6 years of Sanctuary Runners – Sylvester’s Story

I arrived in Ireland in March 2022 and felt a mixture of excitement and loneliness. I saw a flyer in my accommodation centre for the ‘Sanctuary Run 2022’ to mark World Refugee week. I went along and that was my first stint with the amazing group. When I got injured while on my solo runs, I was invited to Poppintree Parkrun by other Sanctuary Runners. After that the rest is history.

Being part of Sanctuary Runners gives assurance and the support you need, especially mentally. Because I love running it introduced me to the wider Ireland running community. The love and support is above and beyond. When you really need support you get, un-diluted. This happened when I got injured during a half marathon and I got the support. Even now I still cannot comprehend it! You get to meet different people in the same situation as you and helpful information is passed around.

I’ve met tons and tons of people from other countries. It’s so good for inter-cultural interaction

Sanctuary Runners was a platform for me to start interacting with people in Ireland. I have met so many locals from parkrun through Sanctuary Runners. To be honest, if I managed to find Parkrun on my own I would be that guy who comes runs and as soon as he finishes disappears, but because of Sanctuary Runners I am more involved with parkrun than with Sanctuary Runners on a Saturday morning. I was given the opportunity to be a Run Director.

If someone was thinking of joining the group, I would say it is worth a try! After all you lose nothing if you don’t like it but 9/10 you will find a place you call home away from home. The support from everyone involved is tremendous. It is a lovely group with passionate people that are full of love.