News - 9th November 2022

A local hero

Gerry is stood with other parkrunners in a park, who are all wearing coats.

After Gerry completed his 300th parkrun, Paul wanted to celebrate his impressive achievement, and explain why Gerry is his local hero.


If you are very lucky, your first encounter with a hero will be at home. Your mam and/or dad are obvious choices, but an elder sister or brother will provide a foundation in what it takes to be a hero. Heroes are people we admire, look up to, and inspire us. They are examples to us and encourage us to strive to be our best, our most authentic selves. What distinguishes a hero is their concern for others. Batman and Robin were two of my early heroes and later David Carradine in his role in the Kung Fu TV series.


I had moved from fact to fiction. parkrun has helped me realise a deeper truth. Real heroes are local. They do simple things in service of others. One of my Naas parkrun heroes (we are blessed with a number of them!) is Gerry Halton.


For over six years, Gerry led our Naas Parkrun ritual warm up. He was brilliant. He was encouraging, patient, funny and wise. One of his wise offers was “getting out of bed this morning and coming here is the hardest thing you have to do, so now go and enjoy your parkrun”.


Gerry also reminded us to “enjoy your parkrun today, because there will come a day when you may not be able”.


Thank you, Gerry, for being an inspiration to so many of us over the years. Gerry has been living with Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) for the last three years, yet he continues to parkrun. Gerry will always be our hero and he never stops inspiring us.


Gerry recently completed his 300th parkrun surrounded by other local heroes including his special hero, his wife Marie. Gerry loves his parkrunning; he is a loving and much-loved man.


Paul Spain

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