We had a lovely sunny morning for Event #234. Tony Higgins, Dan Pierse and Siobhan Kearney were in the Park when my daughter Anna and I arrived; amazingly, the finish area was fully set up. I was delighted to see the volunteers arriving in plenty of time; the Timers and Scanners were all happy to use the parkrun Virtual App on their phones - the App certainly makes it easier for Results to be processed after the event.
Some of the first participants arriving in the Park were a group of tourists from Vandeleur parkrun in County Clare; I was delighted be get the chance to welcome them to Tralee.
Anna took on the First Timers' Briefing and welcomed visitors from the aforementioned Vandeleur, as well as visitors from Cork, the U.K., France, Germany and China; she also briefed a number of first-timers.
It can be quite daunting taking the microphone to commence the Run Director's Briefing - 263 participants looks like a lot of people, so I just hope I didn't appear nervous.
We had just one milestone today - congrats to Siobhan Coffey who undertook her 50th parkrun.
I also had the rare pleasure of welcoming and congratulating a couple on their 56th Wedding Anniversary - that was Robert and Olive Pierse, parents of regular parkrunner, Risteard and grandparents of Dan Pierse. I feared that my mother-in-law's record time for a lady over the age of 80 was in danger, but Pansy still holds that accolade!
This was Pacer Day, with a great team attempting to encourage participants to aim for Personal Best times; we had pacers for every minute from 20 to 30, as well as 33 and 35 minutes. On checking the results later, I was amazed at the ability of the pacers to be so accurate in achieving their target times - congrats and thanks to them all - Stephen, Jason, Paul, John, Zach, Ian, Mark, Margaret, Padraig, David, Deirdre, Tim and Darragh.
We had a great team of volunteers in the Finish Funnel - all good humored, helpful and diligent; it certainly makes the RD job a lot easier and enjoyable when you have good people "in your corner". So thanks to:
Mary Hickey and Kelly Ann Nix on Timekeeping;
Aine Quane and Catherine O'Connor on Tokens;
Anthony Donnelly and Gerard O'Carroll on Scanning, and not forgetting Stephen Moore who did some scanning after pacing a very accurate 20 minute run.
We also had: Doreen Moore on Communications; Madeline Brosnan and Josie O'Shea were Tail Walking; Jerry Sullivan and Billy Lyons on Marshalling; Gerard Treanor was on Photography and Siobhan was VI Guide.
After 263 people had crossed the line, it was lovely to be approached by several visitors who commented our wonderful event - I was so proud to take the compliments on our beautiful Park, the great atmosphere, the friendly volunteers and participants .... We really have a wonderful parkrun in Tralee!
There was plenty of help to clear away the equipment; then it was time to retire to the Brandon Hotel, where I got great help from Tony Higgins and John Conway in processing the Results.
Next week, John Conway will be "in charge" for what will undoubtedly another great day!