October 2017. If my improvement rate over the last year keeps up for another 5 years, I’ll be lining up for the Olympics in 2024.
Where do you work?
I’m a barrister and I work mostly in the Four Courts. No, I don’t wear a wig (any more).
What is your favourite club session?
I’m a track convert. Never ran on a track before this summer, now I don’t like missing the sessions. It’s the best and quickest way I know to completely drain all of your energy.
What is your favorite race distance?
Currently 5km. Nowhere to hide!
What is your favourite meal before a big race?
I have to be really careful about what I eat in the 12 hours before I run. Lots of stuff like bread and coffee doesn’t agree with me. My go to is porridge with milk and honey – no matter what time of day the race is. If it’s a long race jelly babies and snickers bars are usually in a pocket somewhere.
My Favourite place to train
On the many, many, steep steps up to the Spink boardwalk in Glendalough. Just dig in and keep on keeping on until you burst out into one of the finest views in the country.
What’s your favourite race?
Cooley Legends half marathon over the Cooley hills in Louth. Steep up and steep down twice with a fast road section in the middle. Plus a fine spread at the finish.
I’d also put in a strong word for Run the Line in the Dublin Mountains every November. It’s a fundraiser for the Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team and it’s a great course through the Dublin Mountains and is extremely well run.
What is your target for the next year?
Current target is to get to 17.xx for a 5k. If I can get that I’ll start looking at 17.2x and beyond! Outside of that I’d like to chalk up a sub 90 minute half marathon at some stage.
What international events have you ran?
None…but I have competed in the World Winter Outdoor Swimming Championships in Riga in 2012. The ‘swimming pool’ was carved out of the ice in the bay. It was not a successful trip.
Where’s the most interesting place you have run?
I usually try and get out for a run whenever I’m away so I’ve had some great memories. One highlight was running up to the top of Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park. I did it at dawn so it felt like I had the whole place to myself. Considering the masses of tourists that come every day, that was a real privilege.
Where’s the most interesting place you’ve been? (Doesn’t have to be running related)
Probably teaching English in Nanjing in China. That was in 2006 before the Olympics and westerners were still a relative novelty in Nanjing. It was a total immersion in Chinese life, culture and food and it felt like it was a million miles from home. We also got to take a trip to Tibet and Everest Base Camp which was pretty cool too.
What do you like doing when you don’t run? (hobbies/past times)
I have a toddler at home who has become my main hobby and past time over the last two years! I used to volunteer with the Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team so hopefully I’ll get back to that if I ever have more time in my life again. I also like hiking and cycling.
How/When did you start your adventure with running?
I started running regularly as a way to keep fit so I could go mountain running at the weekends. Gradually I got more and more enticed by beating the clock, which led to me joining Sportsworld. I’ve been running regularly for about 10 years but probably only really seriously in the last year.
Tell us about your PB’s / What is your biggest achievement?
5km is 18.23, 10km is 38.44 (although I think that was a short course). I’ve done one marathon in Dingle last year and it was a disaster. I undertrained and overestimated and came home broken and scarred in 4.10. I’ve also done the Wicklow Way Ultra (51km) in about 5hours50mins. The Ultra is probably the biggest achievement as I invested so much time and effort into training for it and ultimately came home under my 6 hour target.
What is your biggest non-running related achievement?
I think that would be carving a career out at the bar over the last 10 years or so. It’s been a long road to get to this point!
How often do you run / What is your typical weekly mileage?
About 45km, give or take.
My running career exists in a delicate ecosystem between two conflicting mantras – 1. You never regret a workout (Kim Kardashian) & 2. Life is too short for six-packs (that one is all mine).
When I’m actually training, I like to go hard and I quite enjoy the feeling of being curled up in a ball in pain after a hard session. I have an image in my head of my body being quite literally fuelled by pain – I use this image for the dark moments.
What would you say is the best thing about being in a Running Club?
Structure and the crack.
What made you join a Running Club?
I got fed up running by myself and needed a change.
Why is running important to you?
Because I see myself as better than non-runners.
Is there anything you would like to see more of or less of at the Club?
I know there’s a mens’ team whatsapp group and I presume there’s a womens’ one too but it would be nice to have a club group, for the chats like.
Who is the person in the club who inspires/drives to run better?
Without naming names, just being part of the group is a big motivator. After that, the motivation comes from whoever is running directly in front of and directly behind me at any given session. I’m also a big fan of administrators and the hard work they do so I’m very appreciative of Michael and the rest of the Committee for all they do to facilitate everything.
Do you do any cross training / other sports on a regular basis?
I play tag rugby in the summers and until recently played 5-a-side football every week. I have dropped the soccer as I was sick of getting kicked. I also cycle once in a blue moon.
Tell us something that no one in the club knows about you!?