience.
I did go on to Dingle, over Conor Pass and then to Tralee before heading home, but I am sure I will be back. Inch Beach parkrun will no doubt prove very appealing to UK tourists and alphabeteers.
You’ll be able to spot them from the cow cowl and cowbob hat. It has no official link to parkrun, but is simply a way for fellow UK tourists (20+ different events) to spot each other.
So thanks for a fantastic parkrun experience; my highest ever finish and first lady to boot (full results here). Westmill is not far from Stansted Airport... so if you fancy an undulating two lapper with the promise of an excellent bacon sandwich after, just let me know!
Photo: Tommy Dickson/INPHO
May 19th, 2018 was an unforgettable day. For some it will be remembered as the day of the Royal Wedding. For others (especially Chelsea supporters), it was FA Cup Final Day. But for over 200 people who were lucky enough to be on Inch Beach on Saturday morning, it will be remembered as the day of the first ever Inch Beach parkrun!
What an amazing morning! The weather forecast had been fairly good during the week, but no-one had predicted the glorious sunshine at 9 am - in fact, when the event team walked the route at 6:30 it was just as crisp and clear! People hadn’t been warned to bring sun cream, but if we were out there much longer it might have been needed.
This day was the culmination of months of work by Event Directors Barry Murray and Eizabeth Brookes, and their core team of volunteers. Having seen the success of parkrun at other venues in Kerry and further afield, and realising the huge benefits of this simple concept, they contacted parkrun a few months ago with a proposition - the first parkrun in the Republic of Ireland to be run entirely on a beach! The first ever beach parkrun is also in Ireland, Portrush in Co., Down was in fact a world first, and has been in operation since 2012.
With the support of the local community on the Dingle Peninsula, a team of volunteers was assembled and the work started. There’s a lot to be done. Kerry County Council and Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership have been hugely supportive of the parkrun concept in Kerry - Inch is our fourth 5K parkrun and there is also a 2K junior parkrun in Tralee - and this time was no different.
There were e-mails, phone calls, site visits, training nights in the South Pole Inn, and lots more. At the end of it all Barry and Elizabeth delivered parkrun to Inch Beach and what a great inaugural run!
Almost 200 runners assembled at the start, these included over 100 people who have never done a parkrun before - it is with these runners that the future of Inch Beach parkrun lies, as they are the men, women and children of the Peninsula who will enjoy running, jogging, walking or volunteering every week when the “parkrun tourists” are gone. So we can expect next week the numbers will be a bit smaller.
Not that the seasoned park runners didn’t enjoy the first run - far from it! - but they will be running at some of the 78 other parkruns all over Ireland from whence they came. The good news is, they will be telling everyone about it, and so Inch Beach is destined to be one of the “bucket list” parkruns that every parkunner in Ireland and many from further afield will want to do at least once.
Photo: Tommy Dickson/INPHO
This week they came from all corners of Ireland - Des from Waterworks and Monica from Malahide modelled their “250” T-shirts - it’ll be at least five years before a “home grown” Inch parkrunner earns one of those - but more about that later. Sharon came from the UK - she’s done well over 100 different parkrun and used the excuse of her mother’s birthday for a trip home to Macroom to this inaugural event. Not only that, she sorted all the tokens afterwards as she often does when she’s away from her home parkrun.
And there was nearly fifty from neighbouring Tralee parkrun - expect many more of those over the coming months as all the talk at Sunday’s junior parkrun in Tralee was of the beauty of the newest member of the parkrun family.
As well as the many "parkrun tourists" this week, we were especially delighted to welcome the children of Fybough National School who joined us with their parents and teachers and will all hopefully be back.
The run itself started, as it will every week, with a Run Briefing. Delivered (just this time) from the top of Tom Crean’s Car by Co-Event Director Barry Murray, this week’s was bit longer than it will be in future, as he was delighted to have the opportunity to thank all those who had helped to make this a reality. And as there were more newcomers to parkrun than usual, there was an explanation of how it all works. Cora Carrigg from Kerry Recreation & Sports Partnership also spoke briefly.
Photo: Tommy Dickson/INPHO
Then, a little after 9:30, all the participants lined up on the beach and were counted down to the start! What a sight! As they headed south to find Marshal Noel Spillane 2.5 km down the beach, it was chance for Barry and his team to take a few minutes breather and refresh the instructions to the volunteers at the Finish Funnel.
After 9 minutes, a message came from Noel - they’re here! And after nine more minutes, the first finisher (there are no “winners” as it’s a run, not a race!) crossed the line - Aidan Kelly (18:49) was the first person ever to have this Finish Token scanned (Shane was on Finish Token duty today, Elizabeth and Bernard our timekeepers, Mary & Siobhán were barcode scanning).
A minute later, our First Lady was also home - the amazing Shona Ni Fhloinn in a time of 19:47. Amazing not just for her running - did anyone try the flapjacks she was giving out at the Finish? Shona is a Run Director at Limerick parkrun. Soon after Shona came the first junior, Micheál from Tralee parkrun in 21:14. Micheal’s sister Kelly-Ann was the first junior girl!
Photo: Tommy Dickson/INPHO
And over the next 40 minutes, nearly 200 more. Some running, some walking, all smiling (well, maybe not smiling for the first couple of minutes after the finish, but certainly for the rest of the day!)
There are no “losers” either - no one comes last at parkrun! However long it takes, there is always a volunteer behind you at parkrun, they’re called the Tail Walker. This week, we were lucky to have two, Eleanor and Mohamed, and their job is to make sure everyone gets home safely, and collect the marshal and the signs on their way home. This is a much sought after volunteer role, as you not only get to volunteer, you also get a credit towards your running milestone T-shirts!
Most of the "milestone" T-shirts were on display
So what’s this about T-shirts? Well, parkrun not only gives you a free, weekly, timed 5K run, it gives you more! When you reach certain milestones, you earn a free T-shirt - you will have seen plenty of those on the beach on Saturday! For the runners and walkers, there are T-shirts for 50 (red), 100 (black), 250 (green) and even 500 (blue) parkruns. Junior runners (18 and under) also qualify for the “Junior 10” club after just ten runs - although there is a backlog on ordering these T-shirts at the moment. And because parkrun depends entirely on volunteers to thrive, there is one for them too - the aubergine (purple!) T-shirt is all yours when your name has been on the roster 25 times!
Indeed, one of today's runners earned his first milestone T-shirt today, Tim Walshe ran his fiftieth parkrun having done the remainder split between Marlay Park in Dublin and Tralee parkrun. Well done Tim!
Outdoor Results Processing at The Strand!
Just a little more about how parkrun works. All you need to take part is your printed barcode. (If you don’t have a barcode, you can still enjoy the parkrun, but you don't get your time recorded.) Turn up a few minutes before the 9:30 start for the run briefing, and then do your 5K. When you cross the line, you collect a Finish Token, have it scanned with your Barcode and your results will be e-mailed to you later that day. If you like, pop to the local café (in this case, The Strand) and meet your fellow parkrunners over a scone and coffee while the results are being uploaded. And your Saturday has only just started!
You can also see results of the run on the web page after every parkrun - here's this week's results from Inch Beach - each event has its own web page. You can see lots of photos taken by Tommy Dickson, John Ryle and Noel Spillane on our Facebook page.
It's as simple as that, and it's the same at over 1300 parkruns all over the world. There are a couple of other important rules - if you have a dog, they must be on a short lead, and all Under-11 runners must be within arm's reach of their parent or guardian (over-18) throughout the run (read more here).
This simplicity is key to the global success of parkrun, and its inexorable growth from its origins in Bushy Park in 2004. Every week in Ireland up to 10000 people take part, and this number is increasing as new parkruns start up with at least one in every county now.
Some of this week's Volunteer Team. Photo: Tommy Dickson/INPHO
Finally, thanks to all the volunteers and supporters who made Inch Beach parkrun a reality this weekend! If you take part in parkrun, please consider volunteering as all events are delivered entirely by local volunteers. drawn from among the participants. Matt Shields, Ireland Country Manager is very fond of saying: "If everyone does a little, no-one has to do a lot". Volunteering is just as much fun as running (some might say more!), and all the tasks are straightforward. Full training is given every week before the run brief, so just let the Event Directors know by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or give your name and barcode to the Run Director at any Saturday parkrun.
Some of these will be running or walking next week, so there will be new faces on Saturday's roster: four people kindly volunteered after parkrun #001 - including one of the Fybough School pupils! That's how it all works.
Come back next week, and Don't Forget Your Barcode!
On May 19th the magnificent Inch Beach will become the 77th venue in the Republic of Ireland to host a 5k parkrun! But what makes this one extra special is that it will be the first parkrun in the Republic to be run on a beach (Portrush parkrun was the first beach parkrun anywhere in the world, I think!).
All are welcome, you can run, jog, walk or volunteer. The run will take place every Saturday morning at 9:30 AM. It will be preceded by a short briefing.
If you want to have your time recorded, you should register (free) on parkrun.ie/register and bring a printed copy of your barcode with you every week. You don't have to be registered to run with us, but your time won't be recorded without a barcode.
A couple of other simple rules:
• Children under 11 years old must be within arms reach of an adult (i.e. Someone over 18) throughout the run.
• Children must be aged four years or older to register with parkrun.
• You can run with a dog, but only one dog per runner, and the dog must be on a short lead.
• Always be mindful of other users of the beach.
• Buggies are welcome.
After your parkrun, it's great to meet other park runners over coffee or breakfast, and we are lucky to have choice of The Strand Inn and Sammy's Café right at our finish line to enjoy!
We would like to acknowledge the following for their assistance in the start-up of this event:
You can see some of the beauty of Inch Beach here.
We look forward to welcoming you to Inch Beach parkrun!