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Monday 26 June 2017

Parkruns 'are best thing to happen to Irish running in years'

Alan Matthews, who completed his 50th parkrun, and his dog Sheba
Alan Matthews, who completed his 50th parkrun, and his dog Sheba

A Dublin fitness fan who has completed his 50th parkrun said the weekly event is "the best thing to happen to running in the country in years".

Alan Matthews (48), from Knocklyon, has completed five marathons and started doing parkruns four years ago. He especially enjoyed Saturday's 5km in Shankill.

"It's a great distance, which is handy, but is also so sociable and the Shankill course is fairly flat, so it is a good one to do," Alan said.

Paul Gannon (53) completed his 32nd parkrun at the weekend and said they are "invaluable to the community".

Paul, from Cornelscourt in south Dublin, started running 16 months ago.

Suzanne Foot with her daughter Eleanor and Ciara Carter
Suzanne Foot with her daughter Eleanor and Ciara Carter

"They're brilliant and completely open to everyone, young and old, walkers or runners," the warehouse manager said. "It stops you going out on a Friday night, but keeps you healthy."

Paul is a member of the Bray Running Club and ran the Dublin marathon last year and, although he was joined by two of his friends yesterday, he vowed to get his wife running in future.

Suzanne Foot (44), from Shankill, said the parkrun was the perfect opportunity for people to get involved as they "aren't quite as competitive as races". Suzanne, who works in IT, is an experienced runner, but said the run is "really for everyone".

Eamonn McGuirk (56) from Shankill, has taken on the Cape Town Parkrun, but said the Shankill one "always has a fantastic atmosphere".

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