In January 2010 a very strange thing happened in our household that was to have a life changing occurrence – we ran out of milk and being a big tea drinker, oh this was big. So I left the comfort of my leather recliner to drive to the village to purchase the much needed milk.
While turning the car at the Castletown Gates I saw a sign for Celbridge Fit4Life and, after having a serious conversation with myself, I decided that this poster was aimed at me. So the following Wednesday encouraged by my Bean Cheíle Joan headed for Celbridge AC on a dark, dreary night.
On arrival I was made most welcome by Bernie Kavanagh, Alan and Susan Creighton as I limped around the track. It nearly killed me but I kept coming back for more, getting quicker week by week. The big breakthrough came when I started a slight jog, again receiving great encouragement by Bernie, Alan, Sue and my fellow runners. Yes I was now running, slowly, and enjoying every session.
My first 5k was the Jingle Bells Christmas Run in Phoenix Park in 2011 with my daughter Róisín. I believe she only came to ensure that I wouldn’t die – well I didn’t! Next up came the Liz McDonnell Run without a guardian. I was starting to lose a few kilos and my running got quicker.
When Kevin Ecock arrived on the scene at our F4L crew he gave me the extra push I needed. I was now also road running two nights a week and wanted more.
Then Sharon Ashmore announced that she was starting Castletown parkrun. That was in 2015 and I saw this as the icing on the cake – even though I am glad to say I was eating a lot less cake – and parkrun ensured that the kilos continued to fall off.
parkrun is the greatest thing you can do on a Saturday morning. So from walking slowly around the track I was now looking for PBs. That’s right, PBs! Can you imagine?! My Castletown parkrun PB is 32:02, which was achieved on my 50th parkrun, while my PB in a road 5k is 31:17.
All this is due to the great support from my fellow runners, coaches and my Bean Cheíle. I am pleased to say that I have reduced my weight by 28 kilos, taken part in 68 parkruns, volunteered 12 times, completed numberous 5k races and was greatly encouraged by Kevin Ecock, our coach, to compete in 10k runs, two of which I did in 2017. Who knows what will happen in 2018!
Míle Buíochas do Celbridge Fit 4 Life and Castletown parkrun.
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