Vhi are thrilled that parkrun events have returned around Ireland, meaning parkrunners have been able to return to their Saturday morning 5km walk, jog or run. We have been chatting to parkrunners who have been sharing their parkrun stories with us, in People of parkrun brought to you by Vhi.
Name: Sarah McEneaney
Local parkrun: Dundalk IT junior parkrun
How did you get involved in parkrun?
I was involved in setting up Dundalk parkrun in 2015, which meant I now had a parkrun in my own hometown. Before that, the closest parkrun to us was Drogheda.
What do you love about parkrun?
It’s friendly and doesn’t have a competitive nature, plus it’s free!
Who do you participate with?
I volunteer weekly with core members, my partner Colin and with friends.
Any parkrun milestones / achievements you would like to share?
I have volunteered 168 times and completed 15 parkruns. I’m very proud to volunteer to help others. I have currently changed jobs to give me my Saturday off so hoping that I can run Saturday and volunteer Sundays at our junior parkrun.
How has parkrun impacted positively on you?
parkrun has given me confidence but I’ve also made friends for life from it and that’s the best part of it. We wouldn’t have crossed paths otherwise.
What have you missed most about parkrun?
It has been sad coming back and finding out some people have lost friends and relatives over lockdown. It is great to be back though and meeting everyone again weekly.
Who is your dream parkrun buddy?
My best friends from parkrun, Brenda and Debbie. We haven’t actually ran together, but I walked parkrun with Debbie!
What was your best parkrun experience?
The first event of junior parkrun was my best experience. We had hoped to start in 2020 but Covid-19 delayed it. It started in August this year and it was brilliant. To see the kids’ faces, smiling and laughing even in the rain, made it worthwhile!
What was the funniest parkrun moment?
It has to be one of our Christmas parkruns and everyone dressed up. One man had an inflatable Santa outfit and he is a very fit man so when he struggled to get the costume on it was hilarious!
What advice would you give to someone who’s never been to parkrun?
Try it! You have nothing to lose but everything to gain.
parkrun is not just a weekly event; it is an emotional support group for many. I’ve seen and heard people’s stories and a lot of people depend on parkrun for that morning for free space from their head, worries and life.
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The Vhi parkrun Hero award for the month of August has been awarded to Sharon Ashmore from Royal Canal parkrun. 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 – be they participants or volunteers. As…