Name: Gregory O’Beirne
Club: Dublin Bay Running Club
Home parkrun: St Anne’s
Occupation: Mystery Entrepreneur
Number of Runs: 132
Favourite Volunteer Role: Tokens! Sorting/handing out. It’s more social than you think. Love greeting the runners as they finish, nothing like a “well done” after they’ve put in a good shift. From 15 minutes to 50 minutes, everyone deserves a well done.
What do you do at parkruns?: I do enjoy the run most of all, 5,000 metres (sounds better I think) is a good challenge to really push it and at the same time a nice distance to relax and enjoy, BUT it’s not everything. Running can be a very insular sport and parkrun is great to catch up with everyone at the start or finish and have a chat over a tea, swap stories and tales of blisters and lost chances of PBs, if only I had that drink at mile 1, and there’s always a chance to sort some tokens…
How has parkrun changed your running?: I’d probably be more known as a long distance runner, 48 marathons done so far, hoping to reach number 50 by end of May, but back in the early days (not that long ago truth be told (six years)) I used to be sooooo nervous before any race. You wouldn’t get a peep out of me and I’d be zoning out and being a right Roy Keane. Having the parkrun every week made me totally relax and even start talking to people! The focus goes off the getting there and more about what you can do when you get there. Take your running seriously, but never loose sight of the enjoyment. We run, because we love to run, the training, the diet, the shoes, all that stuff just determines your ‘performance’, what is important is the simple joy of running.
What do you like about parkrun?: No matter where the parkrun is, I have always found the same welcome and a great spirit. It’s really nice and I like to think St Anne’s makes visitors just as welcome. There is the other side also, you can turn up, do your thing, and off you go (you can volunteer next time!). The run of course is the big thing, we are so lucky to have a really good course with a nice surface and in a great location. Volunteering is just as good. There is a great satisfaction helping put a run together and take it all down again and there is great appreciation from the runners. Of course, there is always a chance to sort some tokens…
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment?: Just one? I’ll never forget the 500+ runners in January as I was giving out the tokens! But back in the days of the old course, having made a remark about a particular sharp corner online, I was duly put on marshalling duty there soon afterwards. Having only been a blow in from the Malahide run, it hadn’t sunk in that there were two laps at St Annes, so apart from telling everyone ‘you are nearly there’ with over a lap to go, after waiting for the end runners to pass I started to pack up and take away the rope/ poles marking the corner and head off when along comes the lead runners again! What could I say. ‘You ARE nearly there, this time…honest!”
If you’d like to nominate yourself or someone else to feature as parkrunner of the Week, please get in touch.
My son Daniel was born with a condition called Sotos syndrome which is a rare genetic disorder. It causes Daniel to have overgrowth severe intellectual disability, visual impairment, and sensory processing disorder, severe epilepsy, feeding difficulties and challenging behaviour. Daniel is also incontinent and nonverbal. The early years were very tough coming to terms…
We’ve been so busy running that we’ve barely noticed the shops filling with twinkling lights and festive cheer – all trying to remind us that it’s only five weeks until The Big Day! Or, in parkrunners’ terms, five weeks until we don Santa hats for our Christmas parkrun and generally feel great for getting out…