This week we have the long anticipated meet the runner from Maura Ginty. Maura is on her way back after a long injury lay off. Known for calling a spade a spade and not being afraid of some hard training Maura looks set to annihilate her 2013 times in 2016.

When did you join Sportsworld?
August 2011

Where do you work?
I am a tax adviser with KPMG.  I provide tax advice to clients when they are doing deals and also help them in negotiations with tax authorities.

What is your favourite club session?
Saturday morning. Partly because it’s the toughest session but also for the feeling of smugness the entire weekend after.

What is your favourite race distance?
I have not yet decided.  If pushed I will have to say the 10k as I was completely obsessed with it for 2 years.

What is your favourite meal before a big race?
Ideally, I get a strong coffee an hour or so before racing.

My favourite place to train/compete is?
I love, love the waterworks. it’s been a long time since I’ve been there but one of my aims is to be strong enough to do the Sunday long run.  think my favourite run ever was a summer renegade session there when us girls did a 10 miler with Dave on bike for pacing (and probably security too).

And I take my home place of Ballycroy in west mayo completely for granted; our house is by the sea and there is a 2k loop of Sandybanks where I run with our dog. It’s class. Especially as dog has similar levels of enthusiasm for running as Lucy has.

What is your target for the next year?
Sigh. My PBs seem like they were run by another person now, honestly find it so hard to reconcile with my current performances. So given this, the sensible answer here would be: to remain injury free and do my best in training.  The truth however is … Beat all my PB’s, get knocked out of novice xc, get knocked out of Intermediate xc, beat all my new PB’s.

Maybe meet in the middle?

What international events have you ran?
I have run 2 of the Lanzarote challenges. The initial one in 2012 was my first time even running 4 days consecutively and meant tears of relief when completing the half.  After that trip, I really felt integrated into the club and felt I really knew my Sean’s from my Trevor’s.

How/when did you start your adventure with running?
I was the opposite of sporty in my teens and 20s – it was just an alien concept to me. My school was co-ed and I recall the lads taking over at the PE classes. Us girls just hung out chatting about who fancied who, how CD’s were wayy better than tapes, who wasn’t wearing the latest fashion (denim shirts, chokers and nafnaf jackets) etc etc… probably also talking about homework too, no doubt.

Then in January 2010 my friend Eimear had enough of my cynical ways and stood by my desk and as good as forced me to enter my credit card details into Bootcamp Ireland website to accompany her on an 8 week session. Ii used all my usual excuses, but she really was having none of it.

And of course the first Bootcamp class was hell. but it was inclusive, I didn’t know what a plank, lunge, anything was and they explained it all in a very enabling environment. so I went back. I didn’t love it but just persevered – initially due to fact that there was 2 of us going and was good chance to catch up with her in the evenings.

By spring 2011 I had reacted to Eimear’s first pregnancy, and indeed the marriages and blossoming fertility of other friends, in a completely normal and rational way by doing a LOT of Bootcamp …c4-6 weekly sessions over a 5 month period. We were doing things like shuttle sprints and lots of running drills, which coupled with a good warm up, meant I was pretty strong at the running and just extremely fit, though I did not realize it.

After doing my first races in the urban trails series (which had been advertised on bootcamp website so seemed pretty accessible), I figured the next step was a 10k race proper and I will never forget the buzz of a measurable time – c43mins.  Now I can compare myself to others in a measurable way!!  What new, universally-regarded-as-healthy pursuit have we here!!?!

And I thought — goddamnit, I want to go sub 40 for this race.

Tell us about your PB’s / what’s your biggest achievement?
Right now, I would be very disappointed if my biggest achievements were in the past.

Being part of the female team the 2012/13 season when we won 5 team silver/bronze xc medals was my best running experience and it culminated in Emily deciding to send a senior team to the interclubs.  Though there was nothing tangible out of it, racing competitively that 8k xc was probably my best achievement to date and best race I have run.

Call it pub talk but I will maintain my PBs are all soft: 5k 18.40 (msb 5k), 10k 39.04 (dunshaughlin), half 1.26 (achill). All in 2013.

How often do you run / what is your typical weekly milage?
The tue/thurs/sat sessions with long run on sunday. Ideally.

What would you say is the best thing about being in a running club?
When I came to the club first, my motivation was purely performance.  But despite myself, i’ve met my best friends down the club. *grits teeth* so for me, probably the best thing about being in a running club is friendships.  Though if I manage a 5 mile in under 30 mins on the back of flogging myself up in myles’ Kiltipper field then scrap all that …Performance all the way.

What made you join a running club?
I had been contemplating it as realized I needed increased level of training for sub 40. However, joining a club was on the same personal to-do list as sorting out a pension and learning to drive. Then met my college friend Ciara Dillon after the Frank Duffy race and she told me about the club and just would not accept any excuse. She then texted me that the coach called Emily would be waiting for me on Tuesday at 7pm sharp.  After a google search, i was in bushy for 6.30pm, slightly nervous about meeting this Emily Dowling character

What was your first day in the running club like?
I can’t remember the session or much really – it was my first time in bushy, so I suppose I was impressed with the park generally, but I was all business, solely in it for the training.  By about the 3rd night I met Crona Brady who i knew from work and it was only then I realized there was a social aspect for me here too (as my jog became a sprint trying to keep up with her and Aoife on their cool down)

Is there anything you would like to see more or less of in the club?
Every few months a bit of focus on stretching or injury prevention techniques, whatever they may be

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

Catriona Higgins – For her consistent dedication and bravery in running, which was a real inspiration to me when i joined the club first.  She is not afraid to lead a session and always goes out hard from start of a race – I think we both had our 1k pb’s at the start of the Terenure 5 mile (boy, the rest of that race was fun…) And since her injury in 2013, for her determination to get back and her patience in the process.

Do you do any cross training / other sports on a regular basis ?
I do Bikram Yoga and Pilates and when I am injured, the gym. I see a lot of the gym.