IN March of last year, Shannon was all set to have its first Park Run but Covid put paid to those plans.
Something like normality has returned, however, and there are plans to start holding the weekly runs from next month, all going well.
“Because of Covid we haven’t been able to get it going. We’ve been signed up with VHI since then, Clare Sports Partnership put up the money, there was an initial outlay of €4,000 and Clare Sports Partnership put up the money,” said Niamh O’Callaghan of the Love Shannon Community Council, which is working on the project.
“It’s going to be one of the only ones that has a loop, so you see different things. It’s actually beautiful, it’s down along the estuary. One of the ideas was to show people that Shannon isn’t just an industrial estate and an airport, that there’s more to it than that.”
The group would really like to hear from anyone who would be interested in helping to get the Park Runs going.
“We don’t have an actual start date, but we hope that it’ll be mid September. What we’re really looking for now are volunteers. We had a lot of volunteers back in 2020, but now it’s a little bit harder to get people.”
Niamh said that around 130 people attend the weekly Park Run in Limerick and she is confident that when it gets going in Shannon it will also prove very popular.
Shannon has a lot of people visiting on business and they will be able to take part, and she stresses that it’s not only for runners, that anyone at all who wants to get out for a little while will be very welcome.
“You could have someone coming in from Sweden or wherever and if they’re a Park Runner they can look up where their nearest park run is, they’ll find it’s in Illaunmanagh and there’ll be directions to it.
“They can go down and have their time registered. It’s a really great thing, it’s a global network and it’s really, really popular. It’s for people of all ages and abilities as well.
“There’s a junior park run which has started in a couple of places. It’s for walkers, for mums with buggies, It’s for people who just want to walk. It’s a nice social outlet as well, particularly when we’ve been confined for so long.”
Anyone who would lke to help with the Park Run is asked to make contact through the Love Shannon Community Council facebook page or to call Niamh at 086 0775199.
by Owen Ryan