When did you join Sportsworld?

1989. After playing Rugby with CYM RFC in Terenure for about 10years, I needed a sport that did not knock you to the ground every 5 minutes and had no ball. I had seen Sportsworld training in Bushy and had run the Crumlin 4 Miles where I met some members of the Club, Basil and Bernard two truly great characters.

Where do you work?

Retired 5 years. Spent 24 years working as a Merchant Marine Officer and then 20 years as a Safety Manager in Dublin City Council and South Dublin County Council. No I do not miss work…..as I tell anyone who will listen !!

What is your favourite club session?

Basically at the present time any session that I can do to the end…seriously….Phoenix Park on a beautiful Sunday morning really heaven.

What is your favorite race distance?

I used to like the full Marathon distance and completed the distance on thirteen occasions, Dublin ten times, Belfast twice and New York once. Now I would guess 5 miles or a 10k.

What is your favourite meal before a big race?

Coffee and a slim Hamlet cigar.

My Favourite place to train

Definitely the Phoenix Park,  large open spaces, more or less off road, usually just one long lap and the Visitors Centre or Farmleigh afterwards. Nice.

What’s your favourite race?

I like the Dublin City Marathon Race Series, good venues (except Newbridge House Park 2017) and a large number of participants, I always find a group to hang with going at the same pace as moi-meme

What is your target for the next year?

Just to keep on running and racing….. and to go on a cruise around Cape Horn. I missed that one when I was at sea.

What international events have you ran?

 I usually went to places with fellow Sportsworld members, such as;

  • Lanzerote Running Challenge 2001 to 2016
  • New York Marathon 2008
  • Edinburgh Half Marathon 2006 and 2008
  • Somme Battlefields Half Marathon 2010 and 2011
  • Prague Half Marathon 2016
  • Paris – Versailles 2015
  • Amiens 10k  1992, 93, 94.
  • Frankfort 10k 1996

Where’s the most interesting place you have run?

In the woods of a Greek Island when on a sailing holiday with Jill my wife. We went for a stroll in the woods after parking the yacht (rented) nearby and ended up being chased by a large sow with piglets nearby…had to run really really fast. I am not sure what my pace was.

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

5 days hiking in the Whirinaki Rain Forest in New Zealand….really interesting. Also, I was working on a vessel called the MV Irish Sycamore back in the 1970’s crossing the Pacific Ocean from Argentina to Japan, Captain stopped the ship in the middle of the Ocean, lowered the gangway and allowed the crew to swim over the side, about 5 miles of water underneath us….eerie.

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

I am a Season a  ticket holder for Leinster RFC, I enjoy going to their games with my son Stephen. I do a lot of hiking with group on Fridays in Wicklow and the Mournes. We also go abroad regularly to hike in UK, Austria, France, Canary Islands and Italy so far. I am also an eternal French student in the Alliance Francaise and enjoy reading history and politics.

How/When did you start your adventure with running?

Towards the end of my rugby playing days I decided to train for the Dublin City Marathon, at the time I was working on the Ferries between Dublin Port and Holyhead and after we berthed at 6.00am, I would have a couple of free hours and used to run as far as Raheny and back. At the Crumlin 4 Mile road race, which was run from the Scouts Hall in the main street around the roads of Drimnagh and Crumlin my late wife Lilian meet a French lady Annie, who was a member of Sportsworld who then introduce me to Basil (the Builder) and Bernard, they regaled me with tales of Pints of Guinness and Races and I immediately decided that was the club for me.

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

I have run literally hundreds of races over the last 30 years with A.I. , B.H.A.A., I.M.R.A. and sponsored races, never won any, did get a few second, third and fourth places in my age categories. My notebook (paper) says I got the following;

  • Guiness Half Marathon 1991:  96 mins
  • Dublin Bus 10miles: 1994 69mins
  • Liberties 10k 1992  39mins
  • Raheny 5 Miles 1995: 32mins
  • Crumlin 4 Miles 1991 25mins
  • Jingle Bells 5K 1994 18mins

Did not seem to bother about any seconds, only recorded minutes.

What is your biggest non-running related achievement?

Bringing up two children as a single parent.

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

Monday: Carol Lynch’s group 5miles

Tues: Sportsworld

Wed. Carols group again 7miles

Thurs: Sportsworld.

Sun: Sportsworld.

I would guess between 25 to 30 miles on a good week.

What motivates you? Running or otherwise

Keeping active. Keeping interested. If you don’t use it you lose it. Never ever give up. Stay in there.

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

Being with like minded positive people who enhance your life. Also the whole buzz of a club, its great to see the next generation taking over Sportsworld and bringing their skills to the table.

What made you join a Running Club?

Cannot really remember but stayed for 30years.

Why is running important to you?

Sport as a participant has always interested me. I have a socialist view of sport in that it is for everybody at all levels. I regard mega-wealthy Premier League Association Football players as entertainers not sportspeople.

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

Yes. An over 65 team from the Club.  I am waiting on Ray to catch up age wise.

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

Ellen Lavin. Great person. Shared a lot of life, running and otherwise over the past 30years.

Do you do any cross training / other sports on a regular basis?

Hiking is my fall back sport. Hope to keep up both as long as I can.

Tell us something that no one in the club knows about you!?

I had a full set Master Mariner’s beard for 25years.

Sean has also written the Sportsworld History: Read it here