My Weekend: A total of 136 parkruns under my belt... I'm aiming for my 150th!

Colette Ryan who regularly takes part and also volunteers in the Ballincollig parkrun talks to us about her work in Penneys, love of Cork City FC and trip to the Arctic circle
My Weekend: A total of 136 parkruns under my belt... I'm aiming for my 150th!
Colette Ryan at Everest base camp Tibet .

Tell us about yourself:

I grew up in Cork city and have lived here all of my life, except for a short time when my father, who is a Limerick man, decided we should live in his home city for a time. So he packed us all up and off we went. Needless to say we only stayed a short time and came back to Cork city.

I went to school at South Presentation Convent which is now a heritage centre. I had many happy memories there.

After I left school I got a job in Penneys on Patrick Street where I am still working. I enjoy working there. Everyday brings a new challenge. It is a busy place and makes the day go quick. I do the early shift.

I have lots of hobbies. I love to travel, to take photos, sport, reading, meeting up with friends and running. I am an avid supporter of Cork City FC. I have a season ticket.

Describe your ideal Friday night?

To be honest I don’t really drink. My weekend starts when I finish at 3.30pm on Friday evening. If the soccer season is on I head to Turner’s Cross for the home games of Cork City. Meeting up with family and friends there, we have a great banter and craic. Happy if the team are winning or dismal if they are losing. It is one of the best places to go to on a Friday night, especially in the summer. If soccer is not on then I usually relax at home, watch a film or do some gardening.

Lie in or up with the lark?

I am an up with the lark girl. As I have to be up early for work my weekends tend to be the same, even if I am not working. I still wake at the same time. A lie in for me would be until 9am.

On Saturday morning I wake early and I head out to the Ballincollig Regional Park to help set up for parkrun which starts at 9.30am. I put the signs out on the course, so you don’t get lost. I like to walk the course. I also take the photos at the parkrun. Lots of people love to have their photo taken after they have run or walked the 5k course. For some people it’s a wonderful achievement. I have 136 parkruns completed. My next aim is 150.

Colette Ryan, who has run 136 parkruns and is aiming for her 150th.
Colette Ryan, who has run 136 parkruns and is aiming for her 150th.

Does work creep into the weekends?

I tend not to think about work at the weekend, only when bedtime on Sunday comes around, then I sort of think about it.

Where would you head for a break, if money was no object?

If money was no object I would love to do a trip to the Antarctic. I did a trip to the Arctic circle and it was one of my more memorable trips. Closer to home I love taking trips around Ireland. Recently I went to Waterford with my friend Brenda. There is so much to see and do there and some great cafes too. I also love heading to Kerry too. Dingle is one of my favourites.

Do you catch up with family and friends?

I like to catch up with my family on Sundays. I tend to go to Sunday lunch with my parents and sister. We just sit around the table and chat and relax. Sometimes I may do a road race on a Sunday morning. I do the races which are run by the Cork BHAA. the distance ranging from a 5k to a 6k.

Do you get to indulge in any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

I have a lot of hobbies. I like to travel. I like adventure holidays. I recently returned from China and Tibet and the Everest Base camp, which was a great experience. I can also indulge in my other hobby, photography, on these trips.

Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the latter do you have a signature dish?

I like to be entertained.

We have so many places to eat out in Cork — where are your go-to spots for coffee/lunch/special meal?

I like Eco in Douglas, also Greenes in MacCurtain street, and I like to meet friends for coffee at the Blackrock Castle Cafe after walking, it is lovely to head for a coffee after a brisk walk.

Sunday night comes around too fast.. how do you normally spend it?

It is usually a quiet night for me. Watching TV or reading. I am up early, so I try to get to bed reasonably early.

What time does your alarm go on Monday morning?

My alarm goes off at 5.15am, up with the birds.

About Ballincollig parkrun

Ballincollig parkrun is a free timed 5km run which takes place every Saturday morning at 9.30am near the allotments in the Regional Park in Ballincollig. Runners and walkers of all ages and abilities are welcome to take part or to volunteer.

Register at It is organised entirely by volunteers. Contact ballincollighelpers@

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