News - 4th March 2019

People of parkrun brought to you by Vhi

Shona Ní Fhloinn (O'Flynn) parkrun Hero December

Name: Shona Ní Fhloinn

Age: 25

Local parkrun: Limerick parkrun

Number of parkruns completed: I have run 111 parkruns and volunteered 67 times.

 

How did you get involved in parkrun?

I was living in the UK and heard about parkrun through a running group that I joined.

 

What do you love about parkrun?

What’s not to love about parkrun?! I love the community spirit, the atmosphere, and the whole set-up. parkrun truly is for everyone, whether you want to walk, run, or volunteer. There is always a shout of encouragement if you’re running or plenty of people thanking you if you’re volunteering. I have had the pleasure of meeting many wonderful and inspirational people from around the world and have made some great friends as a result.

 

I’ve been unable to run for the last few months due to an injury but have continued participating in parkrun through volunteering. It’s an enjoyable and rewarding way of keeping in touch with the community. If you’re worried about any of the roles, don’t be – I used to be scared of timekeeping, and am now a Run Director!

 

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Who do you participate with?

Friends and family

 

Any parkrun milestones / achievements you would like to share?

I was delighted to reach 50 parkruns, the volunteering milestone, and then 100 parkruns last June. I was also humbled, mortified and flattered to be nominated and then named Vhi parkrun Hero for December. Running a PB is always satisfying too!

 

How has parkrun impacted positively on your family outside of 9:30am on a Saturday?

After a little (ok, maybe more than a little!) persuasion, four family members over the age of 60 have embraced parkrun and become much more physically active in their daily lives.

 

Do you have a health or fitness goal?

I just want to stay fit and healthy so that I can keep parkrunning and volunteering!

 

What was your best parkrun experience?

I have never not enjoyed a parkrun, but the best experience was possibly travelling down through a snow-covered landscape to Tralee parkrun with my dad, Seamus during ‘The Beast from the East’, as Tralee was the nearest parkrun that wasn’t cancelled. Although we didn’t think we’d get there, we did, and had a most enjoyable experience and met some fantastic people. Fittingly, Tom Crean was the Run Director that Saturday, and he arrived on a tractor! It was also my dad’s 50th parkrun. He wasn’t too keen to be singled out at first, but he ended up thoroughly enjoying the occasion and the parkrun tourism adventure!

 

What was the funniest parkrun moment?

Run Director, Ger Brinn dressed as Saint Patrick in 2017 (on March 18th) and 2018 (on March 17th) – he had us all in stitches during the pre-run “sermon” – I mean briefing!

 

What advice would you give to someone who’s never been to parkrun?

I would encourage everybody to keep an open mind and give parkrun a go. It is undoubtedly one of the best things I have ever done. It’s a sociable activity with benefits for both mental and physical health. Despite the name, parkrun is not just for runners, so please don’t be put off by that. Everybody is welcome, no matter your age or ability – and if you can’t run or if you can’t walk, you can always come along and volunteer.

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