We have the pleasure of chatting with popular club man Packie Enright this week. Running with the club for over 10 years.
When did you join Sportsworld?
Twas May 2005, a decade ago. I had been involved in other sports before that, including hurling and then boxing. Mick Dowling was my boxing coach, and he was Sportsworld AC president at the time. To do some road work is important as a boxer, to increase aerobic fitness. Mick rounded up a few of us from the club to run the Terenure 5 (which back then was the Dublin 5m Classic, attracting international runners). My first race ever, I ran 28 mins to the surprise of many, and from then on it was definitive that running was the best sport for me.
What is your favourite club session?
Hmmm, difficult to pick a favourite. They can all be tough; even an easy run can be tough on some days. But I’ll give any of em a go. Generally I find that if I can do 12*400m with 1 min in less than 80, that’s a good starting point. I’ve been getting this comfortably for years. Then it’s a matter of extending that whereby you can do mile repeats in < 05:30. Then you’re going places. I’ve been struggling with this, currently my mile repeats are at 06:10. Stamina is definitely my Achilles heel!
What is your favorite race distance?
5k road race. It tests everything you’re made of as a distance runner, and should be used as a starting point before attempting to race anything longer. That’s my view anyway.
What is your favorite meal before a big race?
The less, the better! For me anyway. I like to eat normal dinner & desert the night before, but go handy on race day food-wise. I’d be conscious of over-eating on race day. Bread and water usually does the trick on race day. Simple stuff.
My Favourite place to train/compete is?
Don’t really have one! I just try and adapt to an environment on a given day as best as possible. You may have bad memories from some courses, and good memories from others, but that’s all in the past and you must adapt to the day that’s in it. Before arriving at a venue I try to gather as much information about the course the night before. On race day, I’ll do a warm up jog around the course if they’ll let me (for road & XC races). In doing so, you build up a mental picture of what lies ahead, and you build your race strategy from there.
What is your best Sportsworld memory?
There’s been quite a few in the decade I’ve been running. Anytime you’re away somewhere as a team with your clubmates is to be appreciated.
What do you like doing when you don’t run?
Catch up with family & friends. Organise something cool.
Tell us about your PB’s / What is your biggest achievement?
At my best (a decade ago), my times were no different to of any of the rest of the lads in the club – 26 min 5m, 33 min 10k and 74 min Half M. The best medal I have is when we won a team silver from the National Half M in 2007 – I ran 78, Phil ran 72 and Eanna ran 70.
How often do you run / What is your typical weekly mileage?
Over the past month it’s been 5/6 runs a wk. Some double days. 2/3 rest days. Long run is at 8/9m. About 30mpw all in.
What would you say is the best thing about being in a Running Club?
That you’re part of a team, which is like your family in ways. You can’t buy that. Family, community; that’s what life’s about.
What was your first day at the Club like?
I knew nobody, not even Emily. No one! Got instructed anyway in what to do. Like any new social situation, you gotta adapt. I found it easier than boxing (the sport I was coming from), and the people were nicer, friendlier and less driven or competitive.
Why is running important to you?
It’s got good holistic benefits about it. It’s a discipline. It’s an escape from dereliction and boredom. It gives you something to do with your evenings. I think most runners will tell you that they love exercise, and it’s a way of life. There’s nothing like feeling fit.
Is there anything you would like to see more of or less of at the Club?
No. No need. I honestly believe that the club has everything and more for someone aspiring to be an Olympian. It’s all there. Don’t need anything else. We even have a clubhouse, dressing room and showers. Many don’t have that luxury – Cornafean AC, Ballymore Cobh AC or Villierstown certainly hadn’t. Having said that, there’s some very bright and innovative people who bring a wonderful energy with them, and are constantly looking to improve things in the club, be it in organising the Terenure 5, running the website or bringing other ideas in around the place to improve the atmosphere. The leaders of these groups are commendable.
Who is the person in the club who inspires/drives to run better?
Emily has played a massive role in my personal development, and still does so wk in wk out. But I’d have to pay credit to her husband Mick, from when I took up boxing at 23. Two massive figureheads for me, almost like parents in ways. I’d say they influence so many, and see so many different types come and go over the yrs. Not a bad thing to be able to say you set up boxing and athletics clubs all over south Dublin influencing people’s lives in a positive way and gave people somewhere to go to and something to aspire towards.
Do you do any cross training / other sports on a regular basis?
Playing a bit of hurling this summer with my home parish. We’ve a win and a loss to our name, have one group game left, if we win that we’ll make the QF’s. It’s good to play with lads you grew up with, along with relative newcomers to the parish (I’m gone from the place 15 yrs).