News - 8th April 2020

People of parkrun brought to you by Vhi


Name:  Murt Ó Séaghdha (aka O’Shea)

Age: 70

Occupation: Retired IT professional and college lecturer

Local parkrun: Dundalk

Number of parkruns completed: 104


How did you get involved in parkrun?

Shortly after parkrun began in Dundalk in June 2015, my wife heard about it, tried it out and persuaded me to give it a try. I have always played sports, principally golf and tennis, and kept reasonably fit over the years, though I wasn’t previously interested in running. But to my surprise I enjoyed the challenge. Soon I was hooked and enjoying it regularly.


What do you love about parkrun?

There is lots to love about parkrun. It is truly communal, involving people of all ages and ability levels. Many are regulars, who turn up most Saturdays and also volunteer. So, there is a great social buzz to it and much mutual encouragement.
I also love the statistics available on the parkrun website that allows analysing performances in many ways. There are the wonderful photos and reports on each event’s Facebook page to enjoy every week.


Who do you participate with?

I usually drive to events with my wife Elisabeth. I mix with as many people as possible, especially since I am the regular volunteer coordinator at Dundalk parkrun. But I normally run alone – as fast as I can!


Any parkrun milestones / achievements you would like to share?

I volunteered 144 times in many roles, mostly as a volunteer coordinator.
Tá Gaeilge líofa agam agus bhí mé mar Stiúrthóir Rás i nDún Dealgan do parkrunabú! I have set a new VM for the 70-74 age category records at 8 locations this year, including 2 abroad.


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

Whenever family members visit us on a Saturday, we try to run together, occasionally as three generations. last year in Limerick, on the morning of my daughter’s wedding, I ran with one of my sons, cheered on by three grandsons and a brother-in-law!


Do you have a health or fitness goal?

To stay as active as possible well into old age. I still feel young at 70!

Who is your dream parkrun running buddy?

There are a number regular parkrunners in Dundalk who are inspiring for various reasons. But I don’t wish to single out anyone.


What was your best parkrun experience?

On the Saturday, before my 70th birthday this February, I was Run Director in Dundalk and brought along cake for everyone to celebrate with me. During my briefing speech I was interrupted by a fellow core team volunteer who presented me with a lovely photo montage to honour the occasion.

Two years ago, on a choir trip to St Petersburg in November, I ran in the local parkrun, Elagin Island. It meant an early start to get there by public transport after late night partying. It was freezing with a light covering of snow on the ground. the circuit around the island in the river estuary was wonderfully picturesque and the whole experience was warm and welcoming.


What was the funniest parkrun moment?

My son Gearoid lapped me once in Dundalk. I didn’t notice his approach in time to sprint ahead of the point where he would turn off for the finish. He passed me just there and shouted out with glee – a cause of much amusement to the regulars for weeks afterwards.


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

Give it a try, even just to walk it or to support a friend who is walking or running. It is an amazing experience. You will enjoy it and keep coming back.

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