News - 12th May 2021

It’s more than just a 5k

Noeleen 7

For Noeleen Condron parkrun is more than just a 5k on a Saturday morning. It has opened up a whole new world of walkers, joggers, runners and volunteers, who after a few weeks became her friends and parkrun family.


A friend of mine invited me to Vicarstown to try the parkrun. Up until then, I’d not been aware of parkrun. I remember the Run Director asking, “Anyone here for the first time?” All us first timers raised our hands and we got a welcoming clap. This was pre pandemic of course, so we were invited back to the local hall for a cuppa after we’d finished our parkrun.


It was a wet and miserable morning. However, that evening, when I got my results email I liked the idea of age grading and seeing where you’d finished, and I quickly forgot about the wet and cold.


The following Saturday I went along to parkrun again and have never looked back.


Noeleen 5


I like the fact that at parkrun you’re only competing against yourself. You can walk, jog or run with no pressure. All the volunteers are so welcoming and encouraging. It sets you up for the weekend and gives you the confidence to take part in other events.


A whole new world of friends and companions have opened up to me through parkrun. I love the chats over a cuppa afterwards, discussing how many parkruns we’ve done, our memories and how easy or hard the 5k felt this time. Then I look forward to the next week, to do it all over again!


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Reaching my 50th and 100th parkrun milestones have been real parkrun highlights for me. My family and friends joined me on those days. Some did the parkrun with me, the rest were cheering us over the finish.


I have encouraged many friends to join parkrun and I have enjoyed watching their progress.


Before lockdown I had completed 144 parkruns. I also love to volunteer and have clocked up 84 volunteer posts. I’m mostly on photographer duty but I’ve tried most of the volunteer roles including: making the tea, Run Director, scanner and sorting tokens. One of my favourite roles is Tail Walking. It’s great to walk behind everyone, having chance to enjoy the surroundings and nature and ensuring no one finishes last at parkrun.


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Since lockdown I’ve not missed a Saturday. I do my (not)parkrun instead, which keeps the routine going for me.


I have also done lots of virtual 5k and 10k events for charities who are struggling and missing out on their fundraising events.


I’m looking forward to the return of parkrun and getting back to my home parkrun which is down by the canal in Vicarstown, when it’s safe to do so.


For anyone thinking of giving parkrun a go, I can’t recommend it enough.


Noeleen Condron

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