When did you join Sportsworld?
Where do you work?
I originally worked as a Financial Consultant in Madrid/Barcelona, but in recent years I work in Grand Canal Dock for Equifax as a Software Engineer.
How/When did you start your adventure with running & why?
Like many Irish people, I’d given up on sport (rugby was my poison) at the age of 18 and managed to drink and smoke my way through my 20’s.
My 29th birthday came in late December 2018, mid pint season, and I remember promising to myself that drunken night that once the silly season was over and I made it through January (stretching the pennies), I’d sign up for a marathon before I turned 30th.
Nearly two months later, I found myself down by the dodder explaining to Myles that I had 12 weeks to train for the Prague City Marathon in early May. To his credit he didn’t completely dismiss me and gave me some solid advice that saw me through to the starting line.
What was your first day at the Club like?
I arrived at the clubhouse on a cold Tuesday evening and instantly was taken aback by the number of people bundled into space. Within minutes, Emily had called for order and announced the session and asked Martin Doyle to bring the “newbies” down to the Dodder for Mount Carmel Laps.
Martin was very friendly and unassuming which unfortunately gave me the terrible idea of trying to do the session with him. I think I lost count the number of times Gareth, Martin and the other lads lapped me, quite the humbling experience.
What is your favourite club session?
The fartlek laps around bushy.
In particular, a session last summer during the DCM preparation stands out. Myles had 3 miles, 2 miles and 1 mile fast with a 2 minute rest period between sets written on the wall of truth in the clubhouse. It still is to this day possibly one of the toughest sessions I’ve done, but I loved every last minute of it. I felt like a greyhound on its last legs chasing a hare (Padraig Looby).
Tell us about your PB’s?
5 (Km/Mile) & 10 (Km/Mile) – N/A
Half Marathon – 1.38.50
Full Marathon – 3.07.40
What is your favourite race distance?
I have still no idea, I haven’t run a 5/10km or a 5/10 mile race yet and haven’t run a half marathon since last March (a month after joining Sportsworld). However, I think naturally I’d be quicker over track distances with some training, I would love to give the 800/1500/1600 meters ago this summer (Hopefully this pandemic will subside in the coming months).
What is your favourite meal before a big race?
I ate a lot of carbs in the days leading up to my last marathon (pasta, pizza etc.) which seemed to have worked quite effectively. I try not to eat much the morning of a marathon, so I generally will eat toast, peanut butter and a banana.
My favourite place to train is?
Bushy park on a sunny, yet cool midsummer’s eve.
What is your target for this year?
I was originally supposed to be travelling South America until mid-September and had planned to try and maintain some fitness, however, I have returned to Ireland due to the current epidemic.
I signed up for the Killarney Half, Frank Duffy 10 mile, Dublin Half and The DCM, so we’ll see how things progress.
I would love to hit sub 2.55 for Dublin this year with all things going to plan.
How often do you run / What is your typical weekly mileage?
I think in 2019 my average per week was 40km and running 5-6 times a week. In my last marathon cycle, I was trying to get up to running 80km pw consistently, but between various ailments and my hamstrings giving me a lot of trouble, it was too difficult. I began working with a physio before Christmas and that has made the world of difference. I have a plan to try and build up to 120km a week over the next 6 months in preparation for Dublin.
What is your best Sportsworld memory?
I’m not sure about my best memory, but doing the cones and barriers for the 5 miles with Packie and Martin was an experience. I had naively volunteered to leave my stewarding safe haven to help them out and boy was I not disappointed! It was a good opportunity to get to know Packie and Martin & see the Terenure 5 mile and the comradery around the event but I’m still traumatised at the sight of a cone.
What would you say is the best thing about being in a Running Club?
I started running just over a year ago with the goal of trying to lose some weight, improve my mental health and make a couple of mates along the way who are like-minded thinkers.
A year on, this running club has completely changed my life. I’ve managed to drop nearly 17kgs, run three marathons, make some new mates and most important of all reignite my passion for sports and competition. I’m looking forward to what the rest of 2020 has to offer.
Where’s the most interesting place you’ve been? (Doesn’t have to be running related)
I spent 2 months in South Africa volunteering in a township near Rustenburg when I was 19 years old. We essentially were there to teach the local children some English and how to play football in anticipation for the Fifa World Cup 2010.
What international events have you ran?
I have run marathons in both Prague and Seville. I had a half marathon booked in Chile in September (Torres del Paine) that I don’t think I’ll get to now, unfortunately.
Where’s the most interesting place you have run?
Most definitely Japan. I went last Autumn for the Rugby World Cup and had some great running adventures through the colourful, electronic cities and tranquil countryside. I also made it on to off the ball – https://mobile.twitter.com/offtheball/status/1175857141426450432?s=19 ( 3.11 onwards) :/ .
What do you like doing when you don’t run? (hobbies/past times)
Rugby was and still is a big passion in my life, so I try to get to most Irish games and watch some club rugby when I can. I’m also an avid support of the glorious Newcastle United.
I spend a large amount of time with my friends and family and any time left over I try to read (currently – Faster Road Racing: 5K to Half Marathon by Pfitzinger).
What is your biggest non-running related achievement?
I played rugby (wing) for Terenure College throughout my school years and my biggest achievement with them was a runner up medal in the Junior Cup Final against Belvedere.
Is there anything you would like to see more of or less of at the Club?
Nothing I can think of for now. I just hope everything resumes to normal as soon as possible.
Who is the person in the club who inspires/drives to run better?
The obvious people in the club like Myles, Emily, Michael, people on the committee etc. as for without them, there would be no sessions or club for that matter!
On an individual level, there’re a couple of runners in the club that inspire me for different reasons (times, mileage, attitude), but I’d prefer not to embarrass any of them.
I will say that there was a group of 4 – 5 people training last Summer for the DCM in Bushy that pushed me to my limits every Tuesday and Thursday. At the time it was hell as tempo runs and fartlek at those paces were completely alien to me, but they really brought me along and I’m hoping to get those sessions in again this summer, so I’d like to say thank you to those individuals.
Tell us something that no one in the club knows about you!?
I went to university in Madrid to study finance & speak fluent Spanish. I’m also in quarantine down in Kilkenny doing laps of a football field!