Member of Eagle AC since: July 2015
How long have you been running and what made you take it up:
I used to love running as a kid and I was a member of a local running club from the age of 8 to about 18, running in lots of different events such as cross country, steeple chase and 4 x 400m relays. In my mid 30’s and about 4 stone overweight I slowly got back into doing short runs and eventually trained to enter my first Ballycotton 10 in 2009.
Favourite thing about running:
I love the buzz I get from running a PB and hopefully we’ll get back to races at some stage this year. I just love the feeling of being fit and that feeling I get when I’m cruising along at a pace which used to feel hard but now feels easy, and it feels like you could keep going and going.
Can you remember the first Eagle AC member(s) you ran with:
I actually ran a race as a member of Eagle AC ever before I got to a club training session. I turned up at the Cloyne 5k in 2015 and tentatively made my way over to a group of eagles and introduced myself as a new member. They were all great so I felt at ease right away and then managed a 5k PB, so I was off to a great start.
Favourite Cork race and why:
It has to be my comeback race, the Ballycotton 10. Training for this got me back into running and I ran my 10 mile PB the last time I ran here. My 5 mile PB was also ran in Ballycotton in the 2016 summer series when I got one of the much coveted ‘Top 50’ t-shirts. I hope these races start up again in the near future.
Ultimate/Overall running goal:
After being plagued with injuries for a few years my main goal is to just keep running. Other than that, a sub 3 marathon is like the ‘Holy Grail’ for most runners and I’d like to join the sub 3 club at some point but I’ve got a long way to go yet. If Dublin was to go ahead this year, I’d like to take a chunk off my current PB and take another step towards this ultimate goal.
Most memorable/funniest running moment to date:
There’s been lots of memorable moments and plenty that I’d rather forget, but the 2013 Cork City marathon stands out. I had completely died a death over the last few miles and just managed to crawl over the line. There was a massage tent on Patricks street which I then tried to queue for, but could only manage sitting on the ground in the queue. When I finally made it to the tent they thought I looked a bit pale, and wanted to bring me to the first aid tent. Even though I was feeling pretty bad, I couldn’t help laughing at how I must look being wheeled up the middle of Patricks street in a wheelchair. This was my second marathon and second time in a first aid tent. After my first one in Dublin I had hypothermia and had to be wrapped in blankets.
Tell us something most people might not know about you:
I was once the South Munster Schools U14 pole vaulting champion but I should probably mention that I was the only guy in the competition. The lowest height that a pole vaulting bar goes to is 2 metres (something a decent high jumper could manage) and I just managed to clear this at my third attempt, under pressure with a lot of the older pole vaulters looking on.
Biggest heroes (sporting or non-sporting):
There’s a lot to choose from but one has to be Marcus O’Sullivan, a fellow Chriost Ri man. I remember him visiting our school after winning the world indoors and in his speech he mentioned that he wasn’t the fastest guy on the team when he was in school. This gave hope to the average runners like myself. His feat of running 101 sub 4 minute miles is an incredible achievement.
One bit of advice you would give to someone thinking of taking up running:
Most of the advice given in past profiles is probably the best such as joining a club, running slowly, wearing the proper runners, etc. but having suffered a lot in the last few years with piriformis and SI joint issues, I wish I had done a lot more strengthening exercises for the hips and glutes (something I still don’t do enough of these days).
IF you could go on a run with one elite athlete (at your pace!) who would it be and what would you ask them:
A world class athlete I’d love to run with would be Eliud Kipchoge, just to be able to see that perfect running form up close. He looks so effortless when he runs. If I was to ask him anything it would probably be his shoe size so I could borrow a pair of his speedy Nikes.