Monthly newsletter 5 May 2016

welcome to the newsletter

This month we meet the first Gala parkrunner of the month, Intersport visit Lees Road parkrun, Grant Thornton invite us to take part in a corporate 5k challenge, and I reflect on an amazing first few months of 2016.

As we approach the end of spring and look forward to summer, it’s a good time to reflect on the post Operation Transformation period and look at how we see parkrun growing over the remainder of 2016. The giddy attendance highs of 9,000 runners, joggers and walkers each weekend during the show have now settled to around a steady 5,000 per week – which is still more than 50% up on the pre-OT figures. We are delighted that so many of these new parkrunners have remained in the parkrun community.

We also have lots of new events coming soon with Lough Key, Longford and Ballincollig parkruns scheduled to begin over the next two months. And just as exciting is the expansion of junior parkrun for 4-14 year-olds. Our third junior event is due to start in Albert College Park in Dublin on 5 June. We feel this initiative in particular will grow faster and faster as the year progresses. So if you are a parent and haven’t seen a junior event, we would highly recommend you try to visit one soon. They really are special, and we can guarantee you won’t have ever seen anything quite like it!

2016 has certainly got off to a flying start and we are optimistic that it will be the best year yet for parkrun in Ireland.

Happy running,

Matt (get in touch)

vote for parkrunner of the month

This month saw the launch of the new parkrunner of the month voting app from Gala.

The Gala ‘parkrunner of the month’ award is a wonderful opportunity to recognise the people who make parkrun in Ireland so great. The award is open to runners, walkers and volunteers and the voting app on Facebook is designed to allow members of the parkrun community across Ireland to nominate individuals for the title of Gala parkrunner of the month and the chance to win a €50 voucher for Gala stores.

How does it work?

parkrunners can submit nominees for the Gala parkrunner of the month by email. A shortlist of nominees is then created and users are able to vote via the Facebook app which goes live during the third week of every month.

Voting for the first Gala parkrunner of the month has now closed, with Jamie Ryan becoming the first title holder.

13-year-old Jamie has been participating at Cabinteely parkrun since their first event almost a year ago. Lauded for his positive attitude, Jamie always arrives with a big smile on his face and gives everything to his run.

Jamie is a regular volunteer at parkrun events, adopting various roles from photographer to token sorter, marshal to barcode scanner. He is a great multitasker! Jamie’s enthusiasm and commitment to parkrun, both as a runner and as a volunteer, perfectly embodies the spirit of parkrun Ireland and he is a very deserving recipient of the first Gala parkrunner of the month award.

The Gala parkrunner of the month voting app can be found under the Gala parkrun tab on the Gala Retail Facebook page.

Intersport at Lees Road parkrun

Tom Foley, who heads up Intersport UK and Ireland, joined the Lees Road parkrunners on a glorious sunny Saturday in April, pictured with Run Director Mary and a young volunteer at the finish line. Tom also met Declan who ran his first parkrun that day after completing his couch to 5k programme.

We love working with parkrun as we are passionate about helping to make the world a healthier and happier place through physical activity. Running is one of the easiest and most accessible sports, and one that unites people across the nation – so let’s keep parkrun free and help more people, whatever their background, achieve their sporting goals!

As partners of parkrun we are great supporters of all sporting achievements within the running community, and there have certainly been plenty of these recently. Our congratulations go to Paul Sinton-Hewitt, founder of parkrun, for completing the Virgin Money London Marathon.

As always, we’re here to help with kit and advice about all things running. Pop into your local store for a chat – we’d love to hear what you’re up to. Click here to find your nearest store.

Make sure to tag us in your pictures on Twitter@Intersport_UK#loveparkrun and like us on Facebook to keep up with what’s going on.

See you at your next parkrun.

Grant Thornton 5k Challenge

The Grant Thornton Corporate Team Challenge, run in association with Athletics Ireland, is aimed at encouraging social running amongst the business community in Dublin and Cork.

Enter as part of a company team of four with three categories available: male, female and mixed. 5k is a great distance for beginners and experienced runners alike, so there is no excuse for you and your colleagues not to give it a try!

There will be team prizes for the top five in each category, and all participants will receive a goodie bag and technical t-shirt.

In addition, 10% of each entry fee will go to The Alzheimer Society of Ireland to support their work in providing dementia specific services and supports and advocating for the rights and needs of all people living with dementia and their carers.

The Grant Thornton Corporate Team Challenge 2016 dates are as follows:
National Sports Campus, Fingal – Thursday 9 June
The Mall, Cork – Wednesday 29 June
Docklands, Dublin – Tuesday 13 September

You can check out the event website and register here, and we’re also on Facebook.

event news

new events
Lough Key – 14 May
Longford – 21 May
Albert College junior parkrun – 5 June
Ballincollig – 18 June

Knocknacarra – 14 May
Castle Demense – 21 May
New Ross – 28 May

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 – 52
Total unique runners – 64,128

feedback from the field

My son Daniel has special needs and he and I run in the Tymon parkrun once a month. It's all about inclusion and Daniel loves it, and the community are great at saying hello and talking to him. Without parkrun Daniel wouldn't have this quality of life. I run most weeks and just love it! #loveparkrun
Sinead Tighe

Has parkrun made a difference in your running if so we would like to share your story? Drop us a short e-mail about your parkrun experience and we will publish a selection each month. No more than 150 words please.

parkrunner of the month

Name:  Conor McGlynn

Club:  Irish Life and Canada Life Running Club (a workplace running group)

Age:  31

Home parkrun:  Castletown

Occupation:  Office worker

Number of runs:  27

Favourite volunteer role:  Pacer is a nice one as you get to run as well. Also, I have been known to run and then do the second barcode scanner job. Pre-event set-up also allows you to run as you do the work early and you're finished before the start time of the parkrun.

How has parkrun changed your running:  Since Castletown parkrun started last year I have become a much more regular (and better) runner. Honestly it gets me out of bed on a Saturday morning! It's just four kilometres away from my house so I can cycle or jog to the start line.

What do you like about parkrun:  The friendly/community atmosphere is great! Also, the 5k format of parkruns is very versatile. You can run them hard if you feel good, or you can treat them as a training run at a steady pace if you want. Running or jogging before/after the 5k can get your distance up if you want to log some mileage. The use of Castletown House, which is the location for Castletown parkrun, is wonderful. It allows us to run on the trails and paths around the river and trees in the grounds of Castletown House. It's a beautiful place to run a parkrun. Some other amazing locations I've come across through parkrun are Waterstown Park, Dublin and Kilkenny Castle – all great places for a run.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  Doing the Saturday 26 December (St Stephen's Day) parkrun in Griffeen last year was a good one. Firstly I jogged over to Griffeen Park but I was a bit late so I missed the official start of the parkrun. My heart started pumping a bit harder when I could see all the runners moving already in front of me. So I had to quickly drop my coat and bag at the start and then run a bit faster than normal. The GPS watch I got for Christmas the day before told me I had ran my fastest 5k and 10k that morning – and the records stood for a few months after that. So the adrenaline from being late produced a good parkrun for me. After I caught my breath I met up with some friends and people I knew from Castletown parkrun so it was nice. I find that the parkruns around Christmas and New Year have a bit of carnival atmosphere as everyone is in good spirits.


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