Monthly newsletter 3rd March 2016

welcome to the newsletter

This month Gala introduces its Good 4 Me range, Intersport invite us to meet them, parkrunner of the month Andrew Hyland explains why he loves parkrun, and Bree Treacy from RTÉ tells us what’s next for Operation Transformation.

RTÉ Operation Transformation has just completed its very successful ninth season with thousands of people across Ireland taking on the challenge of following their favourite leader’s exercise and food plan in an effort to live a much healthier lifestyle.

Together the leaders lost 100lbs during their Operation Transformation journeys in a series that encouraged the nation to lose weight with the Million Pound Challenge, and get moving with a very successful partnership with parkrun Ireland. The initiative saw a trebling of the numbers attending parkruns on Saturday mornings and more than 15,000 new registrations since the beginning of 2016.

Over the past nine seasons Operation Transformation has proved to be a very powerful tool for change in the health of the nation and this year RTÉ has pledged to keep the campaign going right throughout the year, in an effort to keep people motivated on their journey to well-being.

For the next 12 months there will be regular updates on our leaders’ progress, new seasonal recipes and exercise plans and, most importantly, we will be keeping up contact with all the communities and groups who have been following the Operation Transformation plan since the start of the year.

Operation Transformation will be found at parkruns nationwide, major national events, on RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ 2FM and on RTÉ Television.

The Operation Transformation and RTÉ One Facebook pages, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat will be updated with interesting and engaging content. We will continue to link with communities and the activities of our groups and recognise their successes throughout the year. And we won’t be forgetting to track the country’s progress in ditching the collective spare tyre for the Million Pound Challenge.

With the help of our great partners at parkrun Ireland, Operation Transformation will be keeping the nation moving throughout 2016!

Happy parkrunning!

Bree Treacy

In the meantime, listen to 11-year-old Laura Walsh from Bere Island tell Louise McSharry and Karl Henry why she loves parkrun, 19 minutes into the show:

Gala offers shoppers healthy choices

Community convenience Group and sponsor of parkrun Ireland, Gala Retail, has teamed up with Unislim to launch a new healthy options range for its shoppers. Good 4 Me is a fresh offering of lunch options that are all under 400 kcals and taste seriously delicious!

Created in conjunction with Unislim and with the help of Irish dietitian Paula Mee, Good 4 Me includes sandwiches, wraps and baps that you can feel good about, as they’re all less than 400 kcals and most importantly, don’t compromise on taste.

Bursting with flavour, the deli lunch offering includes fire-smoked BBQ turkey and spinach salad wholemeal baps; New York deli roasted beef specials and teriyaki smoked salmon and spinach wraps. Thanks to Gala and its Good 4 Me range, finding improved lunch options that are yummy, on plan and are convenient is no longer a problem.

Initially being introduced into 20 Gala stores, Gala’s Good 4 Me range will be rolling out gradually in selected stores nationwide. For a list of participating stores, keep up to date with the Gala Facebook page.

Say hello to us in store!

Intersport is now officially connected to parkrun, and we would love to see you all in store over the coming weeks and months!

Our philosophy ‘Sport to the People’ recognises your passion for sport, and the huge role that the community plays within sport and physical activity. Being part of the growth of new parkruns across Ireland is very exciting, bringing sport to the people together.

We are passionate about sharing our expertise and knowledge, and you are guaranteed to get the best equipment and kit with the best advice. Alternatively feel free to just pop in for a chat and let us know how you did at your latest parkrun!

Intersport stores are at the heart of communities across Ireland, and we are looking forward to getting to know you and to sharing your parkrun journey.

Please visit for further information about Intersport Ireland and to find your nearest store.

event news

New Events
Dungloe, Co Donegal – 5th March
Vandeleur, Co Clare – 5th March

Johnstown parkrun, Wexford – 5th March
Marlay parkrun – 12th March
Lees Road parkrun – 12th March
Castlebar parkrun – 12th March
Naas parkrun – 19th March
Cabinteely parkrun – 26th March
Shanganagh parkrun – 26th March

If you would like an event in your area and are keen to be involved please get in touch. We would love to hear from you.

parkrun Ireland statistics (including junior parkrun)

Number of locations – 47
Total registrations – 98,376
Total unique runners – 58,807
Total Distance run to date – 1,674,785 km

feedback from the field

I recently finished my 87th parkrun at Naas. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would run 87 parkruns! The team leaders and all the volunteers at Naas are wonderful and they encourage everyone, young and old. The amount of new people I have met is fantastic and I look forward to parkrun every week. A huge thanks to parkrun Ireland.
Sean Carey

Has parkrun made a difference in your running or your life? If so, we would love to share your story. Pop us a short e-mail and we will publish a selection every month.

parkrunner of the month

Name:  Andrew Hyland

Club:  Fingal Triathlon Club/Raheny Shamrocks

Age:  16

Home parkrun:  St Anne’s

Occupation:  School

Number of runs:  56

Favourite volunteer role:  Token sorting. I still get to run and it’s in the warm cafe!

What do you do at parkruns:  When I arrive I'll usually do a quick warm up to get ready for the run. Then after the run briefing I'll go to the start line and get ready to go. After the run I might go to the market for a cake or two before heading off to train again.

How has parkrun changed your running:  Before parkrun I did no running, but after my first parkrun I started to train more and more as the weeks went by and slowly got better and better.

What do you like about parkrun:  It gives you a platform to improve your running as you can see weekly if you’re improving. You also meet other runners of your ability who you can chat to and run with.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  Finishing in front of my running partner. We were neck and neck until the last 200m when I decided to make an early sprint!


barcode reminder


Printed barcodes are used at all parkrun events to record your result. No barcode, no time, no exception. To retrieve and print your barcode, click here. To order a barcode wristband, which can also include your name, emergency contact details, and any medical conditions, please follow this link.
A percentage of all sales will go towards supporting the growth of parkrun in Ireland.
Don't forget your barcode #dfyb

All questions answered

Do you have a question about parkrun? How do I collect my club t-shirt? How do I get my barcode? All your questions are answered on our support site

Volunteering at parkrun

Every parkrun event relies on volunteers and in 2015 alone more than 6,000 of you came forward and supported your local event. Volunteering is a wonderful way to make friends, feel great, have fun and maybe even learn some new skills. If that sounds like it’s for you then please contact your local event team for more details.

Children at parkrun

We welcome children at parkrun. Please note that those under the age of 11 must be within arm’s reach of a parent, guardian or designated adult of the parents’ choice whilst attending 5k parkrun events. Children aged 4 to 14 can run unaccompanied at our junior parkrun events.

our sponsors

Healthy Ireland
Framework for Improved Health and Wellbeing in Ireland.

Healthy Ireland is the national framework for action to improve the health and wellbeing of people living in Ireland. Regular physical activity is the key to getting and staying healthy and the benefits of participating in physical activity and having an active lifestyles for health and wellbeing are well documented. Mass participation and community events have great potential to get and keep people participating in physical activity and we are delighted to be a proud supporter of parkrun. For more info please visit

Athletics Ireland
The National Governing Body for Athletics in Ireland.

Athletics Ireland is the National Governing Body for Athletics in Ireland. As an association one of its core strategic objectives is to promote health and fitness in the population as a whole and as such they support the weekly 5km parkrun events organised for runners of all standards. For more info please visit

Your Local Market

Gala stores are renowned for one-to-one service and their commitment and support for local communities – a commitment that complements the ethos of parkrun Ireland, which welcomes everyone in the community to the weekly 5kms, from those taking their first steps in running to seasoned runners and athletes. For more info please visit

Intersport. Sport to the people
Sport to the people

parkrun has been a key player in promoting running as an accessible participation sport to the expanding community of runners. The parkrun model of local volunteers delivering weekly runs to people of all ages and abilities in their local community fits perfectly with the Intersport philosophy of bringing sport top the people. Together we look forward to encouraging more people to get their running shoes on. Find out more about Intersport

our supporters

Irish Sports Council
The Irish Sports Council plans, leads and co-ordinates the sustainable development of competitive and recreational sport in Ireland.

For information, please visit

Philip Lee
Commercial Law Firm. Specialist Expertise – Strategic Approach – Sound Advice.

For information, please visit

Leave No Trace Ireland
Leave No Trace is an outdoor ethics programme designed to promote and inspire responsible outdoor recreation through education, research and partnerships.

For information, please visit