After talking to her sister Crona a number of weeks ago, this week we meet another one of Sportsworlds most successful athletes Aoife Brady. From a 5k PB of 17:02 to picking up silver and bronze medals at the National Senior Track and Field Championships to selection for Irish International Cross Country teams, this popular runner has represented the club with distinction since 2007.
When did you join Sportsworld?
I joined Sportsworld in 2007. After starting work in Dublin and doing a couple of longer races for fun I decided I’d like to get back into training and wanted a group to run with. Stephen Willoughby, who worked in the same company as me at the time suggested I come down to Sportsworld so I thought why not? I’d heard about Emily and Mick Dowling and had seen the red and white singlet at a few races so I headed down to Terenure one Tuesday evening.
Where do you work?
I work as an Actuary for Standard Life, a savings and investment company based on Stephen’s Green
What is your favourite club session?
I have so many of them but would have to say that my favourite is the Saturday morning winter session in the phoenix park either over the Munich lap or on the polo grounds. Km or mile reps are my favourite.
What is your favourite race distance?
I like the middle distance events and my favourite is the 3k on the track. Off the track my favourite is the 10km
What is your favorite meal before a big race?
Usually something plain and familiar, a bowl of porridge and two boiled eggs.
My Favourite place to train/compete is?
That has to be the Phoenix Park without a doubt. I love the Saturday morning sessions there and the long Sunday runs. We are so lucky to have such a great park in the city. The fact I live close to the park on the north side is also a bonus!
What is your target for next year?
I’ll just continue running to keep fit and for the enjoyment, doing a few races along the way.
What is your best Sportsworld memory?
I have lots of great memories with the club, most of which involve the team events! Winning the National Intermediate cross country individual and team titles in Tymon Park in 2009 with my twin sister Crona on the team was really special. Crona had only take up distance running two years before that (after being a very successful triple jumper!) so I was especially proud that she’d come so far in such a short space of time. She didn’t thank me for helping her to become ineligible for novice or intermediate after that though!
Over the years we have tried so hard to win the national senior inter-clubs cross country team title, coming agonisingly close on two occasions. The most memorable being in 2010 in the Phoenix Park when myself, Crona, Eimear, Lucy, Jean and Helen gave our all but were beaten by a very narrow margin. That’s one team title that I’d have loved to have won, particularly for Emily who put so much time and effort into getting us in shape for those races. Competing in the European clubs in the red and white would have been a great achievement for all involved.
What international events have you ran?
I’ve run the international Lotto Cross Cup Mol, Belgium twice and also ran for the Irish Universities on the track and cross country. I also try to jump into the parkruns in any cities that I visit
How/when did you start your adventure with running?
I always ran as a child starting in primary school where schools athletics was pretty big. I was into all sorts of sports as a child and teenager playing basketball, badminton and football competitively. I ran sporadically in university before getting back into it more seriously after I started working full time.
Tell us about your pbs/ What is your biggest achievement?
My pbs are 4.26 for 1500m, 9.35 3k, 17.02 5km and 36.21 10km. Like most people I always thought that once I’d set my pb I would definitely run faster on another occasion, starting with the track times! I’m probably most proud of winning silver and bronze medals at the national senior track and field in 2009 and 2011 and finishing fourth in a high quality national 1500m in 2009. Winning the national intermediate cross country individual and team titles and two top 6 finishes in the national senior cross country were other good days.
How often do you run/what is your typical weekly mileage?
At the moment I get out running when I can. I aim do the club session on a Tuesday and a log run on a Sunday with a few runs in between.
What would you say is the best thing about being in a running club?
The club spirit is great. Running as part of a team motivates you to work hard and get the best out of yourself. The quality of training in Sportsworld is fantastic and the sense of comradery really pushes you on. I’ve made some close friends and also met my husband through running so it’s been great for me for a number of reasons!
What made you join a running club?
I love the structure of a running club and the organised sessions. I lived in Monaghan for a few years when I was a teenager and had a great coach and training group there so when I moved to Dublin I wanted to try to re-create that.
What was your first day in the club like?
I loved it right from the start. Everyone was so welcoming and Emily was really encouraging. I didn’t know what to expect so I just jumped into one of the groups and started from there. Not long after I found myself on the start line of the interclubs cross country- a baptism of fire for a newbie! The rest of the girls on the team that day – Jean Wilson, Lucy D’arcy, Sandra Gowran, Lisa Dowling, Kathleen O’Callaghan and Helen White– were so friendly and welcoming and it really encouraged me to train harder after that.
Is there anything you would like to see more or less of in the club?
I think the club is great and we are so lucky to have great coaches, great team spirit and a clubhouse. If there was one thing I’d like to see more off it would be more people representing the club at championship races. The club have a long history in championship racing and it would be brilliant to see more and more people keeping the club at that level. I’d also love to see the senior women winning that elusive national club cross country title some day! The men’s teams have gone from strength to strength over the last few years with some great individual and team performances which is great to see and long may it continue.
Who is the person in the club who inspires/drives to run better?
That would have to be Emily. Her dedication to the sport and her enthusiasm is so inspiring and she is someone that I really look up to. She is so encouraging to everyone in the club and her endless energy is infectious. Myles is also someone who gives so much to the club sessions and has always been very encouraging to me, and not afraid to say when you should be running faster!
Do you do any cross training/other sports on a regular basis?
I do pilates and a small bit of cycling