After a long period of hot weather I was woken rain pounding on the window. I peeled myself out of bed and threw a rain jacket in my bag … preparing for the worst. However, by the time I made it to the ferry, only a minute before it left, the rain had abated, the Elbow style strings had kicked in, and it was looking like a beautiful day.
There was definitely something in the air that felt a bit like renewal and freshness – but I hope whoever described it as autumnal this morning was a bit premature! 70 park runners along with some four-legged friends, sadly sans prize-winning costumes, gathered to hear the measured tones of Run Director Barry set us underway, after welcoming visitors from Cork and California.
The fresh breeze blew in seven fantastic first timers and clearly put wind in the sails of both newcomers and natives as eight of our number sped to PBs!
There surely was something in the air as our first finisher, Ben Murphy bagged a PB and also, just nicked the top spot from Garry Moriarty who finished in the same time. Mairead Murphy, first female finisher, also managed a PB by 20 seconds!
So, so far we have a dead heat for first, and first male and females with PBs, but there was some icing on the cake to come though in these magical conditions. PBs were also achieved by Proinnsias – whose times have been toppling of late- and Martha O’Conner completed her 100th Park Run on Bere Island with a PB to top it off.
In the packed Bake House, due to a later ferry schedule, there was extra time for mainlanders to hang around and enjoy the cake and celebrations of a century of runs for Martha and a half century birthday for John Walsh, a central park run protagonist.
Away from the Park Run, regulars Jacinta and Carol Hurley were racing over 10k in Kilarney and Claire Elphick was further afield at a Park Run in Belfast.
Well done and congratulations to everyone celebrating this weekend, let’s hope the fresher weather continues into festival season.
We should have some more celebrations next week when Beara ACs small band of C25K runners come to “graduate” by completing the Park Run next week. Next Sunday, also consider joining Beara AC, Bantry AC and West Cork Trail Runners as we make our way from the Pontoon to the memorial at the historical burial place of princess Beara.
As ever, thanks to the Bakehouse and Bere Island ferries – visitors enjoyed the chance to linger over our post-run treats. Thanks also to volunteers young and not so young, new and experienced. There was some particularly wonderful intergenerational marshalling from the Hanley family this week. Already looking forward to next time – see you then!