News - 2nd July 2019

Taking part on an equal footing


Last week it was announced that Eoin from River Valley parkrun was Vhi’s parkrun hero.


Having had several knock backs throughout his life, Eoin’s mum Peggy tells us a little bit more about how parkrun came in to her and her son’s life…


My name is Peggy Foley. I take part in River Valley parkrun with my son Eoin. Just over a year ago we saw a banner advertising River Valley parkrun and what attracted me it was the invite to either walk or run. Well I knew that I could walk 5K so we decided to check it out. We spoke to some very friendly volunteers who advised us to sign up. So on the following Saturday morning armed with our barcodes we set off on our first parkrun/walk.


Neither of us had run in years. I had recently retired from work and felt at my age my running days were well and truly behind me. Eoin had been fit and active in his teens and early 20s but various health issues had put a halt to things. Eoin has Hydrocephalus and needed a shunt inserted. He also has epilepsy.


He has had surgery for his epilepsy and also had numerous shunt replacement surgeries over the years. Each time he thought he was getting back on track he got knocked back down again.  And then just over 10 years ago following a shunt replacement operation he suffered a bleed in his brain. He spent three months in Beaumont Hospital under the care of the Neurological team there. Eoin recovered well but his short term memory and his balance area still affected.


So when Eoin started taking part in parkrun he discovered something he can take part in on an equal footing. Everybody is so encouraging from all the other runners, lots of whom are very fine athletes, the joggers and sloggers and the wonderful volunteers who from almost the first week know your name and shout it out encouragingly as you try to drag yourself up that hill.


But the feeling you get from finishing another 5K each week is brilliant. We have completed out 35th parkrun last week and hope to get up to 50 before the end of the year. I would encourage anybody of any age or ability to check out parkrun and give it a go.

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