When did you join Sportsworld?

The end of March 2016. I started a new job on the Monday and turned up at Sportsworld for the first time on the Tuesday.

Where do you work?

I’m an addiction support worker for a community addiction team in Inchicore.

What is your favourite club session?

Hills and Sprints in the winter and fartlek in Bushy Park in the summer. I also really love the long Sunday run/chats/coffee.

What is your favorite race distance?

I’m still trying to figure that one out. It’s definitely not the shorter distances. I’m terrible at them. I usually feel like puking from start to finish without much to show for my effort. So, at the moment my favorite is probably the half marathon (with the exception of the last one I ran in Cork when I thought I was going to need an ambulance after the first 5 miles). I did get a PB in pint drinking that weekend though!

What is your favourite meal before a race?

Porridge with honey. I might also have an egg depending on race time.

My favourite place to train is?

The Waterworks on a Sunday.

What’s your favourite race?

Docklands 5K – Yes I know I said I didn’t like the shorter races and I don’t don’t but I always enjoy this one. There are always so many from the club racing, it’s nice to race in the city centre and there is always a great night out after.

What is your current target?

  • To remain injury free
  • To complete DCM – my first marathon
  • To continue chipping away at my shorter distance race times.

What’s your best Sportsworld memory?

I have loads of great memories. The recent weekend in Cork for the half marathon was really great

What international events have you taken part in?

None, but that will change in November when I make my Lanzarote debut!

Where’s the most interesting place you have run?

Still working on that one!

Where’s the most interesting place you have been (Doesn’t have to be running related)

Iceland for it’s volatile nature and Taiwan as it was the first time I’d lived and worked in a completely different culture.

What do you do when you don’t run?

I love to travel. I don’t get to do it as often as I would like but I have spent a lot of time travelling over the years. I also love spending time and having a pint or 2 with family and friends. Oh, and I eat. I eat a lot!!

When did you start your adventure with running?

I’ve always been very active and enjoyed keeping fit but I always hated running and decided years ago that I couldn’t run. Then about 3 or 4  years ago I started signing up for the odd 5 or 10K. I would do this about once or twice a year and train for about a month before (running no more than once maybe twice a week) – just enough to get me around the course. I was really into lifting weights in the gym when I dropped a dumbbell on my finger shattering it. Because I couldn’t really do anything else for 8 weeks I started running more regularly.

Then in December 2015 I completed the 10k fat turkey run up Howth Summit. I think this was the first race I really enjoyed although I was very slow. I got a rush of blood to the head, signed up for a half marathon and then panicked! Realising that I was still no runner I looked for a running club to join. I googled a few and Sportsworld came across as the more friendly, welcoming club. My intention was to stay in the club for 6 months, complete the half marathon and return to lifting weights. I was hooked after the first session!

Tell us about your PB’s/achievements

I’m not a particularly fast runner and don’t have any amazing times worth mentioning. However, I have made huge progress since joining Sportsworld. When I joined I could just about get around 10k. I have now done 5 half marathons in the 2 years improving my time by 11 minutes. I have also shaved 5 mins off my 5K, 6 mins off my 5 mile and 10 mins off my 10K.

What is your biggest non-running related achievement?

When I look back at some of the situations I ended up in, in my early travelling days (One time I almost got shot by the Nepalese army for forgetting the time and breaking the curfew that was in place, another time on a hungover bus ride from Panama to Costa Rica I fell asleep, missed my stop and ended up sleeping in a banana field with a homeless family) I think it’s a pretty big achievement that I’m still alive! I’ve since matured and travel more carefully and sensibly.

How often do you run?

Up until recently I was just doing the Tuesday and Thursday club sessions and the long run most Sundays. However since signing up for DCM – my first marathon – this  has increased considerably. I run about 5 days a week and at the moment do about 70K a week. My milage is increasing every week.

What was your first day like in the club?

Great! I remember the buzz as soon as I walked through the door! Everybody was chatting and laughing. The session was the Mount Carmal laps. Breda Brown kindly brought me on the warm up and assured me that I would not die and that I’d be ok when I was gasping for breath after the warm up! She then introduced me to Maria Finnegan and Carmel Dolan. Sure, no better girls to have the craic with on your first day. Myles was shouting my name and encouraging me every lap before we were even introduced and every so often I could hear the shouts of Emily “where’s the new girl, don’t let her kill herself on her first session”. I was buzzing afterwards and knew I’d be back.

What’s the best thing about being in a running club?

Being pushed and encouraged to get better and achieve more. Also, the fab people I have met in the club who are now friends. It’s great to be surrounded by so many positive and driven people. I love the coffee/scone/chats after the weekend training sessions. And there’s been some epic nights out! I love running but being in a club makes it so much better. Joining Sportsworld is most definitely up there with some of the best decisions I have made.

 Do you do any other sports/cross training?

Yes, I still try to get to the gym once or twice a week to do strength, mobility and core training.

 Why is running important to you?

I’ve done a complete 360. I’ve gone from hating running to it having a very important place in my life. I’m very compeditive with myself so I love the challenge of going out and trying to beat my last time. I love lining up at the start of a race in the club singlet with my clubmates. It’s not just great for my physical health, it’s also great for my mental health, something we tend to neglect.

Who is the person in the club that inspires/drives you?

Emily and Myles for their dedication and support week in/week out. Maria Jones – not only is she a phenomenal runner herself but she is so encouraging to everyone and celebrates everybody’s achievements. When not racing herself she is the loudest supporter on the sidelines. Her love of running and the club is infectious. Eoin O’Brian and Michael Cunningham for their endless behind the scenes work in making the club as fun, welcoming and inclusive as it is.


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