News - 30th July 2019

More than a thousand words

Catherine Dempsey

Catherine Dempsey, pictured right receiving her VHI Hero Award, was convinced by a friend to try out New Ross parkrun for the first time on St Stephen’s day in 2015. Not only did she discover a love for parkrun, Catherine’s ‘parkrun family’ helped her during the most difficult times.


Going to that parkrun on St Stephen’s day in 2015 was the best decision I have ever made.


This year I completed my 100th parkrun, and have volunteered more than 30 times. I so love the parkrun movement.


I’m not a runner and parkrun has never been about the running to me. I’m a run/walker, and I get just as much out of volunteering as I do when I cover the 5k.


I’ve made so many friends at parkrun. Friends who I now call my ‘parkrun family’. During my time since starting parkrun I’ve been through some really tough times. There have been some difficult family illnesses and two bereavements. I found that just being a part of the parkrun community, with my ‘parkrun family’, on a Saturday morning helped me so much during this really hard time. It wasn’t that I spoke to anyone about it, it was more about being in such a feel good environment.


It meant more than a thousand words to me.


It was a huge honour to receive the VHI parkrun hero award. But I can honestly say that for my small contribution to parkrun, I have got back a millions time more.


Catherine Dempsey


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