When did you join Sportsworld?

I went to the club for a few sessions in June 2017 and had planned to return after a summer away travelling in South America but due to an unfortunate fall on one of my hiking escapades in Columbia I returned with a badly broken arm so running was off the cards for awhile! I didn’t want to join until I had regained a bit of fitness so properly joined up in April 2019 and haven’t looked back since! 

Where do you work?

 I’m one of the many primary school teachers in the club! I work in a school in Glasnevin. I cycle out every morning to avoid being stuck in traffic and as well as avoiding all the road-rage filled drivers, also find it to be good cross training.

What is your favourite club session?

I think my favourite session is hills and sprints in Bushy Park. There’s something so satisfying about pushing (dragging) yourself up the hill and finishing with a burst of speed on the grass. The adrenaline rush of finishing the session is incredible and I always feel great afterwards. Saying that, I’m usually buzzing after most sessions and having Emily and Myles cheering you on at every turn is a great motivator. I also really like the fartlek session in Bushy during the summer. Sitting here (in lockdown) wistfully thinking of all the sessions is making me miss them all the more!

What is your favourite race distance?

I find this question tricky as I’ve actually only really ran in a handful of road races. I think my favourite distance might be 5 miles but then again that might just be because it’s the race I’ve ran most recently! I also like 5k & 10k distances. For XC races, the shorter the better so 4k would be my distance of choice!

What is your favourite meal before a big race?

Very boring answer here as I usually just have porridge with some fruit before short distance races and throw in half a bagel with peanut butter and banana if it’s a longer race.

My Favourite place to train

I love running in Phoenix Park; I never realised how big the park was until I started running there. Nothing lovelier than spotting a few deer ambling around as you’re running on by! I particularly enjoy the Sunday morning club runs in the park. They’re a great opportunity to catch up with people properly and the coffee and breakfast post run makes it all the nicer!

What’s your favourite race?

I really enjoyed the Raheny 5 mile run in January pacing with my good pal Padraig & finishing within an (all-important) second of each other! Also loved running in the club 5 mile last year. Running side by side with the girls for the first few km was fab and it felt like such an honour to be running in a club race with so much incredible support every step of the way!

What is your target for the next year?

I would love to get a sub 18 5k or close to it. This goal doesn’t seem within reach anytime soon with everything that’s going on at the moment but someday hopefully!

Where’s the most interesting place you have run?

My travels in Central America involved a few interesting running experiences. Doing intervals though the cobbled, narrow and uneven streets of Guatemala with the bemused locals shouting cheers of encouragement as I ran past was a unique experience. Running up and down the little island of Caye Caulker in Belize to get some form of ‘long run’ in was another somewhat unusual, but enjoyable experience. The motto of this little island is ‘Go Slow’ and the locals take it very seriously as this was (jovially) shouted at me quite frequently as I ran!

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

While living in Abu Dhabi for a few years, I was lucky enough to be able to travel a good bit. The most interesting place that stands out for me is travelling to Jordan where one of my highlights was covering myself in the renowned, seemingly magical mud (I’ve been glowing ever since!) before taking all the standard tourist snaps as we floated on the dead sea. An incredible experience. From here we crossed over to Israel by bus; another amazing place to explore and we also squeezed in a day trip to Bethlehem!

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

Running really is really my main hobby! I like reading in my down time and I enjoy all things food so spend a lot of time eating out with friends with a few night out thrown in! As a teacher, I’m lucky enough to be able to go on longer trips in the summers and I love experiencing new cultures and exploring different places.

How/When did you start your adventure with running?

In 2016 I spent a week in Connemara at the Gaeltacht with a friend of mine who had recently taken up running. I still remember being quite reluctant to join her for a morning jog. Although I was always into fitness and went to the gym regularly enough, I was convinced that running just wasn’t ‘my thing!’ I surprised myself by quite enjoying it and ended up joining her every morning that week. The stunning scenery and sunny weather helped.  After that I kept up running leisurely a couple of times a week and then I convinced my housemates to join me in training for the Cork half marathon. I was absolutely elated to cross the finish line in 1:42 and I ventured down to Sportsworld a couple of weeks later! Lots of my friends were surprised when I took to running so enthusiastically because they’d always tried to convince me to join them but I was always adamant I just wasn’t a runner. Most of them have since abandoned running and laugh at how obsessed I’ve become. I must admit I’ve shocked myself!

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

5K – 18:24 (Docklands 2019)

10K – 38:11 (K-Club 10k 2019) The course was 100m short so not sure if I should count it but I’m going to anyway!

5 mile – 29:21 (Ranheny 2020)

Half Marathon: 1:30:37 (Dublin Half Marathon 2018)

I would also like to shave some time off my half marathon whenever races go ahead again!

Marathon: 3:22:17 (Dublin 2018)

My biggest running achievement personally is completing the Dublin marathon as it meant a lot to me, running it in memory of my dad and raising money for charity at the same time. Other than that, my biggest running achievements are probably all cross country related! My first XC medal, a team bronze in the Dublin Novice, after an eventful race where I collided with another runner and caused us both to fall mid race, was probably the one I was the proudest of as it was my first cross country race and both the sense of camaraderie & the adrenaline buzz were at an all time high.

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

Just checked my Garmin app as I haven’t yet succumbed to Strava and on average I run round 50/60k a week, give or take.

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

There are lots of great things about being in a running club, hard to pick just one! The friendships made, the comradeship, support, advice and friendly competition to name a few! Being around other runners challenges and inspires you to train harder and become a better runner and they give you the boost you need to keep going when you think you can’t, as was the case in more than one XC race for me! I genuinely feel lucky to be part of such a lovely, supportive community of runners.

What made you join a Running Club?

I was on such a high after my half marathon that I decided I wanted to keep up my running routine. Thought I would be more likely to do this if I was in a club and I really liked the idea of having a group of people to run with. I never anticipated enjoying it as much though!

Why is running important to you?

I’m honestly still surprised at how running has become such a big part of my life and how it’s firmly fixed in my daily and weekly routine.

I love how no matter what sort of day I’ve had, I always, inevitably feel better after a good (or not so good) run. Any worry or stress melts away, and a few km’s into an easy run, I generally feel a wave of contentment. I love the clear-headed, calmness that follows a hard run and the endorphins that you’re left with after a particularly tough session along with a great sense of accomplishment.

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

There are lots of people in the club who inspire me & motivate me to do better but of course we would be lost without Emily and Myles. Their commitment and dedication to the club and their sheer enthusiasm for running are incredible and this alone inspires me to run harder and do better! Their unwavering support and encouragement during sessions and races motivates me to persevere and push though any wall of pain I’m experiencing!