Caroline Kennedy tells us about the integral part Templemore parkrun has played in her cancer recovery journey, and breaking that 35 minute barrier.
On the last weekend in June 2017, I became very ill and was given a bowel cancer diagnosis just a few weeks later.
The chemotherapy followed, culminating in me undergoing extensive surgery at the beginning of January 2018. But I didn’t want to stop going to parkrun.
On World Cancer Day, February 2018, I slowly walked Templemore parkrun.
Then there was more chemo, and its side effects, and there came a time when I couldn’t participate in the 5k anymore, but I often made my way to the post-parkrun ‘breakfast club’ to be with my fellow parkrunners.
A year later I finished my chemotherapy. Following some minor surgeries, I managed to get back to parkrun on a more regular basis and set myself a goal to work towards – breaking the 35 minute barrier.
The first time I went back to parkrun at the beginning of 2019 I finished in a time of 45:36. By the middle of the year, I wanted to achieve my goal and I’m pleased to say I finally got there on 13 July! It was such a great feeling.
While this may be considered slow to some people, to me it felt like I had won an olympic gold medal!
The benefits of exercise from both a physical and mental health perspective should not be underestimated and the encouragement and support from my fellow parkrunners has, in no small way, contributed to my wellbeing during my illness and recovery.
In the absence of parkrun during the Covid-19 pandemic, we are looking back at some of the events Vhi visited throughout the years as parkrun’s partner. Back in 2019, the Vhi parkrun roadshow visited Templemore parkrun, Co Tipperary. It was an incredible day as the parkrunners were joined by Olympian and Vhi ambassador David…
Francie Arthurs is one of the most treasured parkrunners at Falls parkrun in Belfast. Run Director, Debbie Walsh, tells us his inspirational story. If you have ever had the fortune of visiting Falls parkrun in Belfast you will no doubt have met our very own, homegrown legend, Francie Arthurs. Picture this, a…