1. How did you get into athletics ?
I had zero interest in athletics as a young grasshopper but I always did a bit of running as I played rugby, soccer and GAA. In 2005, I had to avoid contact sport for a year so I started doing some running to rebuild fitness but my main focus switched to soccer, once I got the green light to relace my boots. I only really caught the running bug while in Loughborough, Leicestershire in 2012. I organised to go for a run with some soccer mates, to build preseason fitness, but none of the lazy feckers turned up. A group of runners had gather at the same meeting point so I joined them for a long run. The guys knew all these hidden trails, all over the place. It was great, we used to run different routes every weekend and I enjoyed it so much that I joined Charnwood AC and hung up my soccer boots.
2. Why do you run?
Healthy body and mind!
I remember as a teenager if I was frustrated about something I would stick the dog on the lead, head up the back roads and just run the sh!t out of myself. By the time I got home I’d blown off steam and I’d sleep like a baby that night. I’m a big fan of runners high I love the feeling of euphoria and the sense of achievement I get after battling through a race or a hard training session in Sean Moore Park.
3. Did you try different events or where you always a distance runner ?
I used to play different sports. 2004 was a particular good year for me as I won a North Tipp. Senior Hurling Championship with Roscrea, was a Leinster Junior Soccer Cup runner up with Killavilla FC and an All-Ireland Intermediate Gaelic Football runner up with Trinity College. I also played rugby at under age the highlight of which was getting Leinster trials at U16 but I didn’t make it past the 2nd cut. I’m not much of a track runner but I used to love heading off to the Track and Field League events where I tried out most events, for the craic. I’m definitely not a thrower as my javelin PB is pretty much the same as my tribe jump PB. It’s sad but I can jump farther than I can throw.
4. Can you give a brief synopsis of your running career to date ?
I join DUHAC (Dublin University Harrier AC/Trinity College) in 2007 and enjoyed training but I didn’t go to many races. I started to focus more on running in 2012 when I joined Charnwood AC. I had a good debut cross country season winning the Derby Runner Cross country league and was delighted to get selected to represent Leicestershire at the British inter counties cross country. I moved home in 2016 and started racing more for Portlaoise AC. I’ve had some great days out particularly in the cross country where last winter I got onto the podiums for the Laois Senior, Leinster Masters and Irish Novice. On the mountains I have been fortunate to be involved in the the past three TT Racer Wicklow Relay teams and last year I was first male in the South East League. Also achieving the CR on Mount Leinster and equalling the CR on Vicarstown parkrun were two more feathers in my hat.
5. What would you consider to be your main highlight ?
It’s always something extra special when you get to wear an Irish vest and I’ve been very fortunate to wear it 4 times: Snowdon, the InterCeltic Trail race in Brittany, the Trofeo Vanoni Relays in North Italy and the British & Irish Master XC in Aintree.
My perspective on sport did changed somewhat when I was 21 and I spent 8 weeks with a pretty bad pain from a trapped nerve. At the time I just wanted to be able to sleep & walk pain free. Ever since then I really appreciate been able to run and I try to enjoy each race as if it is my last because I know one day it will be. That said, I remember hanging around after one of the first 10k’s I did and watching the different people cross the finish line. The final man home looked like he had just escaped from a world war bunker. Huge, an 80 year old man, wearing long pants with britches over his shoulders. As I watched him I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be great if I’m still around running at 80 years old.
6. When did you hook up with TTracers and what was the reason for doing so?
In 2016 I started working in Trinity and I used to go for a walk around the cricket green at lunch time. I spotted a few people out running and asked if I could join in. At the time I was training on my own at night so having a group to train with at lunch time was a god sent.
I remember at the start I used to spot the odd TT racer during working hours all dressed up in suits and then come 1o’clock they’re all togged out and ready to go. I used to joke that TT Racers was like a runners version of the movie fightclub.
7. What would be in your eyes the main advantage of being part of TTracers ?
I find the structure Terry put on my training really helped me. The group is very positive and every one thrives to push each other to the finish line. Even outside the world of running you’d get some great advice off people in the group about different things in life.
Another thing I enjoy about TT is watching peoples journey. On race day you just get to see the end product. But during training sessions you get to see where that person started off and how they improved week by week. That gives me extra motivation, if they can do it, then so can I.
8. What’s the best running advice you’ve been given which has helped you to become a better runner?
When I started running I was very much a run hard or run home type of runner. I’ve had to learn to respect recovery. Also, if I miss a days training I don’t try and make it up, I just forget about it and continue on with the plan.
9. What’s your running ambition going forward?
I love setting goals and planning out races as “failure to plan is planning to fail”. Short term I had planned London Marathon so I’m hoping I’ll still be able run a marathon in isolation on Sunday the 26th, April. If you feel as if you have wasted you time reading about me don’t worry as you can now do something productive with your time and get involved #doitfordan https://www.facebook.com/
donate/860415501100300/ The athletic clubs in Laois are looking for runners and donations. We all need to run a combined distance of 2000km on Sunday the 26th and hopefully raise some funds for little Dan Donoher. Could you please spread the word by sharing the FB page with your clubmates and please do get involved yourself. You can run any distance and afterwards post a picture of yourself & your distance to the facebook page.
Take care everyone