Colette Ryan loves the simplicity of parkrun, and has missed her weekly event at Ballincollig Regional Park. When restrictions lifted she was welcomed back by friends for a (not)parkrun, and there were cheers and smiles all round.
Here’s her parkrun story.
I first heard about parkrun way back in 2015. I had just completed a Couch to 5k programme and wanted to continue with my running without having to join an athletics club. I did some research and parkrun popped up on my searches. I had never heard of it, but after reading all about it I was very interested in checking it out.
I liked the simplicity of it; just register and download your barcode, then, no matter your age or ability, you have the opportunity to walk, jog, run or volunteer at a weekly event, for free.
My first parkrun was at Tramore Valley but this event was sadly discontinued by the local council. So, when the Ballincollig Regional Park event started up in June 2016 I was there.
I was very impressed with the organisation of the event from the briefing, to the scanning of barcodes, to sending out the results. It ran like clockwork. The volunteers did a fantastic job. There was a great turnout for that inaugural event and it was a beautiful day.
I was well and truly hooked, so much so, that I became one of the core volunteers.
I just love going out on Saturday morning to do the course check or being the Tail Walker, or the photographer.
One of my standout moments is when I did my 100th parkrun in April 2017. I had a 100 balloon tied to my back. There were some lovely celebrations at the end with friends.
My goal at the moment is to reach my 250th parkrun, I’m currently stalled on number 189!
I have been (not)parkrunning while in lockdown and have clocked up 45 of these so far!
When the 5k restrictions were lifted, I headed back out to Ballincollig Regional Park to do my (not)parkrun with a few friends, all keeping to the social distancing protocols. I’d been missing the park’s trails and trees and seeing my parkrun family. I was welcomed back with big cheers and smiles. We had a lovely catch up chat and coffee at Chicos Café after our 5k.
I have met so many fantastic and lovely people while on my parkrun journey. We have laughed and moaned at how hard it is to run a PB, we have run in scorching sun, freezing weather, wind and rain but we always come back for more.
We are all looking forward to the return of our parkrun events soon. It is one of the most important weekly staples for a lot of people.
I would recommend everyone to give parkrun a go. You don’t even have to run it, you can walk it if your prefer. It is better than any trip to a doctor.
We took another big step forward last Saturday as 5k events returned in Denmark, the ninth country to see events restart post-COVID, plus we welcomed back junior parkrun events in Scotland. In total nearly 60,000 people took part in 775 events around the world last weekend, including nearly 2,500 for the very first time….
Vhi was delighted to launch the 2021 Vhi Virtual Women’s Mini Marathon with the help of the Vhi Virtual Women’s Mini Marathon ambassador Una Healy. She will be joined by fellow ambassadors Dr. Laura Lenihan in Galway, model and nurse Grainne Gallanagh in Donegal and travel writer Nadia El Ferdaoussi in Dublin. Each of…