Stephan Johannes Herman de Vries (second and third name after my grandfathers, give the pronunciation a go!)
When did you join Sportsworld?
I believe it was August 2021
Where do you work?
I work for Compass Ireland, overseeing and managing the food programme within Google. Very good fun and fast paced environment!
What is your favourite club session?
Great question, I do love the Tuesday evening intervals although I should do more of the Thursdays and Sunday long runs.
What is your favourite race distance?
Any race that you do well in. I do like a good 5k or 10k course, probably just because they don’t take that many Sunday long runs to be able to finish them. Really enjoyed the track meets over the summers too.
What is your favourite meal before a big race?
Pasta the night before (I’m told I am half Italian as a result of the big amounts of pasta I consume), porridge with honey, banana and crunchy peanut butter in the morning.
My Favourite place to train is Bushy park and the winter variety with Mt. Carmel, along the dodder or the old bank lap are great.
What’s your favourite race?
Tough question, I feel I haven’t done enough races to have an outright winner here. Any race that is flat(ish) is great.
What is your target for the next year?
Sub 40 min 10k, sub 90 half and around 3.15 marathon would be awesome.
What international events have you ran?
Do runs in The Netherlands count..? I ran the Paris Marathon last year.
Where’s the most interesting place you have run?
I used to love adventure races, running up and down Croak Patrick or Mount Errigal is an amazing experience for which you don’t have to travel far. Oh and running down Mt. Kilimanjaro (to descent as fast as possible for more oxygen) was great fun too.
Where’s the most interesting place you’ve been? (Doesn’t have to be running related)
I have been lucky in the sense that I have lived and traveled a good bit. South-Africa has to be one of the absolute highlights. The nature, views, wildness and animals are out of this world. Throw in their history and it is just admiring how happy and hospitable everyone is. Regrettably there are still many issues to resolve in the country. One thing that has always stuck with me is how disadvantaged people celebrate life, birthdays or occasions, just like anyone else and how open they were to share their traditions.
What do you like doing when you don’t run? (hobbies/past times)
Nothing out of the ordinary, catching up with friends, traveling or going to a music gig. Oh and I love food, so anything involving food will do it for me. A good thriller book, sailing or skiing magazine before going to sleep. Unfortunately Ireland isn’t great for skiing and combining sailing with running and everything else is too much to do it regularly.
How/When did you start your adventure with running?
I started after I graduated and started working in a hotel. At that point I realised that years of partying and eating left me with 0 fitness. I did a 2k lap and it took me a long, long time to recover, sprawled out across the floor. Slowly built it up and increased frequency a lot when I moved to Ireland before relapsing for a few years until I joined Sportsworld.
Tell us about your PB’s / What is your biggest achievement?
5k – 18.56 (BHAA Pfizer 2022), 10k – 41.40 (field of Athenry 2022), Bohermeen Half Marathon 1.36.20, Paris marathon 3.48.08.
What is your biggest non-running related achievement?
Marrying an Irish woman.
How often do you run / What is your typical weekly mileage?
About 4 times a week, in the end of 2022 probably average around 30km a week so I would like to bring this up to a steady 40 to 50km.
What would you say is the best thing about being in a Running Club?
What made you join a Running Club? The accountability that you feel that you should go to at least one or two sessions a week, no matter the weather. You always feel better though after the session. And of course in Sportsworld the camaraderie and chats around the sessions with like minded people.
Why is running important to you?
Last year I read ‘What I talk about when I talk about Running’, a pocket size book that summed it up nicely for me; It clears the head and eases the mind and although you may run with others but in the end you only compete against yourself and your own body’s limitations.
Is there anything you would like to see more of or less of at the Club?
The return of ‘meet the runner is great’, I always enjoy reading them and we have so many new people in the club.
Who is the person in the club who inspires/drives to run better?
Emily & Myles who make every session seem like it’s their first time coaching. The amount of passion, joy and dedication is unbelievable. Everyone turning up at every session is inspiring and is what is so great about Sportsworld; it’s so inclusive for all pace levels. I hope to still be running like Trevor is now.
Do you do any cross training / other sports on a regular basis?
Some strength at home but not enough! On a recent ‘calm’ post xc run Michael and Lorna mentioned they are planking daily to increase core strength. So maybe this is something we should incorporate into a session and part of warm up we do a minute plank challenge building up over time. We’ll have to deduct points for Michael’s and Lorna’s headstart
Tell us something that no one in the club knows about you!?
I used to work at a lot of weddings as a waiter. This one time the train on the dress was quite long and I stepped on it while at the same time the bride took a step in the other direction… The dress ripped around the waist and all I’ll say, my boss had to call in a good few favours from local tailors who were all off over the weekend to get it fixed!