Cathy Curley came to running only a few years ago in her late sixties. She ran and walked a race with her daughter, and decided she would like to run more regularly. She turned up at Griffeen parkrun over a few Saturdays and ran and walked the course. She took a break for a few months and returned again in early 2016 and this time the parkrun bug bit hard and she has been a regular parkrunner since and recently completed her 75th parkrun.
As Cathy attended each week she noticed a group warming up before parkrun. She followed what they were doing got chatting to them and then started running with them on a regular basis. That was when she truly began to enjoy parkrun. Cathy is very sociable and likes nothing more than running with a fellow runner, having a chat along the route and the banter afterwards over a cup of coffee. She enjoys the fact that such a mix of people take part in parkrun, from all walks of life, all age groups and all abilities. Cathy will always have a supportive comment or words of praise for everyone’s achievements, no matter how big or how small.
We all have our off days, arriving to the park with little enthusiasm to take part. But you need never fear, Cathy will be on hand to perk you up, tell you how great you are for getting out of bed that morning and making your way to the start line – gently encouraging you to give a bash. Her favourite catchphrase is ‘just enjoy it.’ Her enthusiasm inevitably wears off on you and you find the energy from somewhere to do just that. She is very tech savvy and can be depended on to have our stats to hand if we forget. We are all very fond of Cathy and VERY proud of her. She has formed friendships at Griffeen parkrun that she, and we, hold dearly.
Cathy arrives to parkrun always wearing a smile and kitted out colour co-ordinated from head to toe. Even the nails will match! This lady has certainly brought glamour and style to Griffeen parkrun.
If she registers for a race, she will not be in her running attire at parkrun; but she will be there – volunteering! When she offers to volunteer, she usually says ‘put me down for anything.’ She gets such enjoyment out of parkrun, that she sees volunteering as her way to give back.
She has a ‘can do’ attitude that means she will give anything a go. Cathy leads a very active life. Apart from her running, she keeps busy travelling, catching up with family and friends, supporting her grandchildren in their hobbies and interests, walking, reading and more recently, wait for it – bodyboarding with her grandchildren!
You may be starting to realise that Cathy is not your regular kind of grandmother. Her eldest grandson started running recently. He told his mother he needed to train so that he would be able to keep up with his gran when he went to do a parkrun with her!
Cathy has gone from strength to strength with her running. If she’s not at Griffeen parkrun, she can often be found partaking in some parkrun tourism around the country including her native Wexford. I will not give away her age – suffice to say she was first woman home in a 5k in the 70+ category during the summer! She also had another first this year – running the full course of a 10k race for the first time in August.
She has no intention of slowing down. We are continually in awe of her energy. She keeps active and that keeps her young in spirit, mind and body.
She truly embodies the ethos of parkrun and is an inspiration to us all.
From Laura, and all Cathy’s friends at Griffeen parkrun
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