Ross Gallagher, a visually impaired parkrunner from Kerry, clocked up 124kms in May to raise money for charity.
Ross tells us about parkrunning and his recent May challenge.
I first heard about parkrun back in September 2017. My Mum and I both wanted to give it a try so we went along to Listowel parkrun. It was great fun, we jogged a bit and walked a bit and found all the people there very kind and friendly. We both wanted to go back for more.
Having been to several different events including Inch Beach and Killarney as well as Listowel, it’s Tralee that has become our regular parkrun.
I love parkrun for a number of reasons: it’s great fitness; it’s great to be out in the park; it’s very sociable, there is always great company and camaraderie; you make many new friends, the parkrun community is like a big, welcoming family.
I have been running for about 16 years, starting in 2004 when I was 16 yrs old, when I did a lot of competing, winning 42 track and field medals over a 10 year period. Since 2015 I have done more road running and over the last 6 years have competed in more than 150 races.
As I have 5% vision I have a guide when I am running, whether that be at parkrun or doing a road race. I’m lucky to be able to call on a number of different guides at Tralee parkrun and also when I am road racing.
At the end of April 2020 I signed up to the May Challenge for Frontline Heroes. The challenge was to complete 100k of running in the 31 days of May.
I managed to tally up the 100k distance a few days before the end of May so I just kept running as I wanted to finish with a run on May 31st. In total I clocked up 124k! My Mum also did 124k as she guided me on all the runs.
We did the Challenge in Castleisland where we live. Our 124k total was made up of runs and walks of varying distances with 5k being the shortest. We were lucky that the weather in May was amazing everyday!
I posted regular updates on my social media page so that friends and family could see what we were up to and how many kms we were notching up. We got loads of support along the way. It felt brilliant to complete the Challenge and we celebrated at home with a BBQ.
I have been keeping up my exercise while we are in lockdown, including taking part in some virtual races as well as the Challenge, but I’m really looking forward to getting back to parkrunning and being among the parkrun community again, when we are able to do that.
The Vhi parkrun Hero award for the month of May has been awarded to Sean McCann from Dundalk parkrun in Louth. The monthly award recognises and rewards inspirational, hardworking and dedicated members of the parkrun community who embody the ethos of parkrun or have made an outstanding contribution – whether they be participants or volunteers. …
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