A Park Runner, from the heart…

Keeping it in the family. Last Hallowe'en, the Kennys did a serious assault on Griffeen. Left to right: Adam, Dallan, Oren, Saoirse, Declan, Adam and Robert Kenny (my brother)
Keeping it in the family. Last Hallowe’en, the Kennys did a serious assault on Griffeen. Left to right: Adam, Dallan, Oren, Saoirse, Declan, Adam and Robert Kenny (my brother)

Each Park Run newsletter arrives with a variety of info on runs around the country, and news on sponsorship and T-shirts, etc. This caught my eye from the latest one just in the box. It’s Griffeen, in Lucan, where I go to ‘Park Run’.

I hope Teresa McCarthy doesn’t mind me re-posting her feedback. It says everything you could hope to say about Park Run. If you don’t yet indulge, check out the website for your nearest venue.

I am a Griffeen parkrunner:

– Every Saturday morning, I get to run a free, timed, 5k event in the lovely Griffeen Valley park

– I get to run with people from all walks of life

– I run with fit4lifers of all ages, people who decided to get off the couch and get to running 5k

– I also run with elite athletes, people who have completed marathons and ultra marathons including Dublin City Marathon, Donadea 50k, marathons at the North Pole, the Antarctic, the desert, Everest Base Camp, 24hr marathons, 95 laps of a running track marathons – so many marathons!

– I get to hear of people’s life experience and running experience • I get to hang out with lots of young people • I get to hang out with a few people who are the same age as or older than me

– I get encouragement from all of these people, who support me in my running

– I get to encourage and motivate other people around me, all doing our best to complete another 5k

– I get to run my own run every week, whether I’m chasing a pacer for a PB, or using parkrun as a heart-rate training run, or doing a run-walk because of injury or because I’m supporting a friend on their first parkrun. And whether I am coming in with a PB or am last finisher, I will be cheered across the finish line with the same enthusiasm as met the first finishers.

– I get to encourage friends to start running and to join parkrun – some of my friends have become regular park runners having had their first taste at Griffeen

– When I volunteer, I get to cheer people on, to appreciate the hard work every parkrunner puts in to completing their run

– I get to improve my physical fitness

– I get encouragement from my parkrunner friends to sign up for races and increase my distances. Every race I have signed up for I’ve participated with parkrunner friends, who always wait at the finish line to cheer me home.

– I get to improve my mental fitness – parkrunning blows the cobwebs away, gets the endorphins going, gives me a sense of achievement having completed another run.

– Looking forward to parkrunday every week gives me the impetus and discipline to follow an ongoing training plan, so that I find myself running 4-5 times a week.

– I get to teach my children that sport is not always about winning, that it is enough to take part and to enjoy the experience, that as long as you do your best, it will always be good enough.

– I get to bring my children when I volunteer, so that they learn to contribute to the community, that the value of contribution is not always determined by monetary payment received.

– I get to have so much fun. Who’d have thought I could get so much from parkrun?

Thank you, Paul Sinton-Hewitt, for parkrun.

Thank you, Matt Shields, for bringing parkrun to Ireland.

Thank you, Paul Richardson, for bringing parkrun to Griffeen.

And thank you to each and every parkrunner who plays a part in making my Saturday

mornings special.

Teresa McCarthy.

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