Meet the runner is with Gareth Murran. Formally Gareth refused to do any kind of running that did not involve running around a track, but he has recently taken to cross country as a Master and ran the 2018 Dublin Marathon in 2.37. The fastest time that year for anyone ar the running club.
When did you join Sportsworld?
I joined in early 2009 after doing the 2008 Dublin marathon. I was playing tag rugby in Terenure and someone suggested I was fast and should try running.
Where do you work?
I work out in the city for a company called Zevo Health. We make apps like for mental health, nutrition and exercise. The business is based in Ireland but we have an international team and a development group in India. I’m a product manager by profession and have been working in that field for 10 years. My previous experience is in travel and e-commerce.
What is your favourite club session?
Track on a Saturday morning. The faster the better. I find it much easier than longer stuff. I also love the smooth surface and never feel tired after it’s over.
What is your favourite race distance?
I used to say I love the 800M as it’s a great mix of speed and endurance. It was my goal when I joined the club to break 2 minutes for 800M but I could never get below 2.02. I decided in 2016 to step up to 1500M and have been relatively successful with National and Regional medals. My heart is still in the 800M. My top athlete David Rudisha ran the best race I have seen at London 2012 in the 800M. Recently I have stepped up to the Marathon.
What is your favourite meal before a big race?
I’m a picky eater so just some easily digestible carbs and some electrolytes. I do take 200mg of caffeine before a race that is 5K or less. I started experimenting with my salt levels also.
My Favourite place to train/compete is?
I’m lucky enough to travel regularly. In the past year running highlights have been the Brooklyn Bridge, Golden Gate Park, Boston Common, The Trump Golf Course in LA, Rocky Mountain National Park, Zion National Park, Montreal, Toronto, Iceland, India and along the Thames in London to name but a few. I look forward so much to the Lanzarote 4-day running challenge each November with the club. This past year, 2018 was the best yet, great weather, fabulous company and I was running well. The last race was the highlight. One of those days you don’t have too often where you surprise yourself and it seems effortless. I’d have to mention the park run in Bere Island here also which is epic.
What is your target for the next year?
My main goal is the Berlin Marathon 2019 and to run at 2.29. I think I can go sub 2.30 but this will be my first time taking on the distance with serious training (100 mile weeks). I’m running a half marathon in July and plan to run low 70’s. I’m not giving up on the track though and although my PB’s at 800M (2.02) and 1500M (4.04) may be in the past, my PB at the mile is weak at 4.29 so I’d like to break that in the upcoming summer races. I had a chance to break my 10K in a recent race but I went out at a stupid pace and lost the head after 6K. I reckon I can get 32.XX on the clock and a 15.2X 5K this year. You have to believe in yourself, that you can do it.
What is your best Sportsworld memory?
Leading my 800M heat at the end of the first lap of the nationals in Santry. Mark English Irish international who has run 1:45 is sitting in behind me.
What international events have you run?
Quite a few bits a recent highlight as the great race in Malibu. Voted in the top 5 half marathons in all of the US. The race starts off in Paramount Ranch. The 1950s, Western Town was created for television shows, such as The Cisco Kid. The race also passed along the famous Mulholland drive and scenic Agoura Hills. I did not look at the course profile before the race started. The hills killed me. Two-thirds of the way in I was passed by about 5 runners, including the first woman and my pace slowed to a 4.00KM crawl. My pride was saved by finding out later that the leading lady came 3rd in the recent LA marathon. I battled home the last 10K and finished in 1:23. Another bucket list race through some of the most beautiful scenery in Southern California. I realized after this race that LA is a car city as there are so many hills. It’s the 10%+ that will put hair on your chest.
What do you like doing when you don’t run?
There isn’t a huge amount of spare time between work and training at the moment. The U.S. Navy SEALs have a saying: “Get comfortable being uncomfortable.” If you can be comfortable being uncomfortable, you’ll be prepared to handle whatever situation comes along in your own life. The marathon training can be a grind some days and it’s important to build the discipline. In 2018 I did an Instagram project where you post a photo you took every day for a year. It has re-ignited my love of photography and I’ve met some new people from it.
How/When did you start your adventure with running?
I was playing tag rugby in August 2008 and one of the guys said I was fast. I trained for 10 weeks. Although I almost walked the last mile I ran 2:53:51. this was my first marathon. 2018 was my second.
Tell us about your PB’s / What is your biggest achievement?
My best PB is 4:04 in the 1500M. It was a perfect race. Emily was there and she said go out and run 64-second laps,s o that’s what did. It was the first time I featured in an A graded race coming second. That was in 2015 which is still my standout year.
How often do you run / What is your typical weekly mileage?
I run 9-10 times a week. I’m averaging 70-80+ miles a week now but want to hit 100+. I’ve built up slowly. I prefer to run twice in a day rather than do long miles, so I can keep the pace moving. I listen to music as I find it distracts me, especially when I’m running slow or fatigued.
What would you say is the best thing about being in a Running Club?
Having a good bunch of guys to push you keeps you motivated and getting better. Winning athlete of the year was great. I’m not the most chatty person and can be quite serious before a session or race but I do enjoy the company and craic once the serious business is over with.
What was your first day at the Club like?
I remember doing Hills and Sprints and trying to take Phil Killgannon on the first hill. It was a dumb ass move to make.
Why is running important to you?
Takes the stress out of life and keeps me healthy. It’s those days when you’re not in great form and you can just get out and run.
Is there anything you would like to see more of or less of at the Club?
I’m not mad on running on unevenly slippery surfaces so I would love to see a trail around Bushy Park. In recent years we haven’t been able to run on the path quite as much. Because of that I probably prefer winter training as it focuses mostly on road running.
Who is the person in the club who inspires/drives to run better?
Paul Duffy was probably the hardest trainer I saw in the club so I’d probably say Paul for his dedication. Running 2:29 for the marathon was some achievement. Emily and Myles of course for their support and dedication. Michael Cunningham deserves a mention because of all the work he puts in behind the scenes. I hear he makes nice cakes and smoothies as well.
Do you do any cross training / other sports on a regular basis?
I used to do a bit of spinning a few times a week but I stopped. With all the running I’ve gotten lazy and it’s just stretching and Pilates sessions twice a week. I have a box full of rollers, massage balls, and other such torture devices.