Thursday 27 October 2016

Family-centred fun runs becoming the best way to start weekend

Leisha Pimlott, Helen Smith, Jennifer Davis, Sharon Devine and Róisín Mac Cobb
Leisha Pimlott, Helen Smith, Jennifer Davis, Sharon Devine and Róisín Mac Cobb
Paddy O'Connor and his son James
Dublin City Council's Fr. Collins park run, Clongriffin, Donaghmede.
Paddy O'Connor, Raheny with his son James O'Connor

a 5km run on a Saturday morning is one way to blow the cobwebs off as the weekend begins.

More than 100 people took part in the third ParkRun in Fr Collin's Park in Donaghmede on Saturday.

The initiative is sponsored by Dublin City Council and it is not a race, but a timed event that is open to runners or joggers of all abilities.

The family-centred event will run every weekend and it is one of the latest fun runs to be established in city parks across the capital.

Paddy O'Connor from Raheny ran the course with his son James, who is just 19 months old, in his buggy.

"It's a great event for entry-level people because you're not expected to run fast - you don't even have to run it, you could walk it," Mr O'Connor told the Herald.

"It really is a family event, there are people there with their children, grandparents - it's great.

"It gets you up on a Saturday when you might otherwise while away the day in bed.

"There are playgrounds where we can bring the little fella and everyone usually has a cup of coffee afterwards so you get to know the regulars," he added. "It really is a community event rather than an atheltics event."

Mr O'Connor usually takes part in the ParkRun in St Anne's Park in Raheny with his wife.

Declan Power from Baldoyle was the fastest time on Saturday morning but he was quick to point out that it is not a race.

"You're competing against yourself, or for many of us we're competing against our age," he joked.

The Clonliffe Harriers runner completed the 5km in 16 minutes but he said he was just pleased to see the event take place in his local park.

"It's perfect for that event, because it's flat, but also because it's such a nice park.

"People who didn't know the park said that they'd be back, which is terrific," he added.

The ParkRun initiative is also sponsored by Irish Sports Council, Athletics Ireland and the Department of Health.

"It seems to be growing and they're starting to take it up in other parts of the country now too," Mr Power said.


People can register to take part in the ParkRun at www.parkrun.ie, registering will allow each runner's time to be recorded. The run kicks off at 9.30am on Saturdays.

ParkRuns are staffed by local volunteers.

There are also runs in Malahide Castle Grounds, Poppintree Park, Ballymun and Marlay Park.

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