There I was jogging up to training last Thursday night and I stopped at the traffic lights. I turned around and saw Michael Cunningham with a big red face and panting frantically. We continued on together and he quickly asked me if I would do the meet the runner this week. I had managed to avoid it for long enough and when I saw the anxious look in his face I said I would do it. So beware of Michael catching up with you next time you are out for a run.

When did you join Sportsworld?

I would have to check the records but it was probably around 2010

Where do you work?

I work for myself running a small but quality construction business.

What is your favourite club session?

I actually enjoy most sessions for different reasons. But in particular I think the winter evening sessions are good to break up the monotonous long dark evenings. Overall I enjoy getting out meeting clubmates who enjoy doing the same thing. Because of this I rarely need much motivation to go out to training.

What is your favorite race distance?

Between 5k and 10k. I don’t mind 10mile or half marathons anything longer that that is not for me.

What is your favourite meal before a big race?

Keep it simple, not too much but I don’t run on an empty stomach

My Favourite place to train is?

The Phoenix Park. Its ideal for a long run as you don’t have to do laps, its a beautiful park and there is very little traffic. There is nothing like it on a sunny, summer’s Sunday morning.

What’s your favourite race?

Raheny 5 mile in January. It signals the start of the road racing season and brings out all of the club runners.

What is your target for the next year?

Continue to stay fit, healthy and as injury free as possible.

What is your best Sportsworld memory?

I have to say that the team spirit in the cross country and championship races over the last few years. Hopefully I will still be able to part of the team for some time to come.

Over 50’s team competing in the Leinster Road Race Championship 2018 in Gowran Co. Kilkenny.

What international events have you ran?                                 

Lanzarote 2016, but I enjoy running when on holidays.

Where’s the most interesting place you have run?

I think I would like to explore different locations for racing. Maybe that’s a target for next year.

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

I went to Bejing about 10 years ago. I really enjoyed seeing Tianamem SQ., Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Great Wall and Birds nest Olympic stadium. Such a lot to see and a different culture. It would be the one place I would like to go back to and do it all again.

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

Travel and love to watch all sports

How/When did you start your adventure with running?

I always wanted to stay in shape but was losing the battle until I joined Sportsworld. Its been a great experience and I really enjoy that we can continue to challenge ourselves at a level that suits us. I could see and feel my running improving very quickly following the regular training sessions.

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

I am particularly proud of my 5k PB 18.40 in December 2017 and 5mile PB 30.45 in January 2018.

My other PBs are for 10k 39.11, 10mile 65.46 and half marathon 87.43 all in 2015.

What is your biggest non-running related achievement?

Staying alive, my beautiful wife and three fine children

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

Usually 4 to 5 days a week, thats about 30 to 40 miles a week.

What motivates you? Running or otherwise

Team mates and club mates. I won’t name them in case I leave anyone out but I am grateful for the support, words of encouragement, for listening to me, motivation, setting the challenge and making me feel part of the team.

I also love the physical challenge, the sense of achievement and the feel good factor. Its a drug, its addictive you don’t need anything else.

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

I have found runners both inside and outside the club to be really good positive people, humble about their abilities and achievements and who just simply like to get outdoors to run and have a chat.

What made you join a Running Club?

I live close to Bushy Park and saw Sportsworld training sessions and thought I would like to do that also. It took me a while to pluck up the courage have a chat and join in. But when I eventually did I haven’t look back since. When I was younger I was competing in the cycling road racing circuit. I had to call it a day due to time and family commitments. Now I am back staying fit and competing, I never thought that I would be doing this at this stage and still enjoying it.

Why is running important to you?

Believe it or not I do not take it seriously. I enjoy being able to get out in all weathers and its my way of getting away from the daily grind of everyday life.

Is there anything you would like to see more of or less of at the Club?

I think its important that all club members should get some CPR training. We need to be able to look out for each other and for our families. It’s quite simple, you never know when you will need it but you have just got to do it.

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

I really appreciate the support, guidance and advice I get from Emily and Myles. They have the same time for me as they do for the faster runners in the club and for that we should be really thankful.

Also a special mention for Peter Knaggs and Noel Lynam along with Erica Calder who without their brave actions I would not have been able to write this article!