Uncategorized - 29th July 2020

People of parkrun brought to you by Vhi


Name: Aoife Kelly

Age: F40 category

Occupation: Bank Official

Local parkrun: St Anne’s, Dublin

Number of parkruns completed: 102, I was lucky to complete my 100th just before Covid-19. Volunteered 58 times to date. 1 Freedom run.


How did you get involved in parkrun?

I did my first parkrun in Malahide in 2013. 2014 was dedicated to marathon training so I really only started going regularly from 2015. I ruptured my ACL in March 2016 so I mostly volunteered that year.


What do you love about parkrun?

I love pacer Saturday. It used to be the last Saturday of the month at St Anne’s and we would always try volunteer to pace. My 5km PB is still from getting paced at St Anne’s.  If going away for a weekend I always pack my barcode and check where the nearest parkrun is located y. It is all about the parkrun tourism. Our honeymoon was planned around parkrun.


Who do you participate with?

If I was on a training plan, I would try and incorporate my session into parkrun. Very weird I’m sure for other parkrunners when they see you speed up and slow down the whole time. If it was a milestone for a friend, I would take it easy and run with them and my husband Paul. Most parkruns are sociable so you get to chat with friends and  catch-up.


Any parkrun milestones / achievements you would like to share?

I actually completed my 100th parkrun 11 days after finishing 16 weeks of chemotherapy. I was delighted. My friend baked a fantastic cake in my honour with the parkrun logo.


Do you have a health or fitness goal?

I’m currently running 5 out of 7 days. My rest days are Monday and Friday so I make sure I get out for a walk and get my daily step count. I was training for the Charleville Half Marathon but that has just been cancelled so I don’t have anything else lined up yet.


Who is your dream parkrun running buddy?

My husband Paul. He is a wall of support and encouragement. He recently paced me to my freedom run to get sub-25 post-cancer PB.


What was your best parkrun experience?

I was staying with my sister for the weekend and I went to Bushy parkrun and was the first female runner to finish the course that day. It was my fastest time since I had knee surgery so I was absolutely delighted. I was on a high all day from it!


What was the funniest parkrun moment?

I was up at Dungloe parkrun in Donegal. It is a looped course and I had a session set up on my watch but I thought I was first female and so had the watch angrily beeping at me as I increased the pace and ignored the session to finish in what I thought was first female position. Turns out I was beaten by a child and a woman with a dog, who had stopped for a break in the stream! That’s the funny thing with looped courses as they were so far ahead, I was unaware they were leading and not a lap behind.


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

They are such welcoming and fun events. There is nothing to be afraid of. I would encourage anyone to attend and to also get involved in volunteering. Turns out one of my favourite roles is the junior parkrun warm-up leader, it’s great fun.


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