Inspiring Rosy runs Lagan10k for Pancreatic Cancer UK

"My feet are light, my legs are strong, I can keep this pace all day long!"
~ Rosy Ryan

At Waterworks - the 2nd of my 22 parkruns for Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI - I met Rosy Ryan.  Waterworks is a great open course. The day we were there, though, it rained a lot and I found it tough going.

Rosy ran with me that day and I deeply appreciated her encouraging mantra, even if I didn't have much spare breath to join in!

I spotted that Rosy was taking part in today's Laganside 10k organised by North Belfast Harriers; Ruth and I thought we'd go along to greet Rosy and Phil at the finish line.  Also with Rosy - Andrea Kearns from Pancreatic Cancer UK.

Rosy Phil

Rosy

As we waited, it was great to see lots of people from NI's running community who we've met over the past 6 months. Northern Ireland really does have a great running community. It was also good to catch up with Matt Shields and parkrun news.

Runners

Rosy kindly agreed to a brief video interview.

Thanks to Rosy for encouragement and, really, inspiration - those words from Waterworks have often been in my head over these months.  A diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is a tough enough road.

Rosy's JustGiving page is here.  Rosy mentions Jog Belfast - link here.


Ecos - 4 Sep - 20 of 22

The forecast was 'heavy rain', so we headed to Ballymena as prepared as possible.  It seems the Ecos Centre is undergoing some renovation, but the surrounding parkland is absolutely worth a visit.

Ecos-V

Ecos has a friendly set of volunteers, with a well-organised setting up in progress as we arrived - signage, road cones, sheltered area for tea/coffee and ample biscuits.  Run Director Alastair Donaghy gave everyone a warm welcome, 

Ecos-B

Before the run, Peter Hamilton introduced himself - another runner who has already run Northern Ireland's 22 parkruns.  Peter had just run his 150th parkrun the previous week - congrats!  Ecos Ballymena is his favourite parkrun.

Ecos-A8

For Ecos, son Chris and fellow Corrymeela member David Mark ran with me.  It's another great parkrun course, organised as a two-loop figure-of-8.  The archway of trees at one stretch of the run was beautiful - sorry, didn't get a photo.

Ecos-P

Ruth has been able to come along to all of the parkruns, except Limavady.  As everyone heads into the distance, Ruth generally takes the opportunity to capture something of each course's scenery before the runners return - like this photo of a wild flowers garden.

Ecos-J

parkrun has various types of volunteer, including Guided Runners, who can run alongside people who are blind or visually impaired and their Guide Dog.  Before the run, we briefly met Torie Tennant and her Guide Dog.  Later, we finished the run close together.  Thanks to Torie for her encouragement and support.

Ecos-T

Before leaving we got to speak with Susanna and Matthew Allen.  After encountering parkrun for the first time, Susanna thought the whole experience - running and sense of community - was so good that she worked with people to set up Ecos parkrun over four years ago.   

Ecos-A9A

The Ecos sense of community was certainly alive and well on Saturday.  As Matthew said 

"The last person over the line gets as much support as the first person over the line."

And the running performance at Ecos was absolutely evidenced by the first person over the line.  Peter Avent, visiting from Edinburgh, smashed the Ecos record by 22 secs, down to 15:26.

Ecos-T1

Ecos photo album is here.

Two to go! ... Larne and, finally, Stormont 24-September.

Very best wishes,
Tim

Project Objectives

Raised for Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI: £11,639

Raised for DKMS (formerly Delete Blood Cancer): £600

People registered with DKMS as prospective donors: 62

People who have signed up with parkrun: 25

Tim's Running Progress

#

Date

Course

Age Grade

1

19 Mar

Belfast Victoria

41.2%

2

26 Mar

Belfast Waterworks

40.4%

3

16 Apr

Bangor Ward Park

35.53%

4

23 Apr

Portrush

37.12%

5

7 May

Queens

39.26%

6

14 May

Enniskillen

38.13%

7

21 May

Comber

39.50%

8

28 May

Limavady

41.97%

9

4 June

Valley

38.37%

10

11 June

Wallace

39.83%

11

18 June

Ormeau

42.55%

12

25 June

Antrim

39.80%

13

2 July

Carrickfergus

35.21%

14

9 July

Citypark Craigavon

34.48%

15

30 July

Armagh

37.12%

16

6 Aug

MUSA Cookstown

39.48%

17

13 Aug

Colin Glen

35.93%

18

20 Aug

Falls

37.88%

19

27 Aug

Derry City

42.61%

20

3 Sep

Ecos

38.88%


Derry City - 27 Aug - 19 of 22

We headed up to Derry on the Friday, staying in the friendly White Horse Hotel.  It was a beautiful evening, so before a good meal in Fitzroys we walked the course.

Derry-X5

On Saturday, we arrived at the busy starting point at 9, with time for some more photos as well as warm-up.

Derry-C

Run Director Gerard Harkin gave everyone a warm welcome, emphasising the need to give way to the (many) pedestrians, cyclists and other runners that were about.

Derry-D

Colleagues Riona and Nate from BT accompanied me, and was also good to see Riona's family and friends.

Derry-K

Before the run, I met Fidelma Hodgkinson.  Fidelma had an allogenic stem cell transplant in 2002 - her sister was donor.  It was helpful for Ruth and me to hear Fidelma say, 14 years post-transplant,

"I haven't looked back"

Swapping notes with someone who has journeyed further down the road can be an encouragement.

Derry City was a beautiful run.  At half-way, you run around a statue (which was wearing a parkrun jersey!) and head back the way you came.  Many runners on the return leg encouraged people still making their way to the half-way point.  One advantage of the Derry course is the clear visibility of the whole course - you know how much further you still have to go.  

Kerrie McIlmoyle, who I'd met at Run #8/22 at Limavady, was first woman finisher at Derry.  Kerrie came back to run the final straight with me.  With Kerrie's positivity, I went for a few final speed bursts.  So, thanks to Kerrie for helping me achieve a new PB, by 3 seconds!, of 35:10.

Afterwards, Fidelma could see I needed to recover and she gave me her water bottle. Seems a small gesture perhaps.  However, in the moment, it meant a lot.  You never know when a simple act of insightful kindness will 'land' powerfully with someone.

Derry-N

Before leaving we spoke again with Run Director Gerard.  Looking at the Peace Bridge and the shore across the River, he spoke of the variety of people who meet up at parkrun.  I left Derry mulling Gerard's words...

"We bridge lots of divides."

DerryT

Derry City photo album is here - photos from Saturday, and also some from the Friday evening.

Now, we're into the Final Three - Ecos (Ballymena), Larne and finally Stormont 24-September.

Best wishes,
Tim

Project Objectives

Raised for Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI: £11,499

Raised for DKMS (formerly Delete Blood Cancer): £600

People registered with DKMS as prospective donors: 62

People who have signed up with parkrun: 25

Tim's Running Progress

#

Date

Course

Age Grade

1

19 Mar

Belfast Victoria

41.2%

2

26 Mar

Belfast Waterworks

40.4%

3

16 Apr

Bangor Ward Park

35.53%

4

23 Apr

Portrush

37.12%

5

7 May

Queens

39.26%

6

14 May

Enniskillen

38.13%

7

21 May

Comber

39.50%

8

28 May

Limavady

41.97%

9

4 June

Valley

38.37%

10

11 June

Wallace

39.83%

11

18 June

Ormeau

42.55%

12

25 June

Antrim

39.80%

13

2 July

Carrickfergus

35.21%

14

9 July

Citypark Craigavon

34.48%

15

30 July

Armagh

37.12%

16

6 Aug

MUSA Cookstown

39.48%

17

13 Aug

Colin Glen

35.93%

18

20 Aug

Falls

37.88%

19

27 Aug

Derry City

42.61%


Restore Enniskillen parkrun to the National Trust property at Castle Coole

I'm running all of Northern Ireland's 22 parkruns for a local charity.  With 18 venues run - 4 to go - it is a terrific experience!

Each course has its own characteristics;  all have a powerful sense of achievement, community and encouraging support.

My 6th run was Enniskillen parkrun at Castle Coole, a strikingly beautiful place. 

Enniskillen-U

The blog for that day is here.

Recently Enniskillen parkrun and the National Trust decided to part ways, with Enniskillen parkrun seemingly required to relocate.  I think that development is regrettable - not just for local parkrun regulars, but also for the National Trust and the town of Enniskillen.

Heather Harper, National Trust member and parkrun regular, recently set up this change.org petition

I don't really 'do' petitions, but I am signing this one, for several reasons

  1. Welcoming
    As a National Trust member (we signed up on 14th May when we visited Castlecoole parkrun, impressed by the collaboration) I want the "Welcome to Castle Coole" sign to signify an open, progressive National Trust that strives to be inclusive and engaged with its community
    Enniskillen-A
  2. Generative
    parkrun embodies the sort of society I want to see for future generations - people taking responsibility for their well-being + opportunity for regular volunteering + positive cross-community encounter.

    The National Trust in GB promotes this positive ethos (on the NT website).  So, surely, can the local NI National Trust.

  3. Wellness-Enabling
    Research is emerging that regular exercise can help prevent some cancers, ease the path through treatment for people who get sick, and promote rehabilitation and return to work afterwards.

    As a four-time survivor of aggressive blood cancer, I am fitter and stronger than ever before.  The regional parkrun community, including the strikingly beautiful Castlecoole venue, have played a part in that.  I hope that future visitors to Enniskillen can have the same amazing running experience at Castlecoole that we enjoyed.
     

Hopefully, the National Trust and parkrun can revisit this decision - the life-affirming benefits to local people of this healthy and community-focused weekly initiative should not be discarded but, rather, treasured.

If interested, have a read of the press article above and, if supportive of retaining Castle Coole as a parkrun venue - the petition is here.


Falls - 20 August - 18 of 22

Heading to Falls parkrun, it was raining at home and, from the car, grey clouds hid the Belfast Hills. But the weather turned out kinder than expected.

Great to have supporters Dennis & Elaine Mercer along again.  

Falls-D

Sarah Williamson had offered to pace-set, including a few walk breaks. Thanks to David Price for finishing with me today, and congrats on a new PB today.

Falls-CRun Director Stuart Kennedy gave a warm welcome to everyone.  

Paul Clarke, who did the pre-run check at Colin Glen last week was at Falls this week.  We swapped our experiences of running after the race.  Paul said "I never thought I would be a runner."  This from a man who has run 66 parkruns...

Falls-R
On one of my laps, I shouted out to our Run Director

"Beautiful run at Falls!"

Stuart's retort

"Beautiful people at Falls." 

Sarah previously ran with me at Queen's in May.  Again, as we ran together, we swapped thoughts on leadership, leadership development and experience of corporate organisations.  Sarah is a highly effective mentor and encourager, taking time to understand both my need for some walking (I'm still cautious after injury) and my aspiration for 5k in less than 40 minutes.  We managed both.

Falls-I
Several people kindly gave anonymous donations to LLNI, logged here with 0% commission at BT mydonate.

After the run, Conal Corr spoke with us.  A medical graduate, Conal is starting out on his professional career.  Conal has also been fund raising for charities, including Leukaemia research, and it was great to meet him.

Thanks to everyone at Falls today for the welcome and support.  Ruth and I intend to be back to this beautiful location.  One of the benefits of doing this circuit of all NI parkruns has been discovering so many scenic places we have never visited.

Falls-P
Falls' photo album is here.

We're looking forward to next week's run at Derry - making a Bank Holiday weekend of it - after which we're into the Final Three!

Best wishes,
Tim

Project Objectives

Raised for Leukaemia & Lymphoma: £11,434

Raised for Delete Blood Cancer: £600

People registered with Delete Blood Cancer: 62

People who have signed up with parkrun: 25

Tim's Running Progress

#

Date

Course

Age Grade

1

19 Mar

Belfast Victoria

41.2%

2

26 Mar

Belfast Waterworks

40.4%

3

16 Apr

Bangor Ward Park

35.53%

4

23 Apr

Portrush

37.12%

5

7 May

Queens

39.26%

6

14 May

Enniskillen

38.13%

7

21 May

Comber

39.50%

8

28 May

Limavady

41.97%

9

4 June

Valley

38.37%

10

11 June

Wallace

39.83%

11

18 June

Ormeau

42.55%

12

25 June

Antrim

39.80%

13

2 July

Carrickfergus

35.21%

14

9 July

Citypark Craigavon

34.48%

15

30 July

Armagh

37.12%

16

6 Aug

MUSA Cookstown

39.48%

17

13 Aug

Colin Glen

35.93%

18

20 Aug

Falls

37.88%


Colin Glen - 13 August - 17 of 22

 

I had been anticipating Colin Glen as one of the more hilly courses on my tour of NI's parkruns.  With injury behind me, my physio recommended a conservative approach to running - "don't over-extend your stride" - both up- and down-hill.

Colin Glen will always be a memorable run - not due to its difficulty - but because I was fortunate to have two experienced runners at my side on this steepest run of my life to date.  Linda Harley Gillespie had offered to run with me, keeping time.  Linda is the first woman to have completed every local parkrun; she also has a great blog here.  I was also permitted to accompany Cracker in his traditional photo call! ...

Colin-Glen-B

Also, "parkrun Jim" offered to run alongside us. Jim Clinton was the first person in Ireland to complete 250 parkruns; our run together was his 275th.  Jim now has #500 in his sights. 

Colin-Glen-I

The initial 2km climb was not as tough as I had feared.  I was guided well.  The beauty at the top, running around the Lake twice with the Belfast Hills looming down on us, means that Ruth and I will be back to Colin Glen for a walk soon.

Colin-Glen-N

The Volunteer team was very friendly, with a warm welcome from Jim Bradley and Team to everyone including a group of "Steps To Health" graduates.  A number of people kindly donated to LLNI - with £111 transfer recorded here.

Colin-Glen-W

Today's album is here.

We drove home to join friends Linda & Derek Bell who were having a coffee morning in support of LLNI.  This was very well supported - photos & amount raised are on the blog and Facebook.

Next week, we're into the 'Final Five' ...

  • Falls
  • Derry
  • Ecos
  • Larne
       then  a contingency week, before...
  • Stormont, final run, on 24 Sep

Thanks to everyone for the support which has been, and continues to be, powerful.

Best wishes,
Tim

Project Objectives

Raised for Leukaemia & Lymphoma: £11,424

Raised for Delete Blood Cancer: £600

People registered with Delete Blood Cancer: 62

People who have signed up with parkrun: 25

Tim's Running Progress

#

Date

Course

Age Grade

1

19 Mar

Belfast Victoria

41.2%

2

26 Mar

Belfast Waterworks

40.4%

3

16 Apr

Bangor Ward Park

35.53%

4

23 Apr

Portrush

37.12%

5

7 May

Queens

39.26%

6

14 May

Enniskillen

38.13%

7

21 May

Comber

39.50%

8

28 May

Limavady

41.97%

9

4 June

Valley

38.37%

10

11 June

Wallace

39.83%

11

18 June

Ormeau

42.55%

12

25 June

Antrim

39.80%

13

2 July

Carrickfergus

35.21%

14

9 July

Citypark Craigavon

34.48%

15

30 July

Armagh

37.12%

16

6 Aug

MUSA Cookstown

39.48%

17

13 Aug

Colin Glen

35.93%


Coffee Morning

Friends Linda and Derek Bell decided some months ago to have a coffee morning in support of LLNI in their home.

Yesterday, after the Colin Glen run, Ruth and I headed home to be join the community of neighbours in our street, Beechlands Park, and family and friends.  The craic was good as we caught up with each other over coffee, tea and loads of treats which people had kindly prepared.

Thank you to everyone who came along and supported - an amazing £976 (!!!) was raised.

As the BT Belfast Bake Sale also showed - Northern Ireland people like their coffee and cake.

Coffee-Morning-C

Coffee-Morning-A

Coffee-Morning-I

Coffee-Morning-H

Coffee-Morning-K

Coffee-Morning-L


MUSA Cookstown - 6 August - 16 of 22

Beacons of Hope

A special day today at Cookstown, the 16th #TimPageFitForLife parkrun; Ruth and I encountered some very special people today.

Ailis Corey has faced treatment for Hodgkin's Lymphoma.  This included an 'allogenic' stem cell transplant.  In December 2013, I had an autologous transplant - my own stem cells - whereas allogenic is a tougher and riskier procedure, where you receive a donor's stem cells.

Happily, Ailis' sister Brenda was a match and the transplant has been a success.  So much of a success that Ailis has just returned from the British Transplant Games with a Silver in the 3k Walk and Bronze in the 10k Road Race Cycle.

Cookstown_G

Ailis, family and friends have travelled a tough road at times. Part of the battle was to campaign for funding within NI of the drug Brentuximab. More details are at Ailis' Support Fund Facebook page which includes a photo montage of Liverpool successes.

The word 'Inspiring' simply doesn't do justice to the resilience & spirit lived out by Ailis and family & friends.

An audio interview with Ailis by journalist Gillian McDade is here

Arriving at MUSA, we met Julie Kelly.  Tragically, Julie's sister Lynne died of cancer.  Julie and some running friends have established Seapark Charity Runners to support two charities - Macmillan and Brainwaves NI.    

Julie explained that, as well as running her way around all Northern Ireland parkruns, she has also just completed 10 x 10k runs.  It was good to swap notes with Julie about NI's parkruns - we were both impressed by the beauty of the Enniskillen course.  Again today, here was human resilience and an outward-looking generative response to aftermath of a horrible disease.

Cookstown_E

Julie and team's JustGiving page is here.

Run Director Irwin Spiers gave a very warm welcome today, inviting me to say a few words to the runners and volunteers.  Er, next time, I'll need to remember to click the mega-phone trigger button - but I'm learning and won't make that mistake again.

The regular physio and rehab exercises after recent injury are doing the job of keeping my running condition ok.  I'm grateful for the encouragement of colleagues John Purvis, Cathal O'Neill and Phil Lockett  - the BT posse - who ran with me today.  With Cathal timing, I got a 30 second walk-break every four minutes and still came in under 40 minutes... Good to be getting back on form.  

Cookstown_D

We're now into a #TimPageFitForLife pattern of asking parkrun Volunteers to join in a group photo before/after the race, to recognise the fact that 

"No volunteers... No parkrun!"

Cookstown_S

Thanks to the MUSA Cookstown team for the warm welcome today. 

We got in the car and headed home to Holywood, listening to Radio Ulster.  

On the same day that we met Ailis and heard about her success at the Transplant Games, serendipity struck.

We were delighted to hear Lucia Quinney Mee speaking.  The Quinney Mees are family friends and they, also, have faced a challenging road at times. Lucia, who has endured and come through three liver transplants, was also at the Transplant Games.  Lucia won seven medals!   

Lucia's interview is on BBC iPlayer until 3-Sep, here, and her 6 minute story is worth listening to.

Lucia has also recently created a blog, live-loudly-donate-proudly.org - I can recommend this excellent post.

Live-Loudly-Donate-Proudly

What a day... running performance regained, another friendly parkrun community, stories of resilience & support through adversity  and a timely reminder of the vital benefit of transplants - a spur to renew our #TimPageFitForLife effort to give people an opportunity to sign up as stem cell donors.

Thank you for support.

Today's album is here and next week I'll be at Colin Glen.

Best wishes,
Tim

Project Objectives

Raised for Leukaemia & Lymphoma: £10,151

Raised for Delete Blood Cancer: £500

People registered with Delete Blood Cancer: 62

People who have signed up with parkrun: 25

Tim's Running Progress

#

Date

Course

Age Grade

1

19 Mar

Belfast Victoria

41.2%

2

26 Mar

Belfast Waterworks

40.4%

3

16 Apr

Bangor Ward Park

35.53%

4

23 Apr

Portrush

37.12%

5

7 May

Queens

39.26%

6

14 May

Enniskillen

38.13%

7

21 May

Comber

39.50%

8

28 May

Limavady

41.97%

9

4 June

Valley

38.37%

10

11 June

Wallace

39.83%

11

18 June

Ormeau

42.55%

12

25 June

Antrim

39.80%

13

2 July

Carrickfergus

35.21%

14

9 July

Citypark Craigavon

34.48%

15

30 July

Armagh

37.12%

16

6 Aug

MUSA Cookstown

39.48%


Armagh - 30 July - 15 of 22

Well, what a week that was.

An exciting week in BT work, supporting the launch of BT Sport On EE:

Mid-week, I resumed running, thanks to benefits of an ongoing physio programme

Then, on Thursday, NI's Regulation & Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) Belfast Marathon runners and Office team handed over £621 to LLNI.

TimPageFitForLife-RQIA

#TimPageFitForLife exceeded double the £5000 target for LLNI donations, with £10028 raised to date for vital research, in the same week that LLNI's Joanne Badger handed me the recent NI Institute of Fundraising nomination. 

TimPageFitForLife-BWFVY

I completed the Armagh run yesterday, with great support from BT colleagues and friends.

Armagh is a particularly beautiful course - a mix of hilly parkland and woodland.

There was a sense of close local community amongst the runners - I guess the 'further out' parkruns, not close to many other runs, tend to have a more constant attendance.

Thanks to Run Director Mark Lundy for the warm welcome.

Armagh-D

It was great to have work colleagues Liz Leckey and Brenda Hilley along on their first parkrun.
I really appreciated BT colleague & runner Gavin McBride's pace-setting.  We alternated between 3 minutes running and 30 seconds walk.  Perhaps it was due to Gavin's guidance that I headed home with no muscle pain and hopeful for a straight run ahead through the remaining 7 venues.

Armagh photo album is here, thanks to Sarah Irwin for the amazing cake!

Armagh-Q

Next week, we're at Cookstown

Through August & September, as well as running and fund-raising, we'll be

  1. Working with DKMS to drive up the number of prospective stem cell donors, and,
  2. Producing video interviews about the role of fitness, medical care and research in preventing and treating blood cancers

As the final two months of our #TimPageFitForLife project start tomorrow... ideas, offers of support & publicity, donations and questions for the video interviews are all very welcome.

Best wishes,
Tim

Project Objectives

Raised for Leukaemia & Lymphoma: £10,028

Raised for Delete Blood Cancer: £500

People registered with Delete Blood Cancer: 62

People who have signed up with parkrun: 23

Tim's Running Progress

#

Date

Course

Age Grade

1

19 Mar

Belfast Victoria

41.2%

2

26 Mar

Belfast Waterworks

40.4%

3

16 Apr

Bangor Ward Park

35.53%

4

23 Apr

Portrush

37.12%

5

7 May

Queens

39.26%

6

14 May

Enniskillen

38.13%

7

21 May

Comber

39.50%

8

28 May

Limavady

41.97%

9

4 June

Valley

38.37%

10

11 June

Wallace

39.83%

11

18 June

Ormeau

42.55%

12

25 June

Antrim

39.80%

13

2 July

Carrickfergus

35.21%

14

9 July

Citypark Craigavon

34.48%

15

30 July

Armagh

37.12%


Schedule update at 24-July

Here's an update on my running schedule, following two rest Saturdays due to calf injury.

This week's run is at Armagh.  Then, Derry is moved to Aug 27, Ecos to Sep 3 & Larne to Sep 10.

I'm looking forward to the remaining runs - thanks to everyone for interest and support.

Tim

Schedule_v4