parkrun Tourist (Gary O’Daly) review

Kilkenny parkrun #232 - 20th of April 2019.

A bright and warm Easter Bank Holiday weekend brought out walkers runners and volunteers in their droves for Kilkenny parkrun #232 with quite a number of tourists adding to the local compliment of participants. In total 256 people completed parkrun this Saturday making it the 6th largest event in Kilkenny parkrun history from when in started back in October of 2014. Let us not forget also that this event was made possible by the valiant efforts of 25 dedicated volunteers.
parkrun ambassador Colin DOOLAN was on site this morning checking in with the local event team. Colin is also the ambassador to several parkruns west of Dublin and when he mentioned to us he would be at Kilkenny this weekend at the inaugural run of the Royal Canal parkrun Kilcock last week, my wife and I decided to set the alarm clock for 6:30 and head down too. We thought we had been up early and travelled far but to our surprise, we had only come in Switzers Gate when we saw several runners from Esker Running Group who were down for the Streets of Kilkenny 5k that took place on Thursday evening.
Aside from the group down from Lucan, runners also came from Armagh, Malahide, Brickfields in Ireland, Tonbridge and Nottingham in the UK and Perth in Australia. We also had some runners over from Massachusetts in the US who took the chance to get away from all the bustle of the Boston Marathon last Monday to come and do a parkrun in Ireland.
It was stunning to see that even in the warm weather and the park glistening with the sweaty runners 36 of you managed to record a PB, an outstanding achievement.
It was also great to see out of the 256 participants today, 20 of them have earned the 25 volunteer t-shirt and some were showing them off with pride today. It goes to show the volunteering is a central part of every parkrun worldwide and its important to remember to put your name down every so often to help make the event happen.
It was certainly a pleasure and a privilege for myself and all the other tourists to take part in a parkrun in such a landmark location and we are thankful to the core team for the warm welcome we received. Kilkenny has it all, the castle, the river, the forest and even some hills to challenge even the most seasoned parkrunner. Even better was the trip down to the Cafe in the castle after the event for some cake and coffee and a little banter who those around us.
First finisher David RYAN came in an amazing time of 17:41 with Luke THOMPSON second and Kilkenny veteran Graham BOURNE third. Ellen COSTELLO lead the ladies home with Lucy COOMEY and Maria CORMACK close behind. A big well done to Maria also on completing her 50th parkrun today, 49 of which she has run in Kilkenny. Eimear CORMACK also joined the Junior 10 parkrun club this morning completing her 10th parkrun in a PB time.
Paula HYNES and Lucy LAMBE brought up the rear as tailwalkers making sure that no participant was left behind.
So thanks and well done to all today for another amazing parkrun event and remember no matter where you are, we do all again next week.
Happy running,