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  • Northside West

Mayor on the run in Finglas

Monday, 20th August, 2018 1:00pm
Mayor on the run in Finglas

Debbie Henvey (left) with Lord Mayor Nial Ring, Laura Murray and Karen Henvey.

Mayor on the run in Finglas

Debbie Henvey (left) with Lord Mayor Nial Ring, Laura Murray and Karen Henvey.

DUBLIN Lord Mayor Nial Ring ran through Finglas earlier this month as part of his mission to highlight the benefits of a weekly event that’s getting Dubliners moving.

The city’s first citizen was taking part in the Tolka Valley Parkrun and while locals were somewhat surprised by the visit, some were a little disappointed when he took off his chain of office for the run.

“I enjoyed it immensely,” the Lord Mayor told Northside People.

“Apart from the fitness end of it, there’s a great sense of community up there.

“I’m aiming to do all the Parkruns in Dublin while I’m in office.

“I’ve invited all the volunteers up to the Mansion House next month to thank them for their great work.

“I’ll be delighted to host them because they are people who would love to be out there running themselves but they give up their Saturday morning to make sure others get the enjoyment out of it.

“I really admire what they do.”

The Mayor is definitely no couch potato when it comes to running, and has a personal best of 22:39.

He only returned to running recently after an injury put him out of action for seven months but so far since taking up residence in the Mansion House he  has completed Parkruns in Poppintree, Darndale and Tolka Valley.

Tolka Valley Race Director, Debbie Henvey, was delighted to host the Lord Mayor for the Finglas Parkrun.

She decided to help establish a Parkrun in Tolka Valley after taking part at events in Poppintree and Father Collins parks.

“Being from Finglas and living in Finglas I just felt that it would be good for the local community,” she said.

“There was some antisocial behaviour in Tolka Valley but it’s a lovely park and I thought it would be a good way of reclaiming it for the community.”

Tolka Valley Parkrun got off to a flying start with 180 runners and walkers turning up for the first event in February.

There’s now an average of around 40 regulars taking part every week, supported by a team of dedicated volunteers who make it possible.

“It would be great to have a few more regulars but everybody’s thrilled to have it in the park,” Debbie said. “There’s always a great atmosphere.

“The feedback has been very positive. People are just delighted to see something that’s good for the community going on in the park.

“If you’re moving to new community it’s a great way of getting to know like-minded, active people.

“It’s also just great to be outside getting some exercise. I get a great buzz out of it myself every Saturday.

“Anybody can take part as it’s completely non-competitive and you can even run with your kids.

“It’s very inclusive too. Last week we had a couple of visually impaired participants who obviously had heard that we’ve trained to be able to assist them.”

Debbie is grateful to the Tolka Valley Parkrun volunteers who dedicate their time to making sure the event runs smoothly every week.

“It’s a real team effort,” she says.

“In the background, there’s a lot of administration work, such as updating the website and social media, answering emails and queries from participants. And of course we always need volunteers on Saturdays to help out with the event itself.”

Anybody can register for Parkrun at www.parkrun.ie.

Participants can choose to walk or run at their own pace and all events start at 9.30am on Saturday mornings and are free.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here