It was a Midsummer Run with a difference. St Catherines decamped from our usual haunts in East Cork and pitched up on Bere Island, in the heart of West Cork.
We were there to take part in not one, not two but three running events happening on Saturday last, the 13th of July.
Bere Island is one of the most popular ParkRun events in the country and many of our runners and walkers, both young and old, started the event at 9.30. It was beautiful and warm, not a cloud in the sky, as our club athletes wound their way around the hilly terrain. Chris O’Connell was off like a hare, “running at marathon pace” who came home first. Many of our first timers to the island remarked on the beautiful course set in the most picturesque countryside.
The Midsummer Run events at 5k and 10k took place in the afternoon which gave the ParkRun participants, a bit of time for a coffee and cake in the village café. Thanks to Edel and Brendan Murphy for the warm welcomes, the genuine hospitality and for making us feel right at home.
As the temperatures soared into the high twenties, the races began and our club athletes prepared to battle in the very humid conditions. The most welcome sight, besides the finish line, was the many water stations dotted throughout the course. Some of us were shedding buckets of sweat trying to get around the course, never mind trying to keep up with the leaders. As per usual, our club was very well represented in numbers and yet again, we featured in the medals. Well done to Chris O’Connell who finished second in the 5k; Roisin Ronayne who finished second in the 10 k; Trevor Geary who came home 3rd in the 10k and the one and only Brenda Hickey who was declared first female veteran in the 10k. That last one may have been a clerical error!!
Yours truly had the pleasure of accompanying the legendary wheelchair athlete, Jerry Forde, around the 10k race. Not surprisingly, Jerry put on an incredible display of pure strength and determination to conquer the very difficult road conditions for a wheelchair and triumphed in a time of 1 hour 51 minutes. Thanks Jerry!
While we tucked into the post-race tea and sandwiches at the GAA club, the children’s races took place on the pitch. Well done to all the children and congrats to Aimee Kearney, Mark Geary and Sarah O’Connell for getting onto the podium as well.
And to cap it all, we then descended to Lonehort Cove, where we spent a lovely few hours swimming in the azure blue water—if felt and looked like we were in the Mediterranean Sea.
All the club, including the Kearneys, Murphys, Dunnings, O’Connells, Clancys, Gearys, Hayes, Linehans, Hickeys, Hartes and Ronayne families, finished the night off in the pub being entertained by Doireann Hayes and Sadie & Grainne Linehan playing us some traditional tunes that they learnt in County Clare last week.
Thanks as ever, to Kevin Hayes for organizing this excellent weekend away.
Looking forward already to next year.