News - 25th May 2022

People of parkrun brought to you by Vhi

People of parkrun brought to you by Vhi - Colette Ryan

In this week’s people of parkrun entry, we hear from Colette Ryan from Ballincollig parkrun. She tells us all about her parkrun milestones and what she loves about parkrun!


Name: Colette Ryan

Occupation: Retail Operative

Local parkrun: Ballincollig parkrun


How did you get involved in parkrun? 

I was looking for a running event that didn’t require you to be a fast runner after doing couch to 5k course.


What do you love about parkrun?

I love the whole concept of the event being community based. It is free for everyone of all shapes, sizes and abilities as well as the young and old. There are no judgements made if you are a walker, jogger, runner or just there to support!


Who do you participate with?

My friends that I made through participating in parkrun. There is a group of around 10 of us. I set up a (not) parkrun, and when restrictions were lifted, we were able to run together and have coffee and chat afterwards. During the time of restrictions, a few of us did our Saturday (not) parkrun at Tramore Valley, and the rest of us in Ballincollig. We would then all share photos in the group chat and compare coffee! It’s what got us all through a tough year.


Any parkrun milestones / achievements you would like to share?

At the moment, I have completed 196 parkruns. I should have my 250th done by now, but Covid-19 postponed it. I also have almost 200 volunteer credits so here’s hoping!


How has parkrun impacted positively on you?

It has given me a whole new bunch of friends and it’s had a positive effect on my mental state. I love going out there and doing the 5k, chatting with people and it just gives me a feeling of well-being and a positive start to the weekend. It also keeps me fit!


What have you missed most about parkrun? 

Definitely not being able to do my 250th earlier. I also missed the banter and chat with people.


Who is your dream parkrunning buddy?

Sonia O’Sullivan – she is fast!


What was your best parkrun experience?

I have had so many good experiences at parkrun! Here in Macroom, Stranmillis in Belfast, St. Peters in Sydney and the Killarney parkrun in Dublin. I just can’t decide on one, they were all brilliant!


What was the funniest parkrun moment?

Telling a regular parkrunner who was standing in the middle of a flower bed to stay off the flowers, he just completely forgot about it even though the Run Director had reminded people!


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

Come along and give it a go. You can walk, jog, run, volunteer or just come along and cheer. You make friends easily and it is also a free event – what else out there is free?



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