I took a little bit of time to myself before writing this as I needed a little time for reflection. Approximately 11 weeks ago St Annes parkrun and Raheny Shamrock AC sat down to plan Shamrock parkrun and the time between that and October 14th was spent planning and arranging and fine tuning.
The intent of Shamrock parkrun was to bring together two of the many organisations that are striving to enhance the community spirit and community engagement of the lovely area of Raheny / Clontarf and environs. There is a huge crossover in membership with many starting with involvement in one and then becoming involved in the other.
Both organisations are thriving at the level they are on the back of an army of dedicated volunteers with the added bonus that the volunteers will vary from week to week. The plan for the day was that all volunteer roles would be provided by Raheny Shamrock AC. I have to admit to seizing the opportunity here and looking for volunteers in every possible role that has been seen in St Annes and also a number that were made up on the spot. I looked for 45 volunteers for the day, which appeared optimistic, until after day 1, 34 of them were filled. At this stage it was still only the 6th of October. So I added in some more roles, which were duly filled. This meant that the weekly call to duty did not happen on the parkrun Facebook page. The message went out to all - no volunteers needed this week - everybody can run.
To the day itself. Wind and rain on Friday night abated at approximately 8.00 and gave way to some lovely sunshine with a nice breeze. Perfect running weather and literally the calm before the storm.
Set up began at approximately 8.30 and the rest of the volunteers began arriving from 8.45 onwards. The Raheny Shamrock army really turned out in numbers, by 9.20 all 53 volunteers were present. Yes, 53 volunteers. We had pacers covering every time from 18 to 35 minutes and have been inundated with great messages of thanks from many runners praising the positivity that the pacers brought. For the record, not counting the pacers means that 1 in 6 people set a PB on Saturday. That is a phenomenal number and no coincidence either. The other 35 volunteers ensured a smooth run with nothing but good feedback noted by all.
The new additions to the roster were the spot prize co-ordinators which we hope brought a new joy to those finishing as the presence of the spot prizes was only announced as runners were finishing. There were 32 spot prizes distribute throughout the field. I would like to thank Cherie, Úna and Caitríona for majestically negotiating the crowds to ensure the prizes found a good home. Special thanks go to Pat Hooper, Connor Jennings, Marianne Fanning, Nikki McMullen and Rachel Ormrod for providing the prizes. A lot of happy runners went home with more than they left the house with.
Thank you also to Paul for providing the photography allowing us to uploads hundreds of pictures to remember the event with. Thanks to Pat for his words during the briefing, Mick for officially starting the run, Christy, Brendan, Simon and Colm for manning the finishing funnel, Liz for taking the pressure of being in charge of the watch, Sarah and Anne for getting the tokens to the right people and all the volunteers between Jim on lead bike and Nikki and Janet as tail walkers. The marshalls deserve special recognition for the job they in keeping people on the run route aware of the tide that is coming their way.
Congratulations go to Colm Kernan (the Crusader amongst the Shamrocks) on celebrating his 50th birthday and also to Áine Ní Ghloinn who completed her 50th parkrun on the day.
Thank you to everyone who took part in what turned out to be a great morning in St. Annes and resulted in a very happy Run Director once the results were posted.
The science bit is below. See you all on Saturday
Richie (Run Director, St Annes parkrunner and Raheny Shamrock AC member)
This week 409 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 37 were first timers and 64 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 22 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 53 volunteers:
Liz KEARY • David O HARA • Sean MCGOLDRICK • Desmond LYONS • Una CHERRY • Mary PURDUE-SMYTH • Connor JENNINGS • Valerie CLINTON • Robbie BEGGS • Aileen HOOPER • Jim KEOGH • Sinead LYONS • Deirdre O'DWYER • Louise KEOGH • Christy REILLY • Damien MARTIN • Brighid SMYTH • Elaine MCNULTY • Tommy CRAMPTON • Anne MC COMISH • Rachel ORMROD • Fiona COYLE • Gary KENNY • Gillian KENNY • Richie O'CONNOR • Mary-Rose MC MULLAN • Colm DELANEY • Nicola MOONEY • Conall MURPHY • William WALSH • Caroline FARRELLY • Lorraine BYRNE • Glenn ATKINS • Marianne FANNING • Brendan ATKINS • Nora BYRNE • Cherie HYLAND • Caitriona COSTELLO • Keith COMISKEY • Amanda LANGAN • Mary WALSH • Paul HYLAND • Valerie HAND • Jody GILHOOLY • Paul CULLEN • Fiona STACK • Mary LYNCH • Simon DEVENNEY • Sarah QUIGLEY • Mark LACEY • Mick CLOHISEY • David O CONNOR • Janet FOLAN
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the St Anne's parkrun Results Page.
David KIRWIN (VM40-44) of Raheny Shamrock AC, was first over the line in 16:41 - third time in 6 appearances.
Graham O'DWYER (SM25-29) of Raheny Shamrock AC, was second over the line in 17:00 - has been first to finish on 7 previous occasions.
Paul COWHIE (VM50-54) of Civil Service Hrs and A.C., was third over the line in 17:21 - has been first to finish on 2 previous occasions.
Ailis MURTAGH (SW18-19) of Raheny Shamrock AC, was first (7th overall) over the line in 18:07 - second time in 4 appearances.
Joyce O'HARE (SW30-34) of Clonliffe Harriers A.C., was second (24th overall) over the line in 19:51 - has been first to finish on 2 previous occasions.
Aine NI GHLOINN (VW35-39) (Unattached) was third (46th overall) over the line in 21:05.
The three highest age grades were recorded by:
Paul COWHIE (VM50-54) – 87.13% for the time 17:21 (third overall).
Ailis MURTAGH (SW18-19) – 82.61% for the time 18:07 (7th overall).
Jean DUNNE (VW55-59) – 82.60% for the time 22:13 (76th overall).
The female record is held by Aoife TALTY who recorded a time of 16:51 on 28th September 2013 (event number 1).
The male record is held by Mick CLOHISEY who recorded a time of 14:46 on 6th May 2017 (event number 181).
The Age Grade course record is held by Mary LYNCH who recorded 92.68% (22:33) on 13th May 2017 (event number 182).
St Anne's parkrun started on 28th September 2013. Since then 8,639 participants have completed 55,250 parkruns covering a total distance of 276,250 km, including 10,522 new Personal Bests.