This week we meet one of Sportsworld’s international members Laurence Delair. She has a flaire for running and badminton and has been with the club for almost 10 years.

When did you join Sportsworld?
I very nearly joined the club back in 1995, almost a year after I had arrived in Ireland… I was doing a tiny bit of running and I had taken a number of badminton classes. My now-husband mentioned Emily (former marathon runner) and Mick Dowling (former Olympic boxer), and the meeting point at the tree in Bushy Park. I was chuffed to hear all that! It sounded all so glamorous and exciting to me (I must say that I come from a tiny, sleepy French village, where nothing much ever happens). In the end though, I decided to join the Terenure Badminton Club, so delighted I was to have developed some kind of “hand-eye” coordination.

Fast forward to 2007, after a few years of badminton, dancing classes and running on my own, I finally decided it was time to join Sportsworld.

Where do you work?
In the comfort of my little office in my back garden. I am a freelance translator, working mainly from English to French (and rarely from Spanish into French). I translate all sorts of written contents (and also review other translators’ work) for various companies, mainly in the area of IT.

What is your favourite club session?
Any session that takes place in Bushy Park.

What is your favorite race distance?
I don’t think I have one as such. Maybe 10 miles. For some curious reasons, I have great memories running a couple of them in the Race Series in Phoenix Park.

What is your favorite meal before a big race?
Porridge, but not the magic kind that that fast runners have mentioned in previous interviews.

My Favourite place to train/compete is?
Well, Bushy Park for training, and the area around my village in France. I also enjoyed doing the Race Series in the Phoenix Park.

What is your target for the next year?
Trying to attend the sessions more consistently.

What is your best Sportsworld memory?
Any Meet and Train races (cross-country and road). I don’t think I have a competitive streak in me, but I do love the feeling of anticipation before those races and the fact I am part of a team.

What international events have you ran?
Note to self: start getting out more.

What do you like doing when you don’t run?
Meeting friends for a chat, cooking for family and friends, reading and going to the theatre.

How/When did you start your adventure with running?
As a kid, pretty much at the same time I started zooming around on my bicycle and going up trees. I used to love running for the feeling of freedom it gives you. It was exhilarating.

Tell us about your PB’s / What is your biggest achievement?
I could not wait to answer this question. When it comes to “Perfect Baking” or “PB” as it is known in the club, I can without boasting say that I have produced some consistently good work for the baking sale. Having said that, I have yet to achieve the flair and the finesse demonstrated by Eoin O’Brien and Michael Cunningham…

How often do you run / What is your typical weekly mileage?
In the last few years, partly due to a lingering injury and life challenges, my training schedule has dwindled to one session during the week and a small to medium run at the weekend.

What would you say is the best thing about being in a Running Club?
The company of other runners: I used to run on my own and still do occasionally, and I find it more enjoyable to run with others. The advice: I find that the advice that Emily and others give me is very useful. The variety: the sessions are more diversified,whereas I used to do pretty much the same thing every time I ran! And finally, I feel I did improve as a result of being in the club.

What made you join a Running Club?
After running on my own at different times in my life and having worked for a few years as a freelance translator (translation is a very silent, concentrated activity), I thought it would be good to join a group and to get advice.

What was your first day at the Club like?
I have a good memory for the first part. I went into the club house a bit early. It was virtually empty, but Crona came to me and said hello. After that, the training session was a fartlek one, if I remember well… I could not understand for the life of me why people went so fast. I mean, “How long can you keep this up?” was I thinking, desperately hanging on for dear life.

Why is running important to you?
I have enjoyed running for many years and for many different reasons as I was getting older. For the fun feeling it gave me when I was a kid and still gives me now, for the way it has given me strength, and I don’t only refer to fitness but to the grounding effect it has.

Is there anything you would like to see more of or less of at the Club?
I am happy with what is on offer in the Club.

Who is the person in the club who inspires/drives to run better?
I am very grateful to Carol Lynch as she is a great example to me and she inspires me in many ways. I have to say that I admire
Emily, Myles and Paddy for their commitment and their words of encouragement. Their dedication is truly remarkable. I have to say that I admire a lot of the runners in the club. I find there are lots of interesting people whom I admire a lot for their various achievements, small and big, and their humility.

Do you do any cross training / other sports on a regular basis?
I attend Mick’s conditioning classes from time to time.