Last Saturday, 2 March, Park Walk was launched at parkrun events across Ireland. Co-Event Director Sharon, from Castletown parkrun, explains Park Walk and introduces three inspiring Park Walk leaders.
We have always welcomed walkers at parkrun and very especially at Castletown, but from last week, and for the next six weeks, walkers will get an extra special VIP introduction to the Castletown parkrun family.
We have three Park Walk leaders ready to greet first-timers and walkers and to keep everyone company on the 5k journey. When walkers arrive at Castletown, all you have to do is keep an eye out for the Park Walk banner. You can be sure the Park Walk leaders won’t be far away.
Let me tell you a little about your volunteer leaders…
First up is Brigitte Springfield-Mitchell (pictured in the Tail Walker Hi-Vis).
“My parkrun experience started after a few drinks on New Years Eve 2017, when friends of mine suggested I join them on the weekly parkrun in Castletown. Having never run in my life, I tried my best to run, but found that running was not my calling.
“However… as I moved from running to walking , I realised that parkrun is not about running, but about being active as part of a community where I get to have a laugh and a chat in the beautiful surroundings of Castletown. I now walk every week and have made many new friends. For me, achieving a good time is not important, but the achievement of walking 5k is.”
Secondly, we have John and Kim O’Lone.
John says “Two and a half years, 134 runs and approximately 140 times volunteering between us both, we can honestly say we love parkrun and all it encompasses. We have met so many wonderful people and reconnected with old friends.
“It’s not always easy getting out of bed on Saturday morning but crossing that finishing line and heading off for a coffee is a great feeling, the body has been exercised and the mind refreshed. As my arthritis progresses I know I’ll never be a runner but each week I get out there and set my own pace and know I’ll never be last home there’s a ‘tail walker’ for that!
“Three years ago I was overweight and wouldn’t walk 500 m to the local shop, now that’s all changed thanks to parkrun.”
Kim often says she’s got two families of which she’s very protective. Her first is her biological family. Second is her parkrun family. Suffice to say that’s enthusiastic enough to ensure anyone new to parkrun and Park Walk will be very well looked after.
Kim Tully and her Siberian Husky Yoshi are regulars at Hartstown parkrun in Dublin. By her own admission, Kim was inactive and looking for ways to make new friends. Eventually she plucked up the courage to go to her local parkrun and now Saturday mornings for Kim and Yoshi are a whole family affair….
Name: John Molloy Age: 76 Occupation: Retired Accountant Local parkrun: Kilkenny Number of parkruns completed: 201 How did I get involved in parkrun? I retired in 2011. One of the things I was sure I wanted to do was to get more exercise. My son challenged me to take part in the Nore swim…