Full Name: Conor Cavanagh

When did you join Sportsworld?

I joined in summer of 2019 for a couple of months before heading back to play football again. I rejoined again in the summer of 2021 and have stuck around this time.

What is your favourite club session?

Saturday morning track sessions. They’re always a tough workout but over quickly. A great start to the weekend.

What is your favourite race distance?

I think I’m more suited to quicker stuff. I’m trying to race more and find out what suits me really. I’ve enjoyed the 5k, 5 mile and 10k races I’ve ran for the club.

What is your favourite meal before a big race?

Black coffee, a few pints of water and a toasted bagel with peanut butter, banana and honey.

My Favourite place to train

I enjoy the winter sessions down by the Dodder – the Mount Carmel lap is always good craic as well. The Anne Valley Trail from Annestown to Dunhill down the Copper Coast is easily my favourite place for the easy mileage.

What’s your favourite race?

I think the Leinster Senior Cross Country down in Avondale was my favourite race for the club I ran in Autumn 2021. It was my cross country debut – a baptism of fire but the rolling hills and the autumn leaves on the oak trees around the course made it a lovely setting and I really enjoyed my first team event for running. I find cross country tough going so am trying to take the positives from my recent XC races.

What is your target for the next year?

Don’t get injured. Enter more races and learn what suits my body and what areas I need to improve on. Keep improving. Eat more healthily and to try to be consistent!

What international events have you ran?

I ran the Porto half Marathon a couple of years ago. 28 degrees at 8am at the start line. It was a great route along the River Douro (thanks to the Porto Municipal Fire Department for spraying us with Firehouses every 3 miles). I went to La Santa with the club last November too and had a great time.

Where’s the most interesting place you have run?

I ran around a lake in a national park on Mljet island in Croatia last summer. It was very cool! It was marketed as a place of great biodiversity – but I learned it was once overpopulated with poisonous snakes until 1911 when a bunch of Benedictine Monks decided to take matters of mother-nature into their own hands. They introduced Asian mongooses to the island to get rid of the snakes, but the mongooses proceeded to also wipe out huge amounts of the bird population too! It still was a beautiful place despite the Benedictine’s best efforts and I didn’t meet any mongooses on my run.

Where’s the most interesting place you’ve been?

Arugam Bay on the East coast of Sri Lanka where I was surfing a few years ago. Hampi in Karnataka, India a close second. Like the land before time.

What do you like doing when you don’t run? (hobbies/past times)

I’m a bit of a generalist and find lots of things interesting. I spend a lot of time getting sucked into Youtube, Reddit and Twitter holes. I’d be a huge fan of most sports and nearly all genres of music so a lot of my time is spent thinking, talking about or playing sports and music. I play in a trad session on Wednesdays down in Tramore (I’m learning the bouzouki). I also like reading and watching thrash TV in the evenings so I can try to switch my brain off (Big Timber on Netflix is currently on the go)

How/When did you start your adventure with running?

I ran for my school track team in the Steeplechase. I had a great PE teacher – former Olympian Phil Conway who was always full of encouragement. I didn’t run for a few years after school as I was playing football while in college etc and got going again while I was trying to do a bit of personal fitness work to help with football.

Tell us about your PB’s / What is your biggest achievement?

400m Indoor – 57s

800m Indoor – 2:07

5K – 16.31 (Rathfarnam 2022 – course was short!)

5 mile (Raheny 2022 – course was long) – 28:32

10K – 35:39 (Fingal 2022)

10 Miles – 55:45 (John Treacy 2023)

Half Marathon 1:24:42 (I ran 1.17 something in La Santa this year but the course was well short so not counting that as a PB!)

How often do you run / What is your typical weekly mileage?

60-70k is my target. I’m trying to build slowly at the moment to get the mileage up a bit. I usually try to run 6 days a week.

What would you say is the best thing about being in a Running Club?

The people in the club and the healthy competition in the training groups. Another important point is the wonders running does for my mental health. A clubmate said to me recently even if running was bad for their body they’d still do it because of what it does for their head and I be hugely on board with that.

Who is the person in the club who inspires/drives to run better?

Emily, Myles and Paul for their advice and coaching. Michael for the background work and dedication to the running of the club – he loves a good shoutout and the spotlight so thanks Michael Cunningham! Gareth for all the advice and encouragement. Everyone who turns up of all ages and abilities who want to improve and train – it’s no easy feat training when you have families and other life hurdles too so it is inspiring to see everyone making time to get down to the club and enjoy their running across all ages and standards.

Do you do any cross training / other sports on a regular basis?

Yes I enjoy social sports. Golfing, kayaking, football, surfing, fishing and cycling would be the ones I really like along with running. I haven’t quite caught the Sportsworld swimming bug yet but I moved to Tramore last August and have been doing more sea swimming than I usually would recently!