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Profiles, tips & news p16


Features & news p66


8-page special p78 APRIL / MAY 2014 €4.75 / £4.20


Socks Review Page 38



WIN Samsung Gear Fit &


Samsung Galaxy S5


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editor’s letter

BOSTON MEMORIES It is hard to believe that a quarter of the year has passed as we go to press with this issue of Irish Runner. It reminds me of how time has flown by, too, since the very first issue of Irish Runner hit the news-stands in May 1981. I recently had good reason to take a little trip down memory lane on the drive from Limerick to Dublin after a few hours spent with Neil Cusack. I had visited Neil in his home city to get material for the tribute feature that appears in this issue of Irish Runner. I can still remember that day forty years ago when Neil sped to his famous victory in Boston. I was alone in a dormitory at East Tennessee State University when a reporter friend at the Johnson City Press Chronicle called to tell me the big news that had just come in on the Associated Press wire service. I remember how excited I was on hearing the news of Neil’s famous Boston victory - a rare and enduring achievement for my former ETSU cross-country and track team-mate. On Good Friday evening, April 18th, Irish Runner will host An Evening with Neil Cusack in the Gibson Hotel at The Point Village in Dublin to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Limerick man’s famous victory. The evening will include an onstage, wide-ranging interview with Neil, as well as an audience question and answer session. This will be followed by a Running Forum with a panel that will include some other legends of Irish distance running. It was great to catch up with Neil Cusack in Limerick and to learn that he has been making some serious strides on his own road back to fitness. It was also nice to see that there is now a trail named in Neil’s honour on the Condell Road along the banks of the Shannon leading into Limerick. This lovely running trail along the river bank is just one of nine Olympic Trails established by the Limerick Olympic Trails Group of Limerick AC stalwarts; Tom Foley, Ronnie Long, Henry Kiely and Kevin O’Connor of Shannon Development. The Limerick Olympic Trails – five of which have been completed - are a wonderful way of creating a lasting tribute to nine Limerick Olympians – an idea that could be repeated in other parts of the country. I am looking forward to a day in April when I will join Neil Cusack on a run along his Limerick Trail and follow that with a few gentle miles in his beloved Cratloe Forest- still his favourite ground after all these years. I promised in the last issue to update readers on my own training progress back to fitness and I am happy to report that the training has been going well and that I have progressed from a walking/ jogging phase to a running/ walking one. I had a nice experience one evening in March when striding out on a stretch of pavement by the Grand Canal near Harold’s Cross I was joined for a short time by another runner who enquired if I was the guy who edits Irish Runner and if so, did I still hold the Irish Junior 10,000m record. I failed to get the runner’s name, but during our brief encounter he told me he worked for Certu, a city centre-based financial company that has a big running group. That encounter put a new pep in my step and brought a smile to my face; I felt like I was running with a new purpose all the way home. It’s a long time now since I laced on my first pair of running shoes in Ballyhaunis. I did not realise then that running in one form or another was to become a lifelong pursuit for me. These days, when I run in Memorial Park, along the banks of the Liffey, I feel grateful that I can stride out a little and still tackle a few stiff hills with the sense of energy and renewal that a return to regular running brings.

on the cover


BEST FOOT FORWARD Niall Tuohy is the National Indoor 800m Champion. But before he secured the title he had to fight his way through some dark days. Now in a much better place, the Waterford athlete tells Cathal Dennehy about his litany of health problems, what it feels like to hit rock-bottom and the long road back to the top.

See page 62




Samsung Gear Fit & Niall Tuohy back in full-stride. Photo: Diarmuid Greene,

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Editor: Frank Greally. Associate Editor: Cathal Dennehy. Photography: Sportsfile, Tomás Greally, Dave Hudson, Mark Shearman, Donal Glackin. Magazine Design: Printed by: Boylan Print. Administration: Bernie Dunne, Moira Aston. Accounts: John Holian. Contributors: Asher Senyk, Claire McGlynn, John Walshe, Lindie Naughton, Joe Warne, Conor O’Hagan, Cathal Dennehy, Malcolm McCausland, Conor Greally, Rory Hafford, Roy Stevenson, Gavin McGuinness, Patricia Murphy. Advertising Sales Manager: Jason McChesney, email:

Frank Greally Managing Editor

Published by: Athletics Ireland, Unit 19 Northwood Court, Northwood, Business Campus, Santry, Dublin 9. Telephone: (01) 886 9933. Email: Irish Runner 5

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your potential These six simple techniques could help transform your running this summer

40 20

Subscribe to Irish Runner & receive a FREE GIFT of the new Fit4life Training Diary

Gold on the Double in Bolton


Subscriptions Hotline: (01) 886 9933 or Irish Runner 7

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HEAVENLY TRAILS Starting from Lough Inagh, this is part of the Connemarathon route which offers spectacular views of the Mamturk Mountains and the Twelve Bens. Winding through the mountains you find yourself running along Killary Fjord into the village of Leanaun, where you start the second half of the route back to Maam cross-roads.

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Location: Lough Inagh Runners: Ruth Ann Sheahan, Mick Morrisey, Damien McSherry, Cole Green Photographer: Donal Glackin

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LIGHTING UP THE NIGHT! Gary Twohig, GM, Samsung Electronics IT & Mobile, talks about the benefits of running, his personal running ambitions and the innovative Samsung Night Run Dublin / Cork events … PHOTOS: PAT MURPHY / SPORTSFILE.COM

When did you first get involved in running? It was probably doing laps of the school grounds of St Mary's in Rathmines in preseason training for rugby. I would never describe myself as a really serious runner; for me, running has more been about getting out in the fresh air for some time alone with my thoughts, rather than focusing on the times I was doing in a 5K or 10K. Did you play any other sport? Yes. I played rugby at SCT, University and club level. I also played some football, along with a bit of golf. How often and how far do you run these days? About three to four times a week. Recently, I have been doing shorter, higher intensity runs on a treadmill during the week, with one longer run out on the streets at the weekend. Do you have a favourite training route? At the weekends in the Spring/Summer time a route I really enjoy is from Sandymount Village down to Strand Road along the coastline towards the Sandymount towers and Poolbeg lighthouse and back. How do you fit in training around your busy schedule as GM, Samsung Electronics IT & Mobile? I tend to do most of my running during the week at lunchtime. Where is the best place you’ve ever gone for a run? On summer holidays, running along the coastline in Sardinia in the evening time when the sun is going down. What’s your own best 10K time to date? It's nothing special… just over 53 minutes. However, I would love to achieve 50 minutes, or less, in the Samsung Night Run in Cork in April. What’s the best thing about being a runner? The peace of mind and general feel-good factor that it gives you.

Least favourite thing about running? When you are out jogging on your own, enjoying your tempo, and then suddenly someone passes you out. Your natural competitive instinct kicks in and you try to stay with them, or maybe even pass them back out. This invariably ends up with you gasping for air by the time you get home.

I tend to do most of my running during the week at lunchtime

Best running memory to date? Running over Tower Bridge with my wife during a night run event in London. How long have you been GM, Samsung Electronics IT & Mobile and what was your career pathway? Almost five years now. A few days after I finished college, I left Dublin to go to London to find a job in Marketing. I ended up working in sales as a National Account Manager for a new venture set up by Richard Branson called Virgin Mobile, now Virgin Media. After five great years there I joined Samsung Electronics and worked as a Global Account Manager until the opportunity came for me to come back home to Ireland to run the Irish mobile business. Naturally, I jumped at the chance. How did the idea come about for the Samsung Run Dublin@Night event? I ran in a similar night run event when I lived in London. The city of London was shut down for the night to accommodate the event. The atmosphere was great and it was almost surreal to be able to jog over Tower Bridge and past Big Ben with absolutely no traffic on the streets. Has this event lived up to your expectations? Absolutely! Almost 8,000 people took part in Dublin last year. We are hoping for even bigger and better things this year, with the run also being staged on the streets of Cork City centre.

The Samsung Night Run Dublin / Cork is a novel idea. Who came up with the concept and what do you hope the response will be? We have been talking about bringing the Samsung Night Run to Cork for a number of years now and it just seemed to make sense to have it at the same time on the same night and let the natural healthy rivalry between Cork and Dublin flourish. As a technology company we will be bringing technology to the event by taking the average time of the Cork competitors versus the Dublin competitors to determine which city has the fastest 10K time. We are having a special Samsung Night Run Cup commissioned for the Mayor of the city that emerges victorious. Samsung is in the process of bringing some running technology to the market. Can you tell us a bit more about this? Yes. On the 11th of April, in conjunction with the launch of the new Samsung S5, we will also be launching our new Gear and Gear Fit wearable's. The Gear Fit is a lightweight IP67 wearable, with a world’s first curved glass super AMOLED screen, so it sits comfortably on your wrist. Weighing in at only 27 grams, with a sleek design, it comes with a number of pre-loaded fitness capabilities such as a built-in heart rate monitor and personal fitness coaching designed to aid users reach their fitness goals and, of course, improve their Samsung Night Run times! Will you be running in the Dublin or the Cork event? This year I plan to run in the Cork event. Hopefully, the people of Cork won't mind a Dub taking part and representing Cork. However, my family - the Twohigs - are all originally from Ballingeary in West Cork, so I part qualify. What’s your own personal running ambition for 2014? To achieve 50 minutes or less in the Samsung Night Run in Cork and to keep on enjoying it!

Irish Runner 11

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O'Hanlon Wins Trail Title PHOTO: DONAL GLACKIN

Gary O'Hanlon of Clonliffe Harriers was in sparkling form on Saturday, February 15th as he sped to victory in the National 50km championship held over a ten-lap course in Donadea Forest Park, writes Frank Greally O'Hanlon looked impressive as he came home in a time of 2:59:19 - well clear of second place finisher Raivis Zakis of West Waterford AC, who came home with a time of 3:13:44. Peter Mooney (100 Marathon Club) finished third in 3:16:11 and Steven McKeague was fourth in 3:16:41. Justin Maxwell (East Coast) finished fifth in 3:17: 24 and Mike Cunningham (Bilboa AC) was sixth in 3:28:45. There was an impressive performance too by Orna Dilworth of Sportsworld Running Club, who won the women's title in 3:43:06. Olwyn Dunne (Crusaders AC) finished second in 4:13:23 and Donna McLoughlin was third in 4:21:35. Deirdre Finn (100 Marathon Club) was fourth in 4:27:49 and Kate Kelly finished fifth in 4:28:40. This was another top-drawer performance by Gary O'Hanlon. who had only decided to run in the event a few days previously when he learned that his friend Kevin English had entered him in the Championship. "I had been telling Kevin that I had completed a 20-mile training run with Mark Christie and Joe Sweeney - and he told me that he had entered me in the 50km," O'Hanlon said. "I was delighted with my performance, but I found the last mile especially challenging. I had no problem with the ten five-kilometre laps and I decided to go for a good time right from the start. It all worked out well in the end, but I was very tired at the finish." Last year O'Hanlon won six marathons; Connemara, Newry, Kildare, Limerick,

Waterford and Clonakilty and also finished second in the Cork event. The national 50km trail victory means that the Clonliffe runner now has national medals in track, cross-country, hill running road and trail events and is now looking forward to racing in the Rotterdam Marathon on April 13. where his target is a 2:17 performance. O'Hanlon will turn 40 on August 3 and as he gets older his appetite for racing seems to increase all the time. Wouldn’t it be something if he were to run 2.17 in Rotterdam in April and qualify for the Irish team to compete in the European Track & Field Championships in Zurich this summer? On March 16, O’Hanlon notched up his first marathon victory of 2014 when winning the Kerry’s Eye Tralee International event.

Joe Gough Leads the Charge As Irish Runner goes to press, forty Irish athletes are taking part in the World Masters Track & Field Championships in Budapest, led by sixty-oneyear-old Joe Gough of West Waterford AC, who last month posted an indoor world record time of 2:14.06 for 800m in his age category. Another member of the Irish

12 Irish Runner

travelling party, Brian Lynch of North East Runners, also broke a world record for 1500m in the Over 60 age category, when running 4:27.27 - knocking a full eight seconds off the previous record. The Irish competitors at these prestigious World Masters Championships have

good reason to feel confident. We will include a special feature in the next issue of Irish Runner with a focus on some of our top Masters athletes, including Joe Gough and Brian Lynch. By then it is likely that a few of our Irish Masters will have returned from Budapest with some medals to celebrate.

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Nicola’s International Debut PHOTOS: BOB MARSHAL

Galway City native Nicola Duncan makes her international debut when she competes for the first time in the Irish singlet at the IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Galway woman has been resident for a decade in Edinburgh, where she works as an Actuary; a demanding profession that often sees her working twelve-hour days or beyond. Nicola only discovered her talent for distance running five years ago when a friend offered her a race number for a 10k that she herself was unable to attend. That first entry into a mass-participation event ignited a spark for Nicola that has since lit a flame of success for the 5ft 1 inch, teak-tough Galway woman who grew up in the Taylor's Hill area of the city. Before she took to distance running, Nicola had enjoyed a measure of success as an inter-provincial tennis player. She grew up close to the local tennis club and from an early age was competitive on the court. She very soon brought her competitive nature to bear in her running performances, completing her first marathon in Edinburgh in 2009 in 2:58 and four years later taking a chunk off that time with a personal best of 2:36:44 in Amsterdam in October of last year. That time earned her qualification for this summer's European Track & Field Championships in Zurich. Nicola is coached by Nick Anderson and has also received sound training advice from well-known Galway City Harriers stalwart PJ Coyle. Nicola is a niece of P.J.'s wife Susan, and the GCH man has played a quiet but very supportive role in her running development to date. Nicola may be small

in stature, but she has speed and stamina in great abundance and a fresh and breezy approach to her training and racing. In February of this year Nicola finished second in the Barcelona Half Marathon in 1:12:12; a race won in a world record time of 1:05:12 by Kenyan runner Florence Kiplagat. Earlier this month she finished ninth place overall and first woman in the Global Energy Inverness Half Marathon - finishing in 1:13:28, just seven seconds outside the course record set by Kenya's Cathy Mutwa in 2007. Nicola competes in Edinburgh with Portobello AC and is also an affiliated member of Galway City Harriers. She was

out of running for a while early in 2013 due to a fractured pelvis but continued to cross-train and do pilates and yoga to help maintain her fitness during that difficult period when she learned a lot about over-training, rest and recovery. It was only when Nicola joined Portobello AC that she fully recognised she had a lot of potential to offer as a distance runner. "I learned a lot when I joined the club, as I was pretty clueless about training up to that point," she said. Nicola Duncan and Paul Pollock of Annadale Striders will be the only two Irish elite representatives in the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Copenhagen on March 29.

NEW RUNNING GUIDE! IRISH Runner is teaming up with the RTE Guide to bring you an exciting new running supplement. The mini-mag, which will appear in the April 28th edition of the RTE Guide, will feature a collection of inspirational running features from Irish celebrities.

In it, they will share their training tips, their motivation for running and the benefits they derive from running. The magazine will also feature training, diet and injury treatment tips to make sure you get running right! It’s aimed at runners

and non-runners alike and the basic idea behind the concept is to get people off the couch, into their running gear and out into the fresh air. And, if you’re already out there, it might even help you run that little bit better. Pick up a copy. It could change your life! Irish Runner 13

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McCormack Still Swift at Sixty It’s close to 40 years since a fresh-faced Tom McCormack from Robinstown, Mullingar, arrived at East Tennessee State University to take up an athletic scholarship. He had finished an excellent 20th position that year in the Junior race at the World Cross Country Championships in Ghent and he was already known as a teak-tough and fearless competitor. However, McCormack’s blossoming career was blighted by injury during his four years at ETSU, where he was a member of the famous Irish Brigade all-Irish crosscountry team. He suffered a lot from shin splints in those early days at ETSU – an injury he feels was brought on by a too-rapid increase in his training load. McCormack was one of a number of Irish Brigade members who settled in Tennessee and he now lives with his wife Teresa close to the ETSU Campus, the college that he graduated from back in the early 1970s. Tom and Teresa have two sons; Brian and Neil, and the Mullingar native last year retired after long service with the Johnson City Fire Department. He moved to the City Fire Department after an earlier career as a City Police Officer. Since his retirement McCormack has made a big

comeback to running and racing and has suddenly become the fastest in his Over 60 age group in all of America. Last October, McCormack won the 60-65 age group title at the USA Masters Cross Country Championships in Flemington, New Jersey, covering the 5km course in 17:17. It was his first cross-country race since his college days and he felt like a young athlete again; eager and ready to take on the world. A month later in November, McCormack won his age division in the inaugural USA 12K Road Championships in Alexandria, VA - posting a time of 43:04, almost a minute and a half clear of his closest rival. Now McCormack feels that his college disappointment at ETSU may have been a blessing in disguise. He still weighs in at about 120 pounds and he feels that he can now blaze a new trail as a Master runner. In an issue in which we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Neil Cusack’s famous Boston Marathon victory, it is wonderful to report also on another former Irish Brigade runner who is still in full flight. We will bring the Mullingar man into full focus in the next issue of Irish Runner in our Masters Special Feature.

Remembering A Friend I can understand why Paddy and Derek Beauchamp were disappointed when the photo that accompanies this piece did not appear in the Irish Runner Yearbook. The father and son, along with Derek’s wife Yvonne. took part in the Remembrance Run 5K in the Phoenix Park in November in memory of Derek’s long-time friend Garry Foran, who had passed away in August. Paddy Beauchamp from Baldoyle has been a long-time supporter of Irish Runner and a very loyal subscriber to the magazine for many 14 Irish Runner

years. He has a best marathon time of 2:55 and his son Derek has a PB of 3:16 - a time he may well improve on in the forthcoming London Marathon. I am glad to report that after a manjor search the photo of Paddy, Derek and Yvonne Beauchamp was found and a promise made at the Remembrance Run 5K to include it in Irish Runner has at last been honoured. We wish Derkek Beauchamp a great run in London and we hope to see the Beauchamp trio in action at more races during the year.

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health+fitness WITH RORY HAFFORD

RUN FOR THE BUTTERFLY CHILDREN Liz Collins’ daughter has epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a chronic condition that literally strips the skin from the body. This year, she would like you to help by running the Terenure 5K for the charity that represents kids with EB, Debra Ireland. This is her story…

Huge Loss We were absolutely devastated. Our world fell apart. The sense of loss was huge. Every parent wants only the best for their child, but so many of our dreams and expectations were taken away. Every year it gets harder, as the bigger the child the bigger the wounds. In the beginning you are given information on the possible side-effects of EB; but, gradually as your child gets older, they all occur. Osteoporosis, malnutrition,


THIS year marked a very special milestone for us: our lovely daughter Claudia turned 10 years old. Ten years ago our lives changed forever and every year has been a blessing since. Her birthday is a very special day as we hang onto every year. I was your average woman in her 30’s, just about to give birth to our first child. I was in good shape and there were no indications that anything was wrong. But when Claudia was born, she had denuded areas on her body where skin was missing. That’s because she had been born with a condition called epidermolysis bullosa or EB for short. Children born with this condition are sometimes referred to as butterfly children as their skin is as fragile as the wings of a butterfly. This cannot be detected in the womb; it is a genetic disorder. Basically, she was born with no collagen in her skin to knit the dermis and epidermis together. This causes the skin to blister and tear at the slightest touch, resulting in chronic, wide open wounds.

hands and feet fusing, mobility problems, swallowing difficulties, constipation, anemia, infection…to mention just a few. These children suffer every day on this earth and are in chronic pain. Everything we take for granted, like eating, toileting and walking is affected by EB. The family’s whole life is impacted by EB and physically, emotionally and spiritually it takes its toll. I used to say I would never allow this disease to take over my family; but it wins hands down. I don’t try and control it anymore as it’s too powerful; the disease is a vicious animal. Against the Grain It doesn’t matter how much you try to stay on top of it, it’s always in control. The

powerlessness that comes with it is unbearable at times. No parent should have to watch their child suffer; it goes against the grain. But, unfortunately, we cannot take it away. All we can do is try and keep her in the best possible shape and try to prevent the damage that occurs. The disease dictated where we live, siblings, holidays, work, school, hobbies and so much more. I don’t fight the disease anymore I accept things for the way they are. A typical day in Claudia’s life would be up at about 7am; she doesn’t eat breakfast as she is peg-fed, so she just has all her medications. Then I would do her morning dressings and change any area that has been damaged during the night.

fit tips CLAIRE McGLYNN Breaking in New Shoes: Never wear a brand new pair of shoes on race day, as this could cause blisters, cuts and could lead to other injuries as well. Also, never go out on a long run in a brand new pair of shoes. The time needed to break in a pair of shoes depends on your own physical circumstances, how long 16 Irish Runner

your runs are and how much running you do. Ideally, it’s best to have a transitional period where you are wearing both your old shoes and your new ones – in order to phase out the old. Bloody Blisters: Blisters can be a

nuisance. More than this, if they are bad enough they can stop you from training! Blisters are small pockets of fluid that form on the upper layers of your skin in order to protect the tissue below. In sport, they are usually caused by repetitive friction, rubbing and/or heat.

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I get her dressed and then she goes to school where she is cared for by a special-needs assistance. She struggles in school with exhaustion as her energy levels are always low. The kids in her school are fantastic and they are all very mindful of her. She is then collected from school and every second day of her life she faces a bath and a three-hour dressing change from head to toe. She is 95% wrapped in several layers of bandages. When this is done she has some food, homework, ipad and bed. There are not enough hours in the day for her level of care.

I used to say I would never allow this disease to take over my family: but it wins hands down

Constant Pain Claudia is the most remarkable person I have ever met she has the strength of a warrior. She is in constant pain and never complains. She is a very strong character and would test you to the last. She questions everything and hates people staring at her. All she wants is to be normal, living a normal life. She struggles with her physical identity, as inside she has the same wants and needs like any other kid. As she is getting older she knows how she looks on the outside and she can be self-conscious sometimes. I try telling her that beauty is from within. She gets it, but other kids don’t. She has a wise head on her and wisdom beyond her years. The routine can never change around the dressings, as we must be vigilant at all times in case of infection. Even on St Patrick’s Day all she wanted was to go to the parade like any other child, but we had

to do her dressings before she could go and she was so upset and frustrated. The band The Script was playing their song Falling To Pieces in the background on the radio and she said ‘That’s like me Mam’. Her pain manifests in anger sometimes and she verbally lashes out. But it’s so tough on her; she is only a little girl. Hard Task As a mother of a child with special needs I believe in keeping myself in good shape physically and mentally. I always tried to do some form of exercise, time permitting. Like any working parent, trying to get the work-life balance right is hard. But caring for a child with an illness on top of that can get you down. Trying to be wife, mother and nurse is a hard task. I go to my running club, Sportsworld, twice a week to let off a bit of steam, feel the surge of a few endorphins and have a bit of time out for me. Some nights I have to force myself to go; but I always felt better after it. The fitness level allows me take on any challenge that Claudia’s illness throws at me. Christmas week I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I haven’t been running since. I do believe the fitness level I had built up helped me through it all. Grab Life I genuinely believed life couldn’t get any worse; but I am recovering now from surgery and on the way back. Nobody knows what’s around the corner, or what’s going to happen from day to day. We all should grab life and live it to its full as, unlike Claudia, we have choices. At this stage in Claudia’s life I sometimes don’t see the EB, I just see my brave daughter. I would give the disease back tomorrow, but not her. I love every inch of her and wish I could take it all away, but I can’t. Please participate in the Terenure 5 mile on May 18th and you will help give people with EB hope. Enter at

MasterChef’s Recipe

TUNE UP WITH TUNA! IF you are looking for a meal that provides the perfect mix of protein, vitamins and minerals, then check out my Creamy Tuna Salad! It’s a recipe that myself and nutritionist Martin MacDonald came up with. Just follow the steps below and see how easily it comes together – and how easily it goes down! Ingredients per serving: • 100g Tuna • 110g Greek yogurt • Two Spring Onions (chopped) • 80g Cucumber (chopped) • 60g Celery • ½ Apple (finely chopped) • Fresh Chives • 15g Pistachio Nuts (de-shelled) or Cashew Nuts • 50g Avocado (chopped) • 120g Salad, made up from the following: Lettuce, Spinach, Rocket Leaves • 10g Balsamic Vinegar What you will need: • 1 X Mixing Bowl

You can actually avoid this by applying lots of Vaseline to the usual points where you develop blisters. You can also put Vaseline on your socks and shoes. Good sports stores sell special clothing, socks, anti-chaffing balms and lubricant to help counter this common problem. Pal Up: Everyone is different. Some people much prefer to train by themselves; but this

can be more challenging, in the long run. Training with someone else, a group of people, or a club is the best way of staying committed to your training. It is always easier to let yourself down, rather than letting others down. As well as this, there is a social benefit to training with others: you will meet new people who share similar passions and experiences.

How to make: Place tuna, Greek yoghurt, Spring Onion, Cucumber, Celery, Apple and Chives into mixing bowl. Mix. Prepare bed of salad leaves and Avocado. Sprinkle salad with Balsamic Vinegar. Place tuna on top of salad and garnish with nuts. Irish Runner 17

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GUIDE-ing LIGHT! Catherine Lee, editor of the RTE Guide, reveals how running helps her cope with the stresses and strains of managing the biggest selling magazine in the country…

Q: Are you new to running? A: “No. I used to do a lot of running up to the age of about 14 or 15. I ran with Kilmore AC on the northside of Dublin, along with the Peppards, a great running family. I did several All-Ireland’s, both track and cross country; so, from an early age, it was in the blood.” Q: Why did you give it up? A: “I just got a bit bored with it, to be honest. Exams were kicking in and it got edged out.” Q: It must have been tough getting back into it all these years later? A: “You have to really want it. That, for me, was the key when I was deciding to run again. You have to really want to give it a go. Otherwise, you’re just dipping a toe in the water and not really committing.” Q: Can you believe that you’re back into it? A: “I never thought that I’d go back to it. I’ve always tried to maintain some kind of fitness and I focused all my energy on walking. I love the French philosophy of building exercise into your normal day…every day. And, with the Phoenix Park practically on my doorstep, I had a place that I could walk seven days a week and not go over the same ground! It’s a wonderful facility.” Q: Your job is particularly stressful. Does running help you manage that stress? A: “Running, for me, has been a great stress18 Irish Runner

buster. It brings you right into the moment. And I find myself concentrating on my breathing, especially breathing out. I run with my head and not my feet. Running a weekly magazine is relentless (if great fun!). You start every Monday with a blank flat-plan and by Friday you’ve all 88 pages flying out the door to the printer; so you have to be on your game every day. “Running helps me in this regard. It is now an integral part of my week. It’s the time I get to lift my head and get a little bit of perspective.” Q: Editing this magazine is a huge challenge. Just how much of a challenge has it been? A: “I have to say, when you take everything into account, I was delighted to have been given the opportunity to edit the biggest selling magazine in the country. “Maybe it’s no coincidence that the editorship and running arrived (back) in my life at the same time. Both have given me a whole new outlook on staying focused, setting goals and hitting targets. But, most importantly, living life to the full and grabbing opportunities with both hands.” Q: Any advice, from your own experience, that you would give to someone like you who is toying with the idea of running? A: “I wouldn’t be an expert, but I would advise to start slowly. The first few runs I did I thought I was going to keel over. So, I mixed running with walking (two minutes for each),

until I was up to around the 30-40 minute mark. “Eventually, I found that I was doing a little bit more running than walking – and now I’m actually comfortable running, nonstop, for around 30 to 35 minutes.” Q: Any tips in relation to running gear? A: “Invest in a good pair of runners and some decent gear. It helps enormously when you are comfortable and gives you less reason to stop.” Q: What pace do you run at? A: “If you want to get back, take it slowly. You are not Sonia O’Sullivan and you never will be. But Sonia’s 30 minutes is the same length as your 30 minutes. So, relax and enjoy it. “Oh – and another thing – stretch! I stretch before and after every run and I find that it helps keep the legs flexible.” Q: Are there any other benefits you have found from running? A: “When you talk all day, every day, the silence that comes from a long run is most welcome. I embrace it. I look forward to it. For me it’s not a social thing. It is my oasis of stillness in a day of seemingly never-ending chatter.” * The RTE Guide – in association with Irish Runner - will be producing a special 24-page running supplement, which will appear in the RTE Guide on Monday 28th April. The idea behind the mini-mag is to inspire runners and non-runners alike with tips, advice and encouragement to achieve their running goals.

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Marcus Howlett had a dream of launching a new marathon in Tralee. Last year, that dream came true. Now he has his sights set on producing a new generation of Irish marathoners, as Rory Hafford explains SO here’s Marcus Howlett sitting in a snug in The Grand Hotel in Tralee. He’s on the phone. Talking. This is one of the things that Marcus is really good at…talking! It’s as though his mind is so full of ideas that he just has to get them out; sometimes all at once. Marcus Howlett is that rare breed of Irish person. He’s a can-doer; he’s a glass-half-fuller; a yes-we-can man! “My water sponsor has just pulled out,” he says, as I pull up a seat beside him. “Just learned about it now,” he says, nodding towards the phone. “But, that’s okay. I’ll get another one. No problem.” Marcus hails originally from Blanchardstown on the westside of Dublin. When he came to settle in Tralee in 2009, Marcus was making what might be termed a career change. He had left his permanent position with the Irish Horse Racing Board and returned to education, studying for a degree in Tourism and Event Management at Tralee IT. When he reached the age of 40, Marcus decided that the life he was leading was not what he most needed, so he went back to his roots, back to the town where he had spent childhood holidays, where his mother came from and where his grandfather once drove great big trains. Truly Believes Marcus also knew something else: he wanted to do something that revolved around running and fitness. Almost 600 people ran the inaugural Kerry marathon, Marcus Howlett’s brainchild.. Now he truly believes that if he can start with young

‘FAST Exercise’ is the new fad about town when it comes to burning stubborn fat and improving your overall fitness. Dr Michael Mosley – medical writer and fitness guru – has just pulled together all the latest research on training in fast bursts and he has found the following: • High Intensity Training (HIT) will get you aerobically fitter faster than standard training; • HIT will improve insulin sensitivity (diabetes markers) faster than standard exercise; • If you want to build muscle tone and lose fat HIT is the most time-efficient way to achieve this.

people, he can help to effect real and lasting change. He started to give talks in schools on the benefits of running. One thing led to another and he signed up six local schools to his Born To Run Club. The schoolkids – in or around 300 of them – now spend their lunchtimes running. It’s a movement that Marcus hopes will lead to great things: “As well as the physical health benefits, there are also mental health benefits”. Maybe he doesn’t fully realise the enormity of what he has done here. If you can lay down a pattern of behaviour in young children, they have a tendency to carry that behaviour through life with them. Every day we are surrounded by dire obesity messages and, through negative reinforcement, we are warned of the dangers of our sedentary lifestyles and appalling diets.

Example: this ‘new’ training protocol consists of doing 10 bursts of 1-minute sprints, separated by one minute of recovery. This is something similar to the training regime used by the great Roger Bannister when he was training to crack the 4-minute mile.

Running Project What Marcus has done with his school running project could be the saviour of a generation. And, what’s more, it can be replicated in every school in the country! “We’ve launched an initiative called The Classroom 5K, which involves schools up and down the country sending runners to Tralee on the Easter Monday. It’s not a challenge race; it’s a celebration run. The achievement lies in the completing the run, not where you finish,” Marcus tells Irish Runner. “I really want to change the Irish psyche through running. I want to change our culture; from a sedentary one to an active one. That’s why I believe that starting with the kids is the way to go. “I also believe, if we follow this path, that in 20 years’ time we can have a few Irish marathon runners challenging for Olympic gold.”

Okay. Fair enough. But what actually happens in the body to bring about this ‘amazing’ boost in fitness and fat-burning; not to mention the huge savings in training time? One word: mitochondria! The mitochondria (as any first year biology student will tell you…) are the ‘power-houses’ of the cell.


Effective Regime “Their job is to convert raw materials, like oxygen and glucose into little packets of energy called ATP. The ATP is then used to power your body,” says Dr Mosley. Doing HIT leads to the production of greater number of mitochondria in the cells. “A good measure of how effective an exercise regime is going to be is whether it results in greater mitochondrial density,” says Dr Mosley. In short, doing HIT leads to a bigger, stronger heart which, in turn, enables you to do more high intensity splits. According to all the research, it results in a leaner, fitter, more efficient running machine. Give it a go!

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Ronan Wogan was on the verge of cracking the 2:30 marathon mark when disaster struck. A diagnosis of osteoporosis meant he had to put his dreams and his training on hold. His story may have implications for some runners. Rory Hafford reports. Photos: Donal Glackin.


omething wasn’t right. He could feel it. In his bones. As the race wore on, the pain began to travel down from his abdomen into his groin. He was struggling to finish. His time was shot to pieces; an insidious fear took hold. Some people are born to run fast; others are born to run long distances. Ronan Wogan was born to run far and fast! You just have to look at him to know that this guy puts in some serious mileage. He has the classic longdistance athlete body shape: 8 and three-quarter stone; 5ft 6ins; streamlined; low-drag! “I was always built like this. Well, since I was 16. I haven’t changed,” says Ronan. The Slane native started his running career on the football pitches of his native Co Meath. He chased the round ball at a respectable level, until his soccer/GAA career reached a natural end. And then… “I was always a bit of a flyer on the pitch. Everybody used to say so. I suppose it was a natural progression that, once the boots got hung up, the trainers came out.” Distance. That was always the ambition for Ronan. Long distances. Marathons. He got himself a trainer; Jim Davis of Marathon Mission fame and poured himself into the challenge. It was going to be tough, but he chose the road and chose the vehicle. Whatever the outcome, he had only himself to blame. In 2011 Ronan set a PB of 2:38 for the marathon in Chicago; and the winds of change started to blow hard! “I set my sights on a 2:30 finish and started training hard for it,” Ronan tells Irish Runner. Some people subscribe to the medical philosophy that the body is just one big muscle. Others dispute this. What is for sure is when one thing goes in the body – be it muscle or bone – it can have a serious knock-on effect. The body starts to come

It started with pelvic problems.

apart, piece by piece. Ronan Wogan knows this only too well. “I knew there was something wrong when I entered a 10K and began to fall back timewise. The pain seeped down my body and went into my groin.” He booked an appointment with Dr Eanna Falvey in the Santry Sports Surgery Clinic. Being the Irish rugby team’s medic, Dr Falvey is used to dealing with brute-force trauma in the sports arena. He knows a crisis when he sees one. And, in Ronan’s case, the first thing he had to rule out was bone cancer. “There is no messing with Dr Falvey. He calls it like he sees it – and I like that in him. Having said that, I was so relieved when the tests came back all clear,” says Ronan, wincing a little at the memory. The official diagnosis was ‘right sacral pelvic fracture’. The solution to this painful puzzle was beginning to fall into place. Cracks were starting to appear. Throw in a broken toe and a back that slipped out of its bearings and you can begin to feel what Ronan was

going through. Tests at the Santry clinic also revealed that Ronan’s bone turnover was ‘too small’. In other words, osteoporosis! And, when that happens, there’s only one person to call…Professor Moira O’Brien. A Conspiring Universe There’s nothing that feels worse for a runner than when he or she cannot run. Your life is held in stasis. Ronan was spending more time resting and trying to recoup than running - and it was driving him mad. He had been on the cusp of breaking the 2:30 mark for the marathon when, it seemed, the universe conspired against him. But at least he was on the verge of finding out what was wrong. After that, he could figure out what to do about it. And here’s what was wrong: • Genetic. Some members of Ronan’s family had developed osteoporosis; so there was a family history; • Training. Ronan had upped his training schedules, thereby putting more pressure on joints and bones. Allied to this, his workload had increased heaping more stress on him psychologically; • Diet. His diet was high-carb, consisting mostly of gluten-rich foods. It’s a picture that Professor O’Brien is familiar with: “If you over-train and there is a lot of stress at work, this will have a knock-on effect on your hormones which, in turn, will impact on your bone health,” Prof O’Brien tells Irish Runner. The signs are all important. Runners should be ever-vigilant when it comes to health changes in their body, says Prof O’Brien. “Runners should be thinking about their bone health. And they should be factoring Vitamin D and Calcium tablets into their diet, as required. “Any signs of bloating or mouth ulcer are

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MEDICAL Be alive to the signs: • BASICALLY speaking, osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become porous and weak and fracture easily;

• The mass and density of the bone is not strong enough to withstand the forces it was used to dealing with;

• It has been classified as a ‘silent condition’ because, more often than not, you don’t know you have it until something gives; • Risk factors include: genetics; lifestyle; smoking; low dietary calcium intake; lack of vitamin D; • The condition is more common in women than in men; • The sites most commonly affected by osteoporosis are the wrist, the vertebrae in the spine; and the top of the femur (at the hip); • Dairy products such as cheese, yoghurt and milk are rich in calcium, which is used to fortify bone; • Excessive amounts of alcohol or caffeine are associated with a higher risk of osteoporosis.

When one thing goes in the body – be it muscle or bone – it can have a serious knock-on effect. The body starts to come apart, piece by piece. indicative of overloading in the system (she says an ‘awful lot’ of Irish people are gluten intolerant); while an increase in pulled ligaments and stress fractures could be a sign that bone health is not what it should be.” Prof O’Brien would encourage runners to have a DEXA scan if they are in any doubt about their bone health. The DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) provides a direct measurement of bone density. It is painless and the amount of radiation used to see inside the bone is extremely low. The Full Story When it comes to osteoporosis, the figures don’t really tell the full story. Officially, only 15% of people with the condition are diagnosed. When it comes to the athletics world, Ronan believes the figure is much worse. “Athletes don’t like to tell people of their illnesses and their injuries. In a sense, it’s an admission of weakness, a (white) flag. This, I 22 Irish Runner

believe, is where the whole area of stigma comes in. People are afraid to admit that there is anything wrong,” says Ronan. “So, it’s covered up instead.” Which is a real danger. Like most debilitating medical conditions, osteoporosis responds in a much more positive way if it is discovered early and steps are put in place to tackle it. “We can treat this, you know,” says Prof O’Brien. Ronan was put on a strict regime by Prof O’Brien: he was told to find a way to destress his mind (stress causes an increase in cortisol levels which, in turn, has an adverse effect on bone density); he was put on a diet of foods rich in vitamin D; he was prescribed calcium and vitamin D tablets; he was shown how to eliminate gluten. Ronan is a partner in the Sports Management company Precision Timing. It’s a demanding job. He is always on the go, travelling to running events all over the country.

“There is no off-time. There is no social life, as such,” he says. “People ring you at all hours of the day and night. If little things go wrong, like a second too fast, or a second too slow on the results card, you can get dog’s abuse from people. That’s how seriously runners take their times. It’s understandable…but it’s also very stressful.” Allied to this, the equipment that they carry with them to the various events is extremely heavy. It was lifting a piece of this equipment that led to Ronan putting his back out. To help him switch off and to help him tackle the stresses of the job, Ronan took up yoga and stretching and focused on his breathing. It helped. New Determination He is back in the saddle again; shuffling the training deck between cycling, swimming and running. “I’m trying not to overdo it. But, when it comes to beating osteoporosis, weightbearing exercise is vital.” There’s a new determination about him; a steel in his gaze. He knows that he’s been given a second chance to achieve what he set out to achieve all those years ago. “My ambition remains the same…to crack the 2:30 marathon mark. It’s going to be tough and it’s going to be slow, but I feel that I owe it to myself and all the people who helped me get my health back.” This tough life lesson has taught him one fundamental thing when it comes to injury…“Don’t be afraid!” “The longer you put off finding out what is wrong, the worse it’s going to be in the long run. If you feel something is wrong, act on it. Seek out the professionals, get a DEXA. But, above all, be alive to the signs.” More information from the Irish Osteoporosis Society on, or telephone 1890-252-751

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Science How to beat Runner’s Knee Sports Scientist Joe Warne looks at the research and examines a new way to beat the most common running injury, while also reviewing the latest maximalist running shoe. GAIT RETRAINING – A FEASIBLE METHOD TO REDUCE ‘RUNNER’S KNEE’

PATELLOFEMORAL pain syndrome, or ‘runner’s knee’, is a debilitating injury that is the result of 50% of all running-related injuries, making it the most prevalent problem in runners of today. As such, there has been a huge amount of focus on ways to reduce knee loading in an attempt to decrease this injury rate. Methods such as change in stride frequency, foot strike, and reduced footwear have all been adopted. A recent study sought to determine if hip mechanics had any influence on loading at the knee. The study, from the British Journal of Sports Medicine, took ten runners and gave them real time feedback on reducing hip adduction, the movement of the hip falling inwards. The subjects received eight training sessions where feedback was provided for each session and then gradually removed over the eight weeks. The authors measured hip adduction, hip internal rotation, and hip ‘drop’, i.e. the amount that the hip sinks during the landing phase. They found that internal rotation decreased 23%, and hip adduction decreased 18%. Importantly, during a one-month follow-up, the subjects were able to maintain the same changes, so the effects didn’t just last for the duration of the testing. Finally, not only did the authors find a reduction in knee pain and an improvement in function, but they also saw a huge reduction in force development too! If you suffer with knee pain, the first thing to examine is your own running form, as it may be the key to injury free running. 24 Irish Runner

Research Quote of the Month “My goal in writing this blog is to help people enjoy running, and to help them find shoes that allow them to do so. I’m not so concerned with what those shoes look like as long as they help a runner to run pain free”, Peter Larson, DOING THE HOKA WHEN the Hoka One series of footwear hit the market several years ago, the footwear company claimed the shoes were specifically for ultra-runners, marketed as “superior cushioning and protection for the long road”. Now, the shoes have resulted in a new category on the marketplace, tentatively called ‘maximalist’ shoes. The very opposite of what the relatively new trend of minimalism argues, maximalist shoes such as the Hoka One ‘One’ advertises as much as a 36mm stack height, a “smooth cushioned ride”, and “superior protection”. The shoes centre on four main components: • ‘Rolling’ – using a 50% rockering profile, the company claim the shoe provided an efficient stride transition off the heel; • ‘Oversized’ – Up to 2.5 times the amount of EVA you would find in a regular running shoe, claiming outstanding comfort and cushioning on the road and trail; • ‘Control – a unique bucket seat design dropping the heel into the midsole and offering maximum support for the rear foot; • ‘Lightweight – offering the same if not less shoe weight than traditional shoes with more than twice the cushioning. The idea seems to fit in well with the

traditional marketing approach of most running shoe companies, taking their proposed “benefits” to an entirely new level. The big problem with this is that almost all of the components that we would traditionally buy running shoes for have been found to be almost useless at preventing injury or improving performance. For many, the large interest in minimalism was the drastic change in footwear to promote more ‘natural’ mechanics, since most running injuries were not being cured using the footwear we have worn for the last 50 years. It seems as though the Hoka One group are simply exploiting a large gap in the market using an extreme alternative, of which many people are taking part. It will take some time perhaps, and some research with this new footwear type, to see if there is any benefit to this footwear design. In the meantime, be prepared to see these oversized shoes hitting stores near you soon, if they haven’t already.

RUNNING NUMBERS 20.9% – The amount of oxygen in the air we breathe 3ml per kg – The average amount of oxygen we use at rest per minute 40ml per kg – The average amount of oxygen we use at maximal exercise per minute 300ml per kg – The average amount of oxygen used to run 1km.

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LACTATE TEST Lactate Threshold testing allows elite runners to delay the onset of fatigue and utilise their energy stores for when they need it most: the business end of the race; writes Colin Griffin, Running Re-Education Coach, Sports Surgery Clinic. ATHLETES continuously set goals for themselves. It may be to improve their personal best time, or to achieve a milestone such as a 3hour marathon. Once the goal has been established, the athlete and coach must then sit down and plan their training in order to achieve that goal. But how do we determine how fast our key training sessions should be to improve performance? ANSWER: By measuring our lactate threshold and training to improve it. At higher exercise intensities, lactate and other waste material accumulate in the muscles, which cause fatigue and a greater reliance on glycogen to fuel the performance. But there is only a limited amount of glycogen readily available. Fat, on the other hand, can fuel exercise for several hours. We can train ourselves to utilise our fat stores better and spare glycogen for when we need it most – in the latter stages of a race. This can be achieved by improving the ability to remove lactate as it is produced – the so-called lactate threshold. It is generally accepted that lactate threshold closely correlates with performance. What is Lactate Threshold? The lactate threshold is the highest average speed that an athlete can sustain at which blood lactate readings remain in a relative steady state - also known as the Maximal Lactate Steady State (MaxLass). The MaxLass value can vary individually among athletes from between 2 mmol to 8 mmol. The best way to determine one’s lactate threshold is to measure it. How do we measure lactate threshold? Blood lactate levels, expressed in millimoles per litre (mmol), can be measured with a portable lactate analyser with only a drop of blood from a pin prick to the finger or ear lobe is required. It helps to know how much blood lactate the athlete can sustain for a given period by measuring blood lactate at regular intervals during a continuous run relevant to their race distance. With the athlete’s individual lactate window established, we can then carry out a lactate step test. This step test can be five or six intervals of 6 minutes duration (1 mile or 2km) at progressive speeds. Starting at the pace of a

‘Run at medium pace in training to run fast in a race’ This statement may sound contradictory, but running endurance intervals at high intensity - well above race pace - is counter-productive and does not train the physiological qualities necessary to sustain race pace. A high accumulation of lactate and increased muscle acidosis increases the risk of overtraining because it deconditions the aerobic system and destabilises the lactate threshold. It is important to maintain control of pace and intensity during training and devices such as a heart rate monitor and GPS technology facilitate that.

training run, the athlete increases their running speed by 8-10 seconds per kilometre, expecting to hit their threshold by the third or fourth interval. Based on the lactate readings, the athlete and coach are better equipped to plan their training. How do we improve lactate threshold? The key focus of an athlete’s training programme should be to improve lactate threshold relevant to race distance. The best way to improve it is to strengthen the structures beneath it. That is, the aerobic energy system. Aerobic endurance runs should be in or around 80% LT. Tempo runs should be at around 90% LT, as the purpose is to run continuously at medium distance (depending on race distance) without accumulating lactate. The interval and fartlek training sessions should be done between 95%-105% of the LT.

A typical example of such a test on a 32.00 10km runner with a MaxLass at 4mmol: 1. 2km @ 3.28 per km 2.5 mmol 2. 2km @ 3.20 per km 3.2 mmol 3. 2km @ 3.12 per km 4.0 mmol 4. 2km @ 3.04 per km 5.2 mmol 5. 2km @ 2.56 per km 6.8 mmol ‘If we are not assessing, we are merely guessing’ The initial lactate step-test provides a baseline measure that can be repeated periodically throughout the season. You don’t have to be an international elite athlete to use lactate testing. The lactate threshold is the main performance-limiting factor for any athlete regardless of what level they compete at. We need to measure it, train it and then reassess it regularly (every 6-10 weeks). Otherwise, how do we know if the training programme is working?

• Lactate testing is available as part of the RUN Elite service and as an individual service at the Sports Surgery Clinic.

Based on the above results, the following training intensities would be recommended for this runner, training specifically for 10km whose lactate threshold (LT) pace is 3.12 per km: Recovery/regeneration runs (70% LT): Aerobic Endurance (AE) runs (80% LT): Tempo runs (90% LT): Fartlek/ high volume intervals (90-95% LT): Race-specific intervals (95-105% LT):

4.35 per km (6-8km) 4.00 per km (10-25km) 3.35 per km (6-12km) 3.30-3.20 per km (3x3km @3.30/1km @4.00 or 4x3km @3.25/ 3 min recovery 3.20-3.02 per km (5 x 2km @3.20/2 min recovery, or 10 x 1km 3.15/90 sec recovery, or 15 x 400m @ 3.02/ 45 sec recovery

For more information call 01 5262030. 26 Irish Runner

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Nutritionist Sharon Madigan answers some of the questions that have been bugging you since our last issue. Sharon Madigan, RD, PhD, Performance Nutritionist, Irish Institute of Sport

Fish oils, nuts and seeds, olives or olive oil and avocados are all good sources of ‘healthy’ fats and as well as being an energy source, may also have anti-inflammatory properties

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I have been led to believe that I shouldn’t eat in the evening time as it may lead to weight gain and I am currently trying to reduce my weight slightly. At the moment, due to work, most of my training is after work. - Mary W Carlow. YOU are not on your own asking this question! The eating late in the evening message is one that possibly applies to the general population. Post-training recovery with food and fluid is essential to allow you to maintain good consistency with training. It is this consistency and being able to maintain intensity - which is going to help you achieve your body composition targets. Some runners make the mistake of avoiding eating after they have trained and they then fall into the trap of exhaustion and fatigue that affects progress. If you don’t like having your ‘ big’ meal late at night, then try and have your bigger meal of the day at lunch time. Then, split food intake to pre and post this evening session. This will involve a little planning ahead, as being tired after a session can lead you to the biscuit tin or grazing on foods which may slow down the success you have at reducing your weight slightly. Pre-training foods can include soup, yoghurts, fruit salad, oats, toast, crackers or a half-portion of a pasta salad. Similar foods can be eaten after the session, along with foods such as baked beans, eggs, cold meats or fish. It is crucial that you don’t cut back on calories on training days. On days where you are not training, watch the ‘ extras’ such as biscuits and scones at work, or alcohol at weekends. I have been doing a lot of reading about what my nutrition needs are for running. The problem is there is so much information out there and I am not really sure what I need to do or avoid. I am planning on doing my first marathon later in the year, with some 10k runs before the summer. - Sarah J, Dublin. YOU have hit the nail on the head. If you believe everything that you read at the minute then there is probably little or nothing that you can or should eat. Of late, the words ‘ toxic’, ‘ sugar’, ‘ fructose’, ‘ fat’, ‘ carbohydrates’ have been widely used together, which gives us the impression that, on their own or together, they can add up to major problems. We have been told for years that fat is “ bad” for us; but, recently, it appears that what we replace it with could be more of a problem. We think that carbohydrate foods may be excessively high in calories and no one in their right mind should eat sugar! So what do we eat and how will it make you run well without some of the negative side effects that poor nutritional prep can have on training and competition? For a start, you need to remember that you are unlike most of the general population who are not doing much exercise, let alone training for a marathon or 10 k runs. They eat just for nourishment and you are eating for nourishment and also for fuel. Although most of the ‘ general’ principles of eating apply to you, there are a number which - if not followed - can cause as much harm as too

much of perceived ‘ unhealthy’ food. This is where it is almost like a puzzle; the first couple of times you do it can be difficult, but after repeated times you will be able to put it together quite quickly. The foods that will give you the energy that you need pre-training will also be similar to those needed to replenish your stores. The general public may consume more carbohydrate rich foods than they need, but when training for endurance this should be the foundation of your nutritional plan. The text books range from 6 -12 g per kg of body weight per day. Use some of the online apps to gauge what you are eating now and try and increase it if necessary. It may be necessary to look at a mid-range of about 7 g/ kg of body weight. So, if you are 55kg this would be about 3 8 5g - and if you are 7 0 kg this would be 4 9 0 g per day. C arbs should be eaten regularly over the course of the day, consuming 1– 2 servings with each meal or snack, especially around pre and post-training times. Fruits are also a good source of carbs and will add to the minimum of 5-a-day. Easy for work or on the move; but remember to keep to 1-2 portions at a time. If you do need to consume larger quantities of carbohydrates then looking at lower fiber sources is necessary. Protein Spread Spread your protein intake through the day rather than one major meal source during the day. It appears that this is best for maintaining muscle and will also aid recovery and repair if it is added into some carbohydrate and taken after training. R ed meats will also be a good source of Iron, but if you don’t eat meat then make sure you get Iron from other sources. Fortified cereals, eggs and green veg are alternatives. We do need fats and, as an endurance runner, you will need and use more than most. Fish oils, nuts and seeds, olives or olive oil and avocados are all good sources of ‘ healthy’ fats and, as well as being an energy source, may also have antiinflammatory properties. If you don’t eat dairy foods, then you need to think about where your calcium is coming from. Dairy is the main source of calcium, but so long as you are well prepared and choose other calcium-enriched foods, then this is not a problem. Many other milks and yoghurts are available such as rice, soya and almond milk which are fortified with calcium. Finally, make sure that your calorie or energy intake is adequate. If you are short of time on days when you have longer runs, select foods that are quicker to eat and prepare and eat little and often on those days. The following day you might need to continue with the recovery intake of food, so that your fuel take is replenished. Often, athletes spend time worrying about what they should and should not eat. You can use your training to ‘ allow’ yourself the flexibility to enjoy a wide range of foods. There is nothing like indulging in some of your favorites after a long run, so long as the basic recovery plans have been done. Everything in Moderation!

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A Question of Intervals Hannah Nolan shares her experience with novice and aspiring runners, answering your questions and addressing common beginner concerns. INTERVAL INNOVATION! A friend of mine suggested I add some “intervals” into my runs to help improve my speed but I’m not sure what they are or where to start; how long, how many and how many times per week?! Dave, Skerries HI Dave: Adding some speed work into your running routine will help improve both your speed and your strength. As it would appear you have not done any speed work before, then I would initially start with just one training session per week dedicated to speed work and then your other runs will remain somewhat the same. To begin with, keep it simple by measuring your intervals in time – the number of seconds or minutes rather than distance. An ‘interval’ is pretty much just a measurement in either time or distance where you change the speed of your running. For your first session I would suggest trying out just one minute intervals so you warm up at your usual easy jogging pace and then your speed intervals, followed by an easy cool down. For your interval part of the run you will run one minute at a concentrated ‘hard’ effort and then take the same amount of time - one minute - to recover. Trial and Error If you come to a complete stop after your fast interval and struggle to get going again, this is an indication you have pushed slightly too hard. So, for the next interval, try slowing it down ever so slightly. If you can still hold a conversation at the end of your fast interval then you definitely need to speed it up a little more! Adding intervals can be a little bit of trial and error as you work out which pace is exactly right; so don’t worry if it takes a few sessions to work this out. If you are feeling uncomfortable during your fast intervals, this is completely normal! Intervals and speed training are intended to be challenging as you push your heart rate higher than normal for a short period of time in order to improve both your speed, strength and as well as your fitness. Even the most seasoned athletes will find speed training difficult, so hang on in there and you’ll soon start to see results. Once you have adjusted to the one minute intervals you can start to change the length of time or the number of repetitions that you run fast to keep your speed training fresh.

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FUN-RUN JITTERS I started running to help me lose weight a few months ago and have found I have actually really enjoyed it. I would love to enter a race but am nervous that I’m not going to be up to scratch and come in dead last! Emily, Kilkenny HI Emily! Entering your first race can be quite a daunting prospect, but try not to let negative thoughts and worries put you off what could be the start of a great new lifestyle for you! Not all races are aimed at ‘elite’ athletes. In fact the vast majority of races these days are targeted towards people who run for fun and just compete against themselves. There are also a lot of fun-runs that are aimed at runners, joggers and walkers; so, for your first run, you may want to choose one of these so that mentally you know that there will be plenty of people there walking around the route too. In this way, you should always be surrounded by at least a few people! Fantastic Accomplishment Nerves are completely normal and, with any race I’ve done, I always get nervous (even if it is just a run for fun!). But once the gun goes and I’m off and running, it becomes a mission to get to the finish line and once my feet cross that line the sense of accomplishment is fantastic. No matter what level of runner you are there is a race out there to suit you and run, jog or walk…the main thing is you are getting out there and doing something for YOU. The only person you need to beat is yourself and no matter what position you come in the race you are always going to do better than the person standing on the sidelines or the person sitting at home on the couch! For me, running is about personal development and achievement. I could come last in a race, but if I’ve beaten my own personal best then I am happy. The only person to compare yourself to is you and, since you have never raced before, then your first race is always going to be a new personal best – now GO FOR IT ☺

STEADY AS SHE GOES! I am new to running and can run continuously for 20-30 minutes without any problems. I’m not sure now whether to focus on building up my speed or distance? Claire, Dublin HI Claire: As you are still new to running then I suggest that you first work on building up on the distance or, more specifically, the amount of TIME you spend on your feet. To begin with, add a few extra minutes each week to just one of your runs and turn this into your ‘long run’. This will help to improve your fitness and endurance and also help you to build a base level of miles in your legs before you embark on any speed / interval sessions. Starting speedwork when you are very new to running - without much experience - can lead more easily to injury, so it is better to build up gradually before you start pushing your body to any limits. Fresh Feeling Once you have built up a good few weeks with your longer run and your mid-week runs, then you can start to add some light speed work into your routine and slowly build on that going forward. Too much too soon can end in injury or burn-out. Even though you may feel fresh and raring to go, always build up slowly each week rather than all in one go. A little a lot is the perfect formula!

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River Moy 1/2 Marathon 2014

Ballina, Co. Mayo

Saturday 17th May 2014. Start time 10am.

“A run that takes you along the banks of the beautiful River Moy” Number, timing chip, goody bag & technical top collection: Friday 16th May from 7-9pm and Saturday 17th May 7-9am

Entry: €30

Run Wild, Run West AI LICENSED


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WAKE UP TO NEW SIGHTS ON THE RUN! Gerry Duffy extols the virtues of packing your running gear while on business trips – and adds a whole new dimension to his work day


he email requesting this month’s column came a week early. I read it early too. 4:30am, to be precise. I was reading it in my hotel room, an hour north of Atlanta in the United States. A four-hour time difference from when I had left Dublin 24 hours earlier meant my body clock was a little skewed. I was more awake than a cuckoo on red bull. About 10 years ago I was in another part of the America. That was when I first discovered that running while travelling - whether for business or pleasure - can deliver such great added value to any trip. Nowadays, whenever I pack my bags, I always bring my runners. The old me might have made excuses for not being able to run while on the move. Now, I realise, leaving the runners at home was just a decision I was making with less than creative thinking. Earlier this month, my six day American sojourn took in Atlanta, Ohio and New York City. By packing the runners I turned a ‘speaking trip’ into a wonderful ‘running holiday’ as well. Each day’s run was completed before 6am. The extra sense of happiness it added to my trip was immense. I saw Gainesville, Wilmington and Manhattan through different eyes from the chap who was wearing a suit just hours later. Added Beauty In New York, a central Manhattan hotel meant I was ideally located. I started off by running for 15 minutes to reach the gates of Central Park. I glanced at my watch. It was a little after 5am. Could it get any better than this? I was about to enter a Holy Grail of running and fulfil a long held ambition.

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Central Park was very busy at that pre-dawn hour. It wasn’t as busy elsewhere, however, and that’s the added beauty. On early morning runs in famous cities, I often have the streets to myself.

Central Park! I was about to enter a Holy Grail of running and fulfil a long held ambition’

That early hour offers a special liberty for any runner who takes to the streets. The morning run around New York City was a memory I will always treasure. I had a great day later on when wearing a suit. But dressed in shorts and a running vest I saw a quiet Lexington and Park Avenue, the Empire State Building, the United Nations HQ at the Hudson river, Wall Street, and a reborn Ground Zero and I came up the reverse side of Port Authority just as the docks area was emerging from slumber. With Central Park thrown in, I had logged a priceless memory long before I consumed my eggs ‘over easy’. I have other memories of Covent Garden, a glimpse of Downing Street and a stunning view of Buckingham Palace. My runners have taken me past the famous cathedral of Seville, and the old city in Tallinn, Estonia. Experiencing a foreign city as it awakens can, be intriguing. As I run, I now consciously study what is

happening around me. I see night shifts finish and shop grids being lifted. I see nightclubs closing and traffic jams starting. I see empty buildings which, hours later, will be the workplace for thousands. I see Madame Tussauds without the queue and I see empty IKEA car parks. Ounce of Motivation I see famous landmarks with nobody else watching and sometimes I run around famous golf courses, whose Greenkeepers would not be impressed if they saw me. I now see the world from a different perspective. All it takes is an alarm clock, a pair of runners and an ounce of motivation to lace them up. It works from Cork to Chester, Salthill to Seville and from Boston to Birmingham. It works from Lyon to Limerick and it is available to runners who are headed to Waterford, Warsaw or West Palm Beach. As I write this, I am back from a seven mile run around the city of Gainesville, just north of Atlanta. It is known as the ‘Chicken Processing’ Capital of the World. Ok, so I didn’t find that out on my run, but I now have another memory to recall and to write about in years to come. How precious is that?!

Gerry Duffy is a corporate motivational speaker and business mentor. He has written two bestselling books ‘Who Dares Runs’ (2011) as well as ‘Tick Tock Ten’ which was shortlisted for ‘Irish Sports Book of the Year (2013).

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A Taste of the Orient in Tokyo Michael McLaughlin sampled the newest Marathon Major and came home mightily impressed with the event and the people of Tokyo PHOTOS BY DARREN KIDD

TOKYO. Even mention of the name conjures up images of strange, exotic sights and sounds. And that’s exactly what a hardy band of runners from Ireland were treated to when they landed for the inaugural group tour to the Tokyo Marathon. The magic trip took place from February 19th to 24th – but it’s a time that will live long on the memory. Pulling the strings was the irrepressible Martin Joyce, of Sports Travel International. He organised everything for the 28 Irish runners, who hailed from the hills of Donegal to the fields of Cork! The Japanese are famed for the hospitality and politeness. On this trip, they outdid themselves! Organisation was also at an extraordinary high level. The day before the big race, some of us were offered the opportunity to partake in The Friendship Run. This 5K jaunt actually finished at the real marathon finish line in the Ariake district. The run is designed to give you a taste of what is to come in the marathon itself; and, with Japanese musical and dance entertainment along the route, it was a feast for the senses…and definitely left us looking forward to the next day. The 2014 edition of the marathon was Tokyo's first outing as one of the six World Marathon Majors. A number of runners taking part were chalking up their final event to complete the full set of medals. For everyone it was a novel and fascinating experience. (See comments, right) Greatest Obstacle The event itself has over 300,000 applicants each year; that’s twice as many as the New York City Marathon. The problem is, the field is limited to 32,000 runners, of whom about 90% are Japanese. So, the greatest obstacle for would-be Tokyo marathoners is not the course itself, but rather getting the chance to set foot on it at all. Fortunately this was sorted by Sports Travel International at the outset, as they 34 Irish Runner

Sights on the Tokyo Marathon course are an exotic blend of the modern and the traditional

Paul Comerford, Alan McKeown & Sean Smith with Japanese runner at the Friendship Run

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Irish group get ready to go! (Back L-R) Sheela Das, James Smith, Sean Smith, Declan Toal, Lyle Jackson, James Campbell, Clive Nesbitt. (Front) Alan McKeown, Paul Comerford, David Roxburgh.

obtained an allocation of guaranteed entries. Our excellent hotel in the lively Shinjuku district was less than a five minute walk from the assembly area and starting line, which meant excitement was building and adrenalin was pumping from the second we left the lobby. Also, it meant that there was no hanging around until the race began at 9.10 am. The morning offered ideal running conditions with almost no breeze and temperatures around a cool six degrees. And then, we were off! What transpired over the next 26.2 miles was a veritable feast for the senses. Imagine packed city streets, with wildly enthusiastic spectators offering goodies, everything from M&M's and miso soup to bananas and even beer. The official food and water stations were also excellent. We had a brief 60 second snow shower at mile 12, but that disappeared as silently as it had arrived. Excellent Time The course traversed many of Tokyo's most well-known central districts, including Hibiya, Shinagawa, Ginza (‘Main St Tokyo’) and Asakusa. The route passed the Imperial Palace and other landmarks and finished in front of Tokyo Big Sight, a large convention centre and plaza, which proved well able to

For everyone, the experience was both novel and fascinating’

cater for the crowd of runners and supporters. I was happy with my time of 4:11. The fastest male runner in our group was Matjas Martincic, who posted an excellent 3:05; while Claire Reynolds was fastest woman with 3:58. With Tokyo done, she has now completed the six Majors. The theme of Tokyo Marathon 2014 was 'The Day We Unite'. This certainly rang true, not only in our experience of outstanding Japanese hospitality, but also in the unbelievable camaraderie of the Irish group. The last night dinner party in a local restaurant was a hoot, followed by a lot more hooting in the karaoke district later. Tokyo is a bucket-list marathon that hopefully, some day, I'll have the privilege of running again. M ichael M cLaughlin' s B allyliffin Coastal Challenge in Donegal takes place on E aster Saturday April 1 9 th nex t. ( See F acebook page for event updates) .

TAKES ON TOKYO I had a great experience in Tokyo. The support from the crowd was amazing. I am seriously considering going back for next year's event on Feb 22. - David Roxburgh, Dublin. (Finished in 4:05) Of all the marathon tours I've done I would rate Tokyo number one. And the people of Tokyo were the friendliest I have ever met. - Sean Smith, Newry. (Finished in 3:21) The marathon was brilliant, one of the best I’ve done. The best feature was the people, the crowds were great. Also the route is very good, you get to see a lot of Tokyo. I just wish I could have stayed in Japan a little longer! - Linda Reynolds, Dunboyne. (Finished in 4:35) It was a very enjoyable marathon and very well organised. The extra tables at the water stations made a big difference. - Chris Gibbons, Dublin and Cork. (Finished in 3:56) This was my most unusual and best marathon experience. It is very hard to define why - you just have to do it to find out for yourself. - Declan Toal, Armagh. (Finished in 4:15)

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Feet Firmly Planted Patricia Murphy extols the many virtues of Barefoot Running and sees it as a welcome addition to regular training methods


OLLOWING on from Christopher McDougall’s 2009 best seller ‘Born To Run’, the barefoot debate continues to spark interest among athletes, therapists and footwear companies. The successes of Olympic athletes Abebe Bikila and Zola Budd - and the long standing tradition of barefoot running among the Tarahumara people of Mexico - has got people around the world kicking off their shoes and giving it a go. Supporters of this natural form (of running) promote advantages in bio mechanics and improved foot strike; while more cautious commentators warn of achilles heel problems, puncture wounds, infection and exposure to extreme temperatures. Most agree, however, that some form of barefoot training is of benefit. This includes strengthening the lower legs, ankles and feet, while enhancing proprioception (body awareness) and helping recovery. As the weather starts to warm up and the new season brings forth new goals and training plans, barefoot running is deifnitely on my schedule. Expert Guidance My own introduction to running without shoes and socks was thanks to coach Declan Ryan, with DSD A/C. The barefoot mile on a Saturday morning, after the weekly training session, is an optional warm-down for any standard of runner. Anyone, from sub-three hour marathon runners, to mid-pack fun runners get to try it out over a safe grassy trail under expert guidance. “People are advised beforehand that they should only take it on if they've been doing the speed work for a few weeks,” says Declan Ryan. “At first reluctant, many find the freedom, feel and the liberation of barefoot most enjoyable. We believe it’s beneficial to an athlete’s training (weekly) to have a little time unshod, strengthening the many muscles and tendons in the foot and encouraging good mechanics.” Sure, it’s not for everyone. But, personally, it was the highlight of my training sessions last year. It was an opportunity to run free with childish 36 Irish Runner

playfulness, while adding a more organic experience to running as I got to feel the changes in the running surface from season to season. Even throughout the summer, in my own yoga classes, I was able to incorporate the best of both. On warm summer evenings when we were lucky enough to hold our practise outside in the park, we started out with a 20minute warm-up of barefoot running and conditioning. That connection to the environment and freedom of movement we then brought to our mats, consolidating and deepening a sense of awe and wonder of something much bigger and greater than ourselves; totally immersed in the experience.

It was an opportunity to run free with childish playfulness

With our feet firmly planted, we saluted the setting sun, worshipped the earth and opened our hearts and minds to every atom of life force…prana. downward dog, cobra, warrior pose, tree – all carried out with feeling and meaning as a moving meditation to restore balance and harmony to mind, body and soul. Breathing, stretching, strengthening, energizing, relaxing. Novelty Factor As a busy working mum, most of my weekly runs are the same: 5km/10km loop, or out and back course, dominated by concrete, tarmac and passing traffic. The novelty factor alone of barefoot running along grassy trails is enough to rekindle some of that fire that got me out running in the first place. I come alive, I reconnect and shrug off some of the troubles of the day. With regard to correcting running technique and footfall, it certainly does encourage a more mid-foot strike. Apart from my short grassy barefoot

running, a few sessions every now and then on the treadmill, or on the road in a pair of minimalist Vivo Barefoots, is enough to make me more aware of my technique and get my lower legs and ankles working harder. I still do most of my running and training in support shoes which, for me, works best. Has barefoot running made me any faster or stronger? Well, I guess more consistent training alone would do that which, I admit, I sometimes fall short of. The aim for someone like me, however, as a mid-pack runner is just to keep running; now and thirty years from now, regardless of finishing times and PB’s. As an all round tonic for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing…it’s tops. A trip to my GP recently reminded me of the long-term benefits of exercise and physical activity as a safeguard against so many conditions, including Alzheimers. The dose - or weekly prescription - that I manage to fit in is well within the recommended amount: Thirty minutes of vigorous activity five times per week, or less frequently for a longer period. It’s good to mix it up and create variety at all levels of running and a bit of barefooting is well worth a try for any runner. It’s fun and it’s functional. But remember to start out slowly, over short distances and make sure you choose a suitable surface such as a grass track. Above all, just kick off your shoes and enjoy it. Plus Points: • Strengthens: Lower Legs & Ankles • Improves stability & proprioception • It’s fun and feels great as a warmdown • Enhanced sense of wellbeing Minus Points: • Too much too soon • Strain on achilles tendons and calves • Puncture wounds, infection and extreme temperatures Patricia Murphy MSc Exercise & Nutrition Personal Trainer; Yoga Instructor; Life Coach

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Introduction to

The Running Sock


Without a doubt your most important choice regarding running is the shoes, however your next decision should be socks. The correctly fitting sock, which gives you the right level of support, comfort and breathability can make or break your run. Everyone is unique, and tastes vary regarding ‘thick’ vs ‘thin’ socks. IR takes a look at some of the running-specific socks on the market.

Understanding Sock Design: Thickness: 1=Thin, 5=Thick Fitting: Tight, Just right, Loose. Cut: High, anklet, Low.

Asics Marathon Sock €15

Asics used a clever little weave like a honeycomb in this sock which made them feel comfortable, breathable and secure on your feet. Under the toes they have a thick section of padding which took away some of the feeling, but otherwise they give you a good natural feel. Thickness: 3/5 Fitting: Just right Cut: High Key Feature: ‘honeycomb’ fabric. NanoGlide 42% Plypropylene.

1000 Mile Fusion €15

Using the same idea that trail walkers use to stop blistering, this sock combines two layers of sock to take the friction away from your feet. The Fusion has undergone several generations of development and is still one of the most popular socks. Perhaps one of the only things to knock is getting used to re-bed the lining after a wash. Thickness: 4 /5 Fitting: Loose Cut: Anklet or optional Higher cut. Key Features: Double Lining. Outer layer: 57% Nylon, 41% Tactel®. Inner Layer: 100% Tactel®

Hilly Ultra Lite Weight Anklet €10

This was the thinnest sock tested. Pulling it on feels delicate, but you learn very quickly by the way it’s stitched these are actually fairly robust socks. There is a decent arch band and relatively no padding around the heel and toes. Maximum breathability. Thickness: 1/ 5 Fitting: Just right Cut: Anklet Key Feature: Really thin. 96% Tactel ®, 4% Lycra

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Toesox Medium Weight Anklet €12

For many years the mobility of the toes in a shoe has been a good discussion point. The Toesox give you individual movement of your toes. The fabric is sort, technical and feel fresh on your feet. They feel a little strange at first, but become comfortable. Perhaps not for everyone, but a true winner if you wear Five Fingers. Thickness: 2/5 Fitting: Tight. Cut: Anklet. Key Features: Unique fit. 90% Perf Dry™ fabric.

X Socks Performance Run €18

Going to great lengths to get the right padded zones, tech fabric and form fit these socks take the prize. Lightweight fabric, strong and lasting. About the only drawback is the padding can get in the way if they don't match your feet. Unique features which include a heel pull-tab which doubles as cushioning for achilles. Thickness: 2/5 Fitting: Tight. Cut: Anklet with tabs. Key Feature: High tech breathable fabric. 74% Nylon. (40% Skin NODOR®)

BV Sport Light One €15

The construction of the BV socks is light, breathable and feels slick against your skin. The material around the toes is especially thin. Stitched into the arch is a padded section with light arch support. Form fitting. Thickness: 2 Fitting: Just right Cut: Anklet/high Key Feature: Light ankle compression. 64% Polyamide (Skinlife)

CEP Run 2.0 €25

The main focus of these socks is to provide compression. This tight fitting sock covers tightly in strategic areas starting from under the toes, midfoot and around the ankle and achilles. I would see this as a good option to provide support for injuries and stop swelling. Thickness: 2 Fitting: Tight Cut: High Key Feature: Compression. 85% Polyamide

Hilly Marathon Fresh €15

Flat-sewn construction leaves this sock with almost no seams. The mixture of vented panels and sections of the sock which grip you firm make this a true marathon runner’s sock. Most impressive is the use of Merino Wool used in the heel and toes to give a little bit of padding. Thickness: 2 Fitting: Tight/Just right Cut: Anklet Key Feature: Seamless. Irish Runner 39

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UNLEASH your potential These six simple techniques could help transform your running this summer WORDS: ROY STEVENSON

It’s always a good idea to examine your past running habits with the goal of experimenting with a few new training techniques to improve your times and all round performance. Here are six training techniques that you might consider introducing into your training programme. You’ll find a description of each technique, how it will improve your running, and how to do it.


CONSISTENCY Establish a constant, reliable training program Without establishing a consistent training regime, your body will not experience maximum adaptations to exercise. A few days of hard training followed by several days of inactivity, or sporadic training sessions, are not efficient ways to improve your running, and you’ll lose many of the physiological changes that you’ve worked so hard for. A better strategy would be to run every second day, which also programs rest and recovery into your schedules (more about that later when I talk about rest and recovery).

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Bring some structure into your training program Many runners go out and run every day without having a goal or objective in mind for that particular workout. Before each workout you should be able to state the purpose of your workout, something like this; “Today I’m doing a 10 mile road run at a fast tempo to improve my aerobic fitness and work on my marathon pacing”, or, “Today I’m doing a strength training session to work on my lower body, make my legs and hips stronger, make me better able to handle road running, and help my muscles handle muscle soreness better”. Each of your daily training efforts should also fit into a grander strategy, a master plan. Create a sequence of training phases, or cycles, all aimed at having you in your best shape ever. This is called periodisation. Here’s an example: Perhaps you’ve been slowing badly in the second half of your road races or marathons and you need to develop your aerobic fitness. Using periodisation, you map out a conditioning phase for a set period of time—say 6 to 10 weeks—where you concentrate your efforts mainly on improving your aerobic fitness base. Then, you move on to another phase where you focus on another type of training such as hill running, followed by another type of training like time trials, etc. As you progress through each of these phases, you’ll improve a different component of your running fitness until you have no weaknesses.

Each of your daily training efforts should also fit into a grander strategy, a master plan

These help you cruise at a high percentage of your VO2 max for extended periods of time by enhancing your ability to disperse lactic acid that builds up when you approach your maximum race pace. How do time trials improve your running? A time trial (often referred to as tempo running) is running at a pace that produces an elevated, steady state accumulation of lactic acid. If you don’t do time trials you’ll run much slower than you should in your road races and marathons, and shortchange yourself of achieving your true potential. Time trials also help establish pace judgment for your road races. They help you run your races at even pace, so that your second half will be equal to or hopefully faster than, your first half. You’ll also find that towards the end of your road races, when people are flagging and slowing down, you’ll be maintaining pace and form. How to Do Time Trials Most good runners can work at around 80% to 85% of their aerobic capacity during a 10K. You’ll be doing your lactate threshold time trials somewhere between 70% and 85% of your maximal aerobic capacity, which corresponds to about 78% to 91% of your maximal heart rate. Establish your maximal heart rate by subtracting your age from 220—a rough guide at best because considerable variation exists between our maximal heart rates. The easiest and most practical way to establish your maximal heart rate is to go and run one mile on the track as hard as you can while wearing a heart rate monitor, and note your highest heart rate. Once you’ve established your maximal heart rate, estimate your lactate threshold pace by calculating 78% to 91% of your maximal heart rate. Your objective is to run the time trials at a fast pace, just below 10K race pace, maintaining a steady pace all the way. Check your pace every mile to ensure it is consistent. If you find it slowing, slow down to a more comfortable pace that you can maintain. If you find your pace too easy, speed up a little until you find your threshold using the symptoms above. Time trials should be done once each week or 10 days. Warm up with 10-15 minutes jogging followed by a few stride-outs over 50 meters. Do the trials on a reasonably flat and measured road or track surface. Start with a shorter distance like 3K for the first two time trials, and then move up to 5K for 2 sessions, then an 8k, and finally a 10K. Note your finishing times for these efforts, and try to better them slightly in subsequent time trials.

Planning periodised schedules Here is a rough guide for you to follow and experiment with using periodization. A Weekly Schedule that includes one Time Trial Season



Off-Season Conditioning Cycle. Long slow distance running, with the occasional fartlek and time trial to keep some sharpness.


Rest day (strength training?)


Time Trial run over 5K, 8K, 10K, 10 miles or half marathon


1 hour slow run

Pre-Season Cycle. Hill running/springing/bounding. Beginners might want to cut this cycle out due to its rigour and pounding on the legs.


Easy 45 minute run


Rest day (strength training?)


2.0 hour slow run


High Intensity Cycle. Interval training, time trials.


1.5 hour slow run


Racing Season Cycle. Some repetition training, and lots of jogging between races.


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Aim to finish your time trials at the same pace you started. You should be left with some reserves when you finish time trials, without being exhausted. A 1015 minute cool down jog will ease your muscles and resynthesize the waste products that have built up.

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I’ve seen 55-minute 10K joggers get down to 33 minutes. I’ve had 4 hour marathoners run 2:40 marathons and transform into hard-core distance running veterans simply by programming rest and recovery into their programmes.

4:00 RESISTANCE TRAINING The majority of runners don’t do any strength training. Because of the time consumed by running, they can’t find the time or interest to lift weights, while many don’t think it will help them race faster. What strength training will do for your running Weight training will help you run faster for longer with the same effort and oxygen consumption. One recent study found that trained runners improve their running economy from 4% to 8% with resistance training. Even small improvements in running economy can have a big impact on longer distance events such as the marathon or 10k races. Strength training yields greater improvements for recreational runners than elite runners. Several studies show that recreational runners who lift weights improve their performance. One found that lactate threshold is increased following resistance training in untrained individuals. So if you’re a recreational runner doing 20-50 miles per week, or with times between 35 and 60 minutes, you stand to gain some large improvements. How strength training improves your running Resistance training improves the tensile strength of your leg muscles, and thus enhances the recoil or return of energy with each foot compression or step. This means you have greater “bounce” with each stride. Strength-trained runners finish road races with a longer, sustained drive, and stronger finish. Strength training helps runners relax their arms during the early and middle stages of their races, and women in particular have a lot to gain because they tend to be 20% weaker in the legs and up to 40% weaker in upper body strength than males.

5:00 DEEP WATER RUNNING(DWR) How it helps your running DWR is a good alternative for your rest days, or as a substitute for a short recovery running day. Several studies show that it can also be used by runners to maintain their fitness while injured or in the offseason when you’re taking a break from running. How to do deep water running Deep water running is done wearing a flotation vest, and really works your legs, trunk, arms, and cardiovascular system. You can simulate interval workouts, long steady workouts, and everything in between with deepwater running. Wearing your flotation belt around your waist, jump in the deep end of the swimming pool. Simulate your running style in the water. At first it feels uncoordinated because you’re learning a new skill, and establishing your correct posture. If you lean forward slightly you can actually run forward, while if you remain upright you’ll run on the spot. Either works. Some runners like to do laps so they can measure their progress.

6:00 REST AND RECOVERY The most under-rated and ignored training principle in the book. After recreational runners realised they had as much right to follow professionally designed training schedules as elite runners (albeit on a reduced and modified basis) they adopted a different mindset and got more serious about their running. The inevitable results were, to them at least, amazing. Over time, I’ve seen 55-minute 10K joggers get down to 33 minutes. I’ve had 4 hour marathoners run 2:40 marathons and transform into hard-core distance running veterans simply by programming rest and recovery into their programs. Two thirds of distance runners over-train at some time. Recovery is the magic ingredient of any training program. You need to stress (overload) the body with hard workouts, then allow it to recover while it adapts to the new workload. And recovery doesn’t just consist of taking a day off from running here and there, or doing a short, easy jog. Here are some things for you to consider to ensure that you are permitting your body to recover adequately from your workouts.

■ Are you getting enough sleep? ■ Could you pay more attention to your nutrition? i.e. are you getting enough carbohydrates, antioxidants and hydrating adequately after workouts? ■ Consider a monthly massage. A good massage therapist can work wonders on sore and tired muscles. ■ Treat yourself to a new pair of running shoes. Chances are that your current pair has lost its cushioning—the EVA in running shoe midsoles breaks down within a few months. ■ Consider the surfaces you’re running on. Can you do some trail running or at the very least jog around a large sports field? These, then, are six techniques and principles that you can use to structure and add to your training schedules. Some final advice here. Trying to add too many new changes to your training program simultaneously is likely to cause problems while your body adjusts. Consider adding one or two of these changes every couple of months, and as you adjust, add another when you feel ready. If you persevere with this advice, you can’t fail to achieve some great times in your races, and probably set some personal bests into the bargain. Roy Stevenson has a master’s degree in exercise physiology and coaching from Ohio University. He is also a health and fitness writer for national and international magazines in the US, Canada, England, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Irish Runner 43

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Best Foot

44 Irish Runner

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Forward Niall Tuohy is the National Indoor 800m Champion. But before he secured the title he had to fight his way through some dark days. Now in a much better place, the Waterford athlete tells Cathal Dennehy about his litany of health problems, what it feels like to hit rock-bottom and the long road back to the top. PHOTOS: DIARMUID GREENE, SPORTSFILE.COM

SOMETIMES you have to go through hell to realise how much normality can feel like heaven. Niall Tuohy is a case in point. He was forced to make that torturous journey; the one that leads you to rock bottom. The memories of the lowest point in his career and his life are mostly wiped from his brain. But, when pushed, he can still dig them up and reflect on how it all changed him, how it steeled him. Tuohy’s arduous journey to becoming national senior 80m champion in Athlone last month appeared to take a little less than two minutes. It all seemed so simple: four laps of the track, stay out of trouble, kick finish, gold medal, happy days. His story is so much more, though; the path to where he is now so much more complicated, so much harder, than that. Some years ago, the name Niall Tuohy, you see, began to be spoken of mainly in the past tense. Used to be a good athlete, was a very talented junior, had a big career ahead of him. It had all gone so wrong after his successful junior career and the quality of his life was soon reduced to that of an invalid. A rare form of tarsal tunnel syndrome, they called it. All Tuohy knew was it was a condition that created blinding, nauseating pain in his feet for years. “ Like having a migraine in your foot” is how he describes it, though you get the sense that doesn’t quite do it justice. Some nights, if he forgot to take his painkillers – and T uohy was on the strongest ones he could get – he w ould awaken to his feet throbbing, vomit due to the piercing pain, then curl up on the floor in a heap, hoping that this scourge would just leave him be.

It didn’t. Here he was, 19 years old, in prime condition, and he couldn’t even go for a leisurely jog, couldn’t walk around the shopping centre to get his groceries, couldn’t even stand up for ten minutes. Soon, his goals became not about running any more. Tuohy just wanted a normal life.

It had all gone so wrong, his quality of life soon reduced to that of an invalid.

The Rise and Fall In the early days, it all seemed so easy, this running business. One of his coaches at Ferrybank AC, G erry Deegan, always told Tuohy that he was born to run. Tell a kid anything enough times and he starts believing it himself. By the age of 15, Tuohy had dropped all other sports – he was also an underage hockey international – to concentrate on athletics. He began to dream big. A lot of that was down to Ferrybank AC, the Waterford club that produces good athletes with incredible frequency. “ Brendan Q uinn and G erry Deegan were coaching me, and Brí d G olden was huge for developing my enthusiasm for the sport,” says Tuohy. “ I dreamed of being in the Olympics. I still do.” Though Tuohy was primarily an 80m runner, his range and ability was such that he won national underage titles at cross country. Talent like that doesn’t come along too often and it was no

surprise that by the time he left school Tuohy had several colleges knocking at his door with scholarship offers. He could have gone to academic powerhouses such as Stanford and Yale, but he chose Providence – that fabled destination of choice for so many Irish distance runners down through the years. He wasn’t to know then how things would work out, but his immediate sporting life appeared doomed no matter where he went. Dark Days It all started with a 3 k. He can still remember the race, six years on. Nenagh, national junior 3 ,0 0 0 m, February 2 0 0 8 , first in 8 : 2 9 . The next day, everything went to pot. “ I woke up and I couldn’t walk,” he says. “ I thought at first it must be bruising; but I was in a lot of pain. I was injured a lot that summer. I went to Providence C ollege in an injured state.” It took an age just to diagnose the problem, never mind setting about fixing it. “ What happens with tarsal tunnel syndrome is the tibial nerve becomes dislodged from the sheath it should be in,” he explains. “ There was a genetic thing there with me. I didn’t have enough soft tissue surrounding my nerves. When I stood up, the nerves dislodged and were chafing off the bone of my foot. It became a real health risk. I was told I could become lame. In severe cases, you need amputation.” Meanwhile, he tried to settle into life at Providence and while he enjoyed the environment and the camaraderie, his foot pain made daily life an enduring struggle. Irish Runner 45

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PROFILE “ I couldn’t even jog,” he says. “ I don’t even know any of the running loops around Providence. I went on one five-mile run in my time there and that was at 2am w ith David McCarthy because I couldn’t sleep.” Life just wasn’t what it should have been for an aspiring athlete, a college freshman. One night, the night of his birthday, he went out to a local restaurant with a few teammates. When they were told it would be 15 minutes before a table was available, Tuohy began to panic. “ I was almost in tears,” he says. Standing wasn’t an option, so he sat down on the floor of the restaurant. When a waiter came over and told him that he had to stand up, Tuohy told him in no uncertain terms that he simply wasn’t able to. “ I was at a real rock-bottom,” he says. “ My quality of life was so low. It’s very humbling to be in constant pain for so long.” Desperate To Stay Despite all that, Tuohy wanted to stick it out at Providence. But, towards the end of the year he was told his scholarship wouldn’t be renewed. “ I was desperate to stay there, but the staff seemed to say, in their own words, that they saw no light at the end of the tunnel for me. I couldn’t be part of the programme because I couldn’t contribute.” Correcti ng his foot problems required expensive and risky surgery and, with Providence pulling the plug on his scholarship, Tuohy’s parents had to fork out the $50,0 requi red for the procedures. At that stage, his personal sporting goals were beginning to slip away. He just wanted a normal life again. “ If someone said to me, ‘ I’ll get rid of the pain in your feet but you’ll never run again’, I’d have grabbed it with both hands.” Throughout that time, there were several people he can recall who kept him believing, even when accepting defeat seemed the more sensible option. “ Brí d G olden and G erry Deegan were very supportive,” he says, “ They kept me involved with the club so I had an outlet. Brother J ohn Dooley always reminded me that talent is not something that you lose. Mark Carrol l was absolutely instrumental, too. He kept telling me I had what it took and it would be an inspired story.” It was those voices he tried to listen to, even if he couldn’t help but hear the comments of those who viewed – perhaps with good cause – that he w as finished. “ When people say they don’t see light at the end of the tunnel, you start wondering yourself. But I had dreams. That’s what keeps you going… ev en if it’s a tough journey.” The Road Back He had two successful surgeries, six weeks 46 Irish Runner

Golden moment: Niall Tuohy crowns his comeback by fending off Karl Griffin of UCD to take victory over 800m at the National Indoor Championships in Athlone last month.

I was at a real rockbottom. It's very humbling to be in constant pain for so long.

apart, in Baltimore, Maryland in the summer of 209. He spent the next few months in a wheelchair or balancing on a walking frame just to get around. “ My surgeon likes to remind me that if I’d gone to someone else I could have no feet now,” he says. “ I had a rare form ( of the condition) and the nerves were all over the place, rubbing off different things. I was warned the recovery might be at a minuscule rate, that it might never regenerate and I might never get back running. But it went really well.” Tuohy returned home and began a Sports Science degree at the University of Limerick, moving in with Irish Olympian Thomas Cham ney, whose influence on his young compatriot was immense. “ I wasn’t running for my first 18 months after the surgery,” says Tuohy, “ but I was living with someone who showed how an athlete can create their own support structure to fulfil their goals. I was seeing all the things that make a good athlete.” By 2011, though he still couldn’t run for any real length of time, Tuohy found that he could sprint in short bursts and not aggravate the foot problem too much. So, he decided to concentrate on the 40 metres that summer. Off mostly gym and pool work and the occasional short running

session, he ran 47 seconds for the distance. Maybe, just maybe, he’d found a way back. If there’s one thing this sport isn’t, though, is fair. Towards the end of 2 0 11, Tuohy developed a hip problem that kept him out of action for the next 18 months. “ I visited surgeons in the summer of 2012, ” he says. “ They said I had a bad hip labral tear, a CAM impingement, and a bad inguinal hernia. I was told I had this absolutely gammy right hip and was probably going to get it on the other side too. To correct it, I’d need about three or four surgeries. That was a point where I wondered if I should give up.” It’s not really in Tuohy’s nature though… giving up. Instead, he set about doing everything he could to lessen and relieve his debilitating symptoms. He visited healers of all sorts during a spell in New Zeal and and Australia, absorbed and digested everything he could on how the body works, how the body heals. “ When you live in constant pain, you begin to understand ways to heal yourself,” he says. All Change He changed his diet and began focusing on ingesting alkaline foods. He did an acupuncture degree and began treating himself. Last summer, with his degree in the bag, he moved to G ran C anaria to live with Andrew Walker, the ex-professional Irish middle-distance runner who now operates warm-weather training camps on the island. “ Andrew treated me every single day for the summer. He got into the hip, taught me so much about the body – yoga, relaxing,

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Niall is the latest athlete to become part of nTrai's crowd-funding programme in an attempt to gather support for his bid to qualify for the European Championships in Zurich and beyond. To support him on his journey, log on to

TYPICAL TRAINING WEEK Monday: AM: 30mins swim PM: 20min jog + gym strength session Tuesday: session (e.g. 2 sets of 5x300m, 45secs recovery, 5mins between sets) Wednesday: AM: 40mins aerobic activity (pool or run) PM: self-directed yoga with specific hip-loosening exercises Thursday: session (e.g. 8x2mins, 90secs recovery) Friday: 40mins aerobic (swim/run) + gym strength session Saturday: 3x10min tempo (winter) OR fast track work in summer season Sunday: 45-65mins aerobic activity (usually run unless body needing break then swim/aqua jog) Root Cause: Tuohy, who now studies post-graduate medicine at the University of Limerick, points out the problem area of the Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome which eventually required double ankle surgery.

coupled with the warm weather, a healthy lifestyle, visualisation. I was happy,” he says. “ I ran 1:50 a few weeks after coming back. When you’re healthy and happy, you can go out and do a good performance, rather than getting caught up on doing a certain session.” Tuohy wasn’t entirely free of pain, but he managed to lessen his symptoms enough to allow a reasonable level of training once again. He learned what his personal training threshold was, and obeyed his body’s warning signs religiously. “ When I was younger, even if I wasn’t feeling great, if the programme said 40minute run that’s what I had to do. But recently, if I need to take four days off because my body is getting a bit sore, that’s what I do. Being healthy is the main thing.” Silver Lining At the National Senior Champi onships last summer, Tuohy took the silver medal over 80m behi nd Paul R obinson. It was a run that surprised and delighted him. He also ran a lifetime best of 1:49.01 i n Dublin last J uly. There was light at the end of the tunnel, after all. Since then, he has been coached by J ames Nolan, the former Olympian who oversees UCD ’s athletics programme. Since September, Tuohy, now 24, has been studying post-graduate medicine in UL, a natural choice of vocation given his recent experiences and his fascination with the body’s ability to heal. He couldn’t help but be inspired by all the great doctors – al l the great healers – he came acros s during his travails; and once his running days are over, that’s what he wants to become.

His outlook is different now; his burning motivation always tempered by caution.

His outlook is different now; his burning motivation always tempered by caution. Under J ames Nolan, Tuohy is allowed the leeway to modify the training programme whenever his body demands it. Physically, it’s not all roses. Not yet anyway. But he feels a lifetime away from where he was. For example, Tuohy still can’t cycle a bike, or do a lot of the gym work he needs to because of his chronic hip problem. But he has learned, through trial and error, what his body will allow him to do. “ The amount of maintenance work I have to do is massive,” he says. “ If I run today, I have to do a lot of other stuff to be able to run tomorrow.” It is work he’s happy to do, though, once it allows him to run. For a long time, that seemed an impossible dream. “ When you hit rock-bottom, you decide what it really means – running,” he says. “ I was addicted to success before, as a schoolboy. It was the ego. It was the winning. But now I’ve learned I do actually love running, just for what it is. “ I believe again I can make it. I really feel I have the hunger. I’m really determined. That’s the difference when you’re running beside people of similar ability; who wants it more? Who has that want; that desire?

NIALL'S NEW APPROACH: • Always give myself a full day off when needed • Vary between 4 days and 6 days running per week, depending on feet/hip • Two Epsom salts recovery baths each week + pool recovery sessions which include water walking/stretching in water • Fast drills before sessions and fast strides after easy runs • Two 1hr massages per week

“ I’d love to get an Irish vest again; to wear one as a senior athlete is a big goal. The Europeans in Z urich are on my mind, but I’m aware I need to get a good bit faster.” There’s an obligation now, he feels, to prove to himself and to those who stuck with him that it was worth all the struggle. “ My parents put a lot of money and time into me so I could visit the best healers,” he says. “ If I didn’t have their support it would have become too hard. I’m so grateful for that. I do it for myself, but also to demonstrate that, with patience, persistence and perseverance, you can get what you want in life.” And what does he want? Simple: a fair chance to fulfil his potential, wherever that may land him. “ I’ve taken the time to remember all the dreams I’ve had as a kid,” he says. “ I’ve a vision of what I want. Whether that’s to be the best in Ireland, the best in Europe, or the best in the world, that’s out of my control. “ If I can just be the best I can be, I’ll be happy.” Irish Runner 47

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A L earning C urv e The results from the World Indoor Championships indicate that we have work to do to get back to our best on the boards. Cathal Dennehy reports from Sopot, Poland. PHOTOS: RADOSLAW JOZWIAK / SPORTSFILE.COM

FIVE Irish athletes competed at the World Indoor Championships earlier this month - and five Irish athletes were duly eliminated in the first round. It would be easy, looking on, to call the Championships a big disappointment for our team but the reality is, not much more could have been expected of them. The golden days of World Indoor medals for the Irish to celebrate may have seemed a long way off in Sopot, but there were nonetheless grounds for optimism. This was, after all, a young team whose career peaks are certainly still ahead of them. David McCarthy came closest to making a final, finishing sixth in a loaded 1500m heat in 3:39.46, a run that saw him fall an agonising .15 of a second short of qualification. “It’s bittersweet,” said McCarthy afterwards, visibly nauseous from the effort. “I’m happy with the run, but disappointed not to make the final. It’s my first major championships, though. I just couldn’t get past the last guy in the straight.” Confidence and Fearlessness Donegal’s Mark English, of whom so much has been expected in recent years, also fell short of qualification, finishing fourth in his 800m heat in 1:47.60. Unlike at the World Championships in Moscow last year, though, English’s race in Sopot was executed with a confidence and fearlessness that belied his relative inexperience. But, in the end, he just didn’t have the legs to match his more seasoned rivals. “I gave everything, executed my plan perfectly, but those guys were just better over the final 200m,” he said. “It might have come just a week or two early. I ran the

T his was alway s going to be abou t ex perience rather than medals f or the five I rish team members

48 Irish Runner

David McCarthy and Mark English in action.

perfect race, though, and I wouldn’t change anything. I just didn’t have it.” Rose-Anne Galligan and Ciara Everard were both eliminated in the heats of the women’s 800m, both still well short of their peak form that will hopefully be revived come the European Championships in Zurich this summer. Galligan was fifth in the first heat in 2:03.30, with Everard sixth in the third heat in 2:03.69. “I felt I was in better shape than that,” said Everard. “These things happen. I was coming into form for this, but it was maybe a bit too early for me. I’m disappointed.” Galligan was more upbeat, saying afterwards: “I felt really good with a lap to go, but the last 100m I just felt myself going. I tried to hold my form, but the speed went. I gave it all I had, so I’m happy.” The final Irish competitor was Claire Tarplee, who finished seventh in her 1500m heat in 4:15.64. Internationally, there were several performances to remember, most notably Kenyan Caleb Ndiku’s victory in the men’s 3,000m over American veteran Bernard Lagat, who took silver at the age of 39.

Afterwards, Ndiku sounded a warning call to Britain’s Mohammed Farah. “I’m going to move up to 5,000m over the next year or two,” said Ndiku. “Farah has been really disappointing us Kenyans a lot. We are a nation of champions, and everyone in Kenya has been saying I should move up and try to beat him with my 1500m speed. So I will try, but it will take time.” Equally Supreme Others to impress included American Ashton Eaton, who narrowly fell short of a world record on his way to gold in the men’s heptathlon. Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba was equally supreme in obliterating the field in the women’s 3,000m. The most thrilling race of the weekend was undoubtedly the men’s 800m final, which saw Ethiopia’s Mohammed Aman overtake Pole Adam Kszczot in the home straight as the sell-out crowd in Sopot’s Ergo Arena rose to their feet and created a deafening noise trying to urge their man to gold. Overall, this was always going to be about experience rather than medals for the five Irish team members and qualifying for finals always looked an unlikely, if not insurmountable, task for them. Still, though, the overall verdict – as much from the athletes themselves as those of us on the side-lines – was one of disappointment.

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Favourites Take Titles Michelle McGee led from the start to take the Intermediate title in Dunboyne, writes Frank Greally. PHOTO: RAMSEY CARDY / SPORTSFILE.COM


ndrew Connick (Ferrybank AC) and Michelle McGee (Brothers Pearse AC) lived up to their prerace favourite billings to each win national titles at last month’s Woodie’s DIY National Intermediate and Master Cross Country Championships, held at Cow Park in Dunboyne. Andrew Connick finished strongly in 27:40 to win the Men’s Intermediate title, 25 seconds clear of Tim O’ Donoghue of East Cork AC. Gerard Gallagher (Finn Valley AC) was third in 28:10. Dermot McDermott (Sligo AC) finished fourth in 28:15. Finn Valley AC won the club team title with 33 points from East Cork AC (48) and Rathfarnam/WSAF AC (50). Donegal won the County Team title with 68 points. Cork were second with 90 points and Dublin placed third with 236 points. This was another top-drawer performance by Andrew Connick, who earlier in the season finished second in the National Novice Cross Country Championship behind Sean Tobin (Clonmel AC). There was a front-running winning performance too in the Women’s Intermediate Championship, where Michelle McGee of Brothers Pearse AC led all the way to take the national title in 19:08, 17 seconds clear of Kate Cronin of Raheny Shamrock AC. Another Raheny Shamrock athlete, Chloe Doran, placed third in 20:31. Raheny Shamrock AC easily won the team title with 22 points. St Finbarr’s AC placed second with 45 points and North Sligo AC were third with 78 points. Michelle McGee, who only started running two years ago, added the Women’s Intermediate title to the national Novice title she won in Waterford at the end of last year. Declan Reed (City of Derry AC) was a clear winner of the Masters title, finishing in 24:10 ahead of Pauric McKinney (Innishowen AC) in 24:30. Sean Dunne (Donore Harriers) was third in 24:33. Maria McCarthy from Kenmare AC won her first Women’s Masters cross-country title, leading the way home in 15:54. Colette Tuohy (Mayo AC) was second in 16:01 and Eilis Kelly (Raheny Shamrock AC) was third in 16:02. There was also a full programme of Juvenile Development events, with big entries in all races. Collum McCourt (Bandon AC) won the Boys Under 11 event from Niall Hogan, (Kilmurray/Ibrickane AC)

50 Irish Runner

Michelle McGee

Andrew Connick

Dean Carroll, Shercock A.C, Co. Cavan, takes an early lead in the Under 11 Boys 1000m race

and Ben Atkinson, (Carrig na Bfearr AC). Orla O’Reilly (St Coca’s AC) led the way home in the Girls Under 11 race ahead of Anna McCardle (Glenmore AC) and Shannon Cotter (West Muskerry AC). Seamus Ahern (Carrig na Bfearr AC) won the Boys Under 13 ahead of the Moyne AC pair of Jack Hickey and Brian Maher. Natasha Doyle (SLOT) won the Girls Under 13 event from Aine Corcoran (Shercock AC) and Abigail Dunne (Naas AC). Aedan Rogers (United Striders) won the Boys Under 15 race from Patrick O’Rourke (Kilmurray/Ibrickane AC). Aaron Donnelly

(St Senan’s AC) finished third. Alice Hynes (Swinford AC) led her team to victory when winning the Girls Under 15 event ahead of Eva Cummins (Boyne AC) and Amy Clarke (Na Fianna AC). There was another individual victory for Swinford AC when Tadgh McGinty came home a winner in the Boys Under 17 event. Swinford AC completed a clean sweep in this event as Shane Bracken finished second and Willie Hynes was third. Averil Deegan (Ballyroan/Abbeyleix AC) won the Girls Under 17 race ahead of Louise Stack, (Portlaoise AC) and Anna Cleary (Naas AC).

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A Dublin Double Mick Clohisey struck gold in the men's race while Sarah McCormack sprinted to the women's crown, writes Frank Greally. PHOTO: BRENDAN MORAN, SPORTSFILE.COM


ick Clohisey (Raheny Shamrock AC) and Sarah McCormack (Clonliffe Harriers AC) delivered on the double for Dublin at the Woodie’s DIY Inter Club & Juvenile Inter County Relay Cross Country Championships of Ireland at Dundalk IT. Dundrum South Dublin AC dominated the team competitions with a full sweep of gold medals in the Junior and Senior categories. Mick Clohisey and Gary Thornton (Galway City Harriers AC) raced into an early lead on the first lap of the 12,000m Senior Men’s race. Defending champion Sergiu Ciobanu (Clonliffe Harriers AC) was unable to contain the front runners as he settled into third place. A stirring battle between Clohisey and Thornton ensued over the six-lap course as both athletes took their turn in the lead. Clohisey made a surge with just over a lap remaining to take him clear of Thornton. The effort proved successful as the Raheny man powered to victory in a time of 39:09. Thornton took the silver medal with 39:19 and Ciobanu was third in 39:34. John Travers (Donore Harriers AC) ran strongly to place fourth in 40:12 and Brian McMahon (Clonliffe Harriers) was fifth in 40:17. Dundrum South Dublin won the team title with a score of 35 points, a single point clear of Clonliffe Harriers. The winning DSD team was; Joe Sweeney (6th), Alan McCormack (7th), John Eves (10th) and James Egan (11th). This was a nail-biting team contest all the way and it was James Egan’s 11th-place performance that clinched it for DSD. Donore Harriers, led by John Travers, won the bronze medals with 59 points. This was a special day for Mick Clohisey, the Raheny Shamrock AC stalwart who eight years previously had won the National Junior Cross Country title in Sligo. Clohisey had to fight hard to achieve victory and he could only relax in the final 100m of the event. Between them, Clohisey and Gary Thornton delivered a most exciting contest that will be long remembered. The Senior Women’s championship proved to be the most exciting race of the day with Sarah McCormack (Clonliffe Harriers AC), Michelle McGee (Brothers Pearse AC) and Maria McCambridge (Dundrum South Dublin AC) battling it out for much of the distance.. Marathon

Mick Clohisey, 542, Raheny Shamrocks, on the way to winning the Senior Men's 12000m.

specialist McCambridge tried hard to shake off the opposition with all three women running stride by stride for the majority of the 8,000m event. McGee, who had already won the Novice and Intermediate titles this season, made her bid for victory with one lap remaining. However, McCormack and McCambridge both dug deep to stay in contention. McCormack made her decisive move with a little Sarah McCormack (664), won the day. over 300 metres remaining and sprinted home to victory in in 19:46, with Hanlon second in a time of 29:41. McGee fought on to hold down 19:54. Brendan O’Connor (An Riocht AC) second place in 29:48, with McCambridge took the bronze medal in 20:54. DSD won just behind in third (29:50). DSD, led by the team title with 29 points. Clonliffe McCambridge, won the team title with a Harriers placed second on 40 points and score of 26 points ahead of Raheny Ennis Track third with 55 points. Shamrock AC on 31 points and Clonliffe Sarah Miles (Dundrum South Dublin AC) Harriers third on 50 points. reeled in long-time leader Clodagh O’Reilly There was another close contest in the (Annalee AC) to win the Junior Women’s Junior Men’s championship between Aaron title. O’Reilly tried hard to shake off the DSD Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers AC) and Kevin athlete but Miles proved the stronger as she Mulcaire (Ennis Track AC). Hanlon pushed coasted to victory in 15:32. O’Reilly, from the pace from an early stage, with Mulcaire Cavan, took the silver medal in 16:00 with tracking every move as both athletes Isabelle Odlum also of DSD finishing third opened up a sizeable gap over the rest of in 16:19. Dundrum South Dublin won the the field. Mulcaire applied the pressure team title with a score of 13 points ahead of over the final lap and raced clear to victory Clonliffe Harriers on 36 points. Irish Runner 51

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A HIT AT MISS! Sean Tobin, Ireland's youngest sub-four-minute miler, is taking Mississippi by storm, writes Joe Conway. PHOTOS: JOHN NEPOLITAN/ARMORYTRACK.COM

WHEN you tell people that you will be attending a co-educational research university college in Oxford, the chances are you'll make quite the impression. If you mention that it’s Oxford, Mississippi…then maybe not so much! But for Ireland's newest and youngest ever subfour minute miler, Sean Tobin, it was an easy decision. Tobin, 19, is currently a first-year student at the University of Mississippi. The Clonmel native, competing in his first mile as an Ole Miss Rebel, became the first athlete in school history to break four minutes running 3:59.91 at the Husky Classic in Washington State on Feb. 15. More impressive still is he is only 19 years of age. Tobin’s feat came in just his second collegiate track race, having run in the Millrose Games collegiate relay the previous weekend. Ole Miss is perhaps best known for their American college football exploits. It has not been much of a destination for Irish athletes. Until now, that is. "I chose Ole Miss because I believed that it was a great training environment,” says Tobin. “I believed they had the support team, training partners, and coaches to help me become successful. “I also fell in love with the school and its passion. Ole Miss is a school that I am proud to represent.” Tobin's rapid progress surprised many observers and the teenager is taking his newfound status in stride. "I was quite surprised to go under the barrier this early in my career. I would not

DID YOU KNOW…? On the same day Eamon Coghlan won his first Wanamaker on February 2, 1977, another Irishman chased the indoor mile world record in Columbia, Missouri. Who was it? Limerick's Niall O'Shaughnessy of Arkansas ran the second-fastest indoor mile at the time (3:55.4), just .4 seconds off Tony Waldrop's then world record.

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have expected to achieve this for a few more years. I was shocked, honestly. “I arrived at Ole Miss believing that I needed a good block of training after missing a few weeks and had no real plan on an indoor season. “At any age, to achieve this is a great accomplishment; but I am very pleased to be the youngest Irishman ever to do it. Also, to win the race meant a lot. I feel that there is a lot more to come," says Tobin. He arrived at Ole Miss with a strong portfolio, having represented Ireland at track (1500 at the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships), cross country (ninth in 2013 European Junior Cross Country Championships) and mountain running (30th in 2012 World Mountain Running Championships). Tobin was also fourth in both the 3000 at the 2011 European Youth Championships and the 1500 at the 2013 European Junior Championships. Add to that some strong track times of 800 (1:50), 1,500 (3:45) and 3,000 (8:29) and it is easy to see why Tobin had his pick of American universities. With the Rio Games just two years away, Olympic ambitions now beckon for the Clonmel athlete. "I want to continue improving year by year. I want to perform at the highest of my ability for years to come. My ultimate goal

would be to win an Olympic medal, while representing my country with the same passion that I represent Ole Miss and my home club (Clonmel Athletic Club).”

TOBIN FACTFILE Born July 20, 1994. Attended Clonmel CBS. Son of Anthony and Angie Tobin. His brother Anthony has won Irish national medals in race-walking. His sister, Laura, has won Irish national medals in distance running. PRs: 1:50 (800m), 3:45 (1500m), 8:29.91 (3000m) • Ninth at 2013 European Cross Country Championships; • Fourth in 1500 at 2013 European Junior Championships; • 2013 Irish National High School Cross Country Champion; • Competed in the 1500m at the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships; • 30th at the 2012 World Mountain Running Championships; • 2011 Irish National Champion in cross country and 3000m on the track; • Fourth in 3000 at the 2011 European Youth Championships. - SOURCE: Ole Miss

WANAMAKER MEMORIES THE Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games it not what is used to be…at least not from an Irish perspective. The 2014 version of the race had no Irish invitees. That said, let’s not forget Ciarán Ó Lionáird's impressive 3:52.10 for third last year. He’s not in the race this year as he continues to recoup from injury. American Will Leer won this year's race in 3:52.47, with fellow countryman and mile record holder, Alan Webb running 4:06 in his career finale. O'Lionaird's performance in 2013 not withstanding, the last Irish winner was Mark Carroll in 2000. Former indoor mile record holder Eamonn Coghlan has the most Irish wins and had the most career wins with seven, until Bernard Lagat

eclipsed his feat. Coghlan did have a presence this year and was the official starter for the 2014 race. The race is no longer held at the iconic Madison Square Garden, but has moved to the more athletefriendly Armory, which has a spectator capacity of 5,000. "Madison Square Garden is built for hockey and can only accommodate a small (169 yard) track," Millrose Games meet organiser Ray Flynn said. If memory serves me correctly, the Madison Square Garden version of the event was on Friday nights and I remember watching the "tape-delayed" version on Saturday afternoons on RTE. That was before we had cell phones and had to wait about six months for a land line. Those were the days, indeed.

Running Rings Around Sligo Sionnach Relay Series, July 26-27 Take the concept of a summertime outdoor music festival centered around a tented village and combine it with the fun of a 24-hour charity event. Throw in scenic runs through stunning landscapes and the opportunity to camp out under the stars with friends and you have The Sionnach Relay, which will be held in Sligo on July 26-27. Ireland's first fun overnight relay race, The Sionnach Relay is the brainchild of Patrick McCarrick and Liam Dwyer, both originally from Ireland and now living in Las Vegas. Accepting 2,400 runners (300 teams of eight runners each), the event is actively recruiting international teams as well as Irish participants. The Relay is based on a hub and spoke system, each team running four carefully selected loops around Sligo. Only one runner hits the road at a time and each participant runs four times, with each loop comprising approximately 8K. The loops have been designed to showcase the best of Sligo, with the route taking runners variously via Hazelwood, Lough Gill, The Wild Atlantic Way and through Sligo town itself. The race will take a team of eight runners approximately 25 hours and is completed when all team members have run each of the loops. Entry is currently open and runners can either enter as a complete team or link up with other individual entrants via the Sionnach Facebook page and on twitter@sionnachrelay. Teams are being encouraged to think creatively, with prizes available for Best Team Name, Best Costume and Best Team Tent. During the night runs the intention is to Light Up Sligo with glow sticks, lights and anything else that runners and teams can dream up. The official charity of The Sionnach Relay is the Irish Cancer Society. For more information and to register please visit Irish Runner 53

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Top Action in Athlone A number of top athletes played starring roles at the Woodie's DIY National Senior Indoor Track & Field Championships in Athlone last month, writes Frank Greally. PHOTO: BRENDAN MORAN, SPORTSFILE.COM

Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC) delivered a brilliant winning performance in the Woodie's DIY National Senior Indoor Track and Field Championships at the AIT International Arena in Athlone to win the Women’s 60m final in a personal best time of 7.32s. Phil Healy (Bandon AC) was second with 7.37, with Niamh Whelan third in 7.65. Kelly Proper (Ferrybank AC) added the 200m to her long jump title the previous day, setting a new personal best and stadium record of 23.5. It brought her total tally of indoor titles to 16, making her the most prolific winner of indoor national titles. Marcus Lawler (SLOT AC) delivered another stand-out performance, recording a new national indoor Junior record of 21.19 to take the Senior men’s 200m. Zak Irwin (Sligo AC) was second in 21.71 seconds, with David Quilligan (Leevale AC) third in 21.94. Earlier in the day Lawler finished second in the 60m in 6.95 with Jamie Davis (Raheny AC) recording the same time for third. The race was won by David Hynes (Menapians AC) in 6.85. Steven Colvert (Crusaders AC), who recorded a personal best of 6.84 to win his semi-final earlier in the day, withdrew from the final due to a slight injury niggle. The Men’s 400m proved a thrilling race with Timmy Crowe (Dooneen AC) and Richard Morrissey (Crusaders AC) leading the charge to the break and Thomas Barr (Ferrybank) sitting in behind. Barr made a move down the back straight to take the lead and he powered to the finish winning in 47.05 seconds. Crowe was second in 47.51 and Morrissey third in 47.56. Sinéad Denny (DSD AC) was the clear winner in the Women’s 400m in a personal best of 54.30. There was a battle between reigning champion Shauna Cannon (Brothers Pearse AC) and Ciara McCallion (Clonliffe Harriers AC) down the home straight, with Cannon taking silver in 55.56 from McCallion in bronze in 55.67. With Roseanne Galligan (Newbridge AC) having to withdraw due to illness, the expected battle between herself and Ciara Everard (UCD AC) in the Women’s 800m did not materialise. Everard retained her national title, winning in 2:06.23. With the newly-crowned Irish 800m indoor senior record holder Mark English (UCD AC) withdrawing from the championships during the week due to illness, the battle for the national title was 54 Irish Runner

Thomas Barr, left, Ferrybank AC, crosses the line to win the men's 400m ahead of silver medallist Timmy Crowe (296) from Dooneen AC and bronze medallist Richard Morrissey, Crusaders AC.

Barr made a move down the back straight to take the lead and he powered to the finish winning in 47.05 seconds.

wide open, with Niall Touhy (Ferrybank AC) taking the honours in 1:52.24. David McCarthy (West Waterford AC) dominated the Men’s 1500m, taking the lead with 800m to go; he crossed the line in 3:49.50 with Danny Mooney (Letterkenny AC) second in 3.52.14 and Darragh Greene (Dunleer AC) third in 3:54.85. Claire Tarplee (Dundrum South Dublin AC) took the women’s title in 4:30.59 from clubmate Siofra Cléirigh Büttner in 3:32.84. In the Men’s 3000m it was defending champion John Travers (Donore Harriers AC) who set the early pace but Alex Bruce Littlewood (Leevale AC) reeled him back in to win in 8:02.13. Bruce Littlewood, a former scholarship student at McNeese State

University, is a native of England and has recently come to work in Cork. Eoin Everard (Kilkenny City Harriers) won the silver medal in 8:10.57, with Travers paying for his early pace, having to settle for third in 8:14.73. In the 60m hurdles Sarah Lavin (UCD AC) delivered another solid performance, running 8.33 seconds to take the title from Catherine McManus (Celtic DCH AC) who powered to second in a personal best of 8.48. The Men’s 60m hurdles title went to Ian McDonald (Crusaders AC) in 8.22 seconds, from Paul Byrne (St.Abbans) in 8.29 and Tom Reynolds (North Down AC) in 8.32. In the Women’s pole vault Zoe Brown cleared a personal best of 4.31m and set an all-comers’ record. The Men’s shot put was won by Sean Breathnach in 16.15m. Kourosh Foroughi (Star of the Sea AC) recorded one of his best jumps in recent times when taking the national high jump title in 2.15m. Caoimhe King (Aughagower A.C.) was close to her best when taking the triple jump title in 12.84 metres.

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Six Up for Siofra It was a superb six titles in a row for Coláiste Iosagain's Siofra Cleirigh Buttner, who was the undoubted star of the show at the recent All-Ireland Schools Cross Country Championships, accomplishing a feat unlikely to be equalled for some time. PHOTOS: Diarmuid Greene, SPORTSFILE.COM

Siofra Cleirigh Buttner of Colaiste Iosagain created a little bit of history on Saturday March 8th as she sped to her sixth consecutive Aviva All-Ireland Schools Cross Country title on a challenging course at Cork IT. The Dublin athlete came home a clear winner in the Senior Girls event over 2,500m finishing in 10:34. The Scoil Iosagain runner had already won two Junior, two Intermediate and one Senior cross-country individual Schools’ Championships titles prior to her latest victory which put the final icing on the cake to celebrate a wonderful career to date. Her class-mate Sarah Ui Mhaolmhuire (Miles), finished second in 10:43 and Deirdre Healy (Dublin Institute) was third in 10:52. Ursuline College Thurles won the team title. The Senior Boys race delivered an intriguing contest up front between St Mary’s College Drogheda students Andrew Coscoran and Aaron Hanlon, who ran together for much of the 6,500m event, before Coscoran broke clear for victory. In third place, David Harper led Race College in Westport to an historic team victory; the first time a college from Connacht has won this title. Paddy Maher (Dunshaughlin CC) was another athlete to impress as he coasted to victory in the Junior Boys’ event over 3,500m, finishing in 12:24. Sarah Healy (Holy Child, Killiney) won the Minor Girls race and Sean Corry (Omagh Christian Brothers) won the Minor Boys’ event. Caoimhe Harrington (Colaiste Poball, Bheanntrai) won the Junior Girls’ race and Rhona Pierce (Skerries CC) came home a winner in the Intermediate Girls race, with Kevin Mulcaire (St Flannan’s Ennis) delivering another top-drawer performance to win the Intermediate Boys event. John Coghlan (DCU) and Maria O’Sullivan (Trinity College) won the respective men’s and women’s titles in the Irish University Cross Country Championships held in conjunction with the Schools Championships. They each led their respective team to victory. 56 Irish Runner

Siofra Cleirigh-Buttner, Colaiste Iosagain Stillorgan, celebrates with her gold medal after winning the Senior Girls 2500m

Rice College Westport students, top row from left to right, Joe Hastings, David Harper, Jack Cashman, Sean Flynn, and Eoin Long, front row left to right, Diarmuid McNulty, Aichlinn O'Reilly, and Con Doherty, after winning the team event in the Senior Boys 6500m race

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Kevin Mulcaire, St. Flannan's Ennis, celebrates winning the Intermediate boys 5000m

Eventual winner Andrew Coscoran, right, and second place Aaron Hanlon, both of St Mary's Drogheda, in action during the Senior Boys 6500m race

St Fintan's Sutton students, from left to right, Eoin Stratt, Andy McMorrow, Cill Kirwan, Dyl Kirwan, and Kevin Doran after winning silver in the team event of the Senior Boys 6500m

Colaiste Iosagain Dublin students, from left to right, Aoife Nic an Mhanaigh, Muireann de Spainn, Kappa Ni Ghralaigh, Sophie Nic Dhaibheio, and Siofra Cleirigh Buttner, after winning silver in the team event in the Senior Girls 2500m

Ursuline Thurles students, from left to right, Theresa Ryan, Eileen Rafter, Eimear Loughman, Sylvia O'Donnell, Orla Healy, and Ciara Cummins, after winning the team event in the Senior Girls 2500m race

Mount Anville Dublin students, from left to right, Jennifer O'Brien, Maria O'Dea, Amy Rose Farrell, Ruth O'Shannon, and Julie Ringrose after winning the team event in the Minor Girls 2000m race

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Young Stars Shine in Athlone It was records galore in Athlone on a weekend that showed Irish juvenile athletics is in rude health. PHOTO: PAT MURPHY & DAVID MAHER, SPORTSFILE.COM

There was an array of exciting performances across a wide range of events at the Woodie's DIY Juvenile Indoor Track & Field Championships in the International Indoor Arena at Athlone IT. There was a terrific atmosphere and a big spectator crowd attended the two-day event. On Saturday the highly talented Zak Irwin (Sligo AC) powered to victory in the Boys U19 60m in 6.96s, while Sarah Kate Lacey (Kilkenny City Harriers) won the Girls 60m in 7.81. The U18 60m titles went to Eoin Doherty (Tallaght AC) with 7.01 seconds and Roseanna McGuckian (City of Lisburn) was 58 Irish Runner

impressive in winning the Girls title in 7.71. Gina Akpe-Moses (Blackrock AC Louth) won the U16 Girls 60m in 7.67s, a Championship Best performance. The performance broke the existing record of 7.72 held by European Junior 100m hurdles silver medallist Sarah Lavin (Emerald AC). There were two Championship Bests set in the 60m in the U13 age group, with Niamh Foley (St Mary's Limerick) winning the Girls title in 8.10 and Mathew Buckley (Ratoath AC) winning the Boys title in 8.04. European Youth Gold Medallist Louise Shanahan (Leevale AC) won the Girls U18 400m in 56.4. Paul Murphy (Ferrybank AC)

won the U19 Boys 400m - a new Championship Best performance of 48.96s. Schools Cross Country Champion Andrew Corscoran (Star of the Sea AC) swapped the country for the indoor track as he won the U19 Boys 1500m in 3:57.04. Corinne Kenny (St Laurence O'Toole AC) stormed to victory in the Girls U13 600m in 1:38.23. The time was another new Championship Best performance, breaking the old mark held by Jemma Bromell (Emerald AC) of 1.41.28. Sinead Burke (St Coca's AC) was a clear winner of the U19 1,500m race walk in 6:43.68,

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Young brigade lead the way: opposite page: Gina Akpe-Moses of Blackrock AC speeds to victory in the under-16 girls' 60m final ahead of Lauren Ryan of Dooneen AC and Ciara Neville of Emerald AC. Above, left to right: Sam Healy, Leevale AC, takes off en route to victory in the boys' under-19 long jump; Alanna Lally, Galway City Harriers AC, sprints to a decisive victory in the under-19 girls' 800m final; Enda Minogue, Brothers Pearse AC, in action during the under-13 boys' long jump. Left: High Achiever: Elizabeth Morland, Cushinstown AC, during the under-17 girls' high jump final, which was one of three titles the Meath athlete won over the weekend.

Micheala Walsh (Swinford AC) threw 15.08m to set a new championship best in the U17 Girls shot put competition. The winning distance broke the old mark held by Claire Fitzgerald (Tralee Harriers) of 13.91m which had stood since 2007. There was another big throw of 16.78m by James Kelly (Finn Valley AC), who won the U15 Boys shot put competition - a Championship Best performance. Adam Sheridan (Westport AC) launched the shot out to 12.80m to win the U13 Boys shot put title - another Championship Best performance. Sam Healy (Leevale AC) won the Boys

U19 long jump with a leap of 7.02m. Multieventer Elizabeth Morland (Cushinstown AC) won the U17 Girls long jump with 5.75. The action continued in Athlone on Sunday with another day of top class action and exceptional performances by a number of emerging young talents. There were four new Championship Best performances in the 60m hurdles events. Jason Foley (Lios Tuathail AC) posted 8.19 to shave .01s off the old record held by Fearghus Hannon (Tullamore Harriers) since 2008. Daniel Ryan (Moycarkey Coolcroo AC) won on the double when he set two new Championship Best performances in

the U16 60m hurdles (8.14s) and long jump (6.58 metres). Niamh Foley (St Mary's Limerick) and Miriam Daly (Carrick-onSuir AC) set new Championship Best performances's of 9.58 and 9.20 in their respective U13 and U14 60m hurdles events. John Kelly (Finn Valley AC) dominated the U19 shot put competition with an excellent throw of 17.80m. The throw improved on the old mark by over two metres - a record held by Sean Breathnach (15.18m) which had stood since 1997. Elizabeth Morland (Cushinstown AC) had a very busy weekend of competition, winning three national indoor titles. Irish Runner 59

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Speed demon: Zak Irwin, above, of Sligo AC, speeds his way to a decisive victory in the under-19 boys' 60m final in 6.96 seconds. Opposite page, clockwise from top left: Cillian Kirwan, Raheny Shamrock AC, on his way to victory in the under-19 boys' 800m final; Mark Milner, Tullamore Harriers AC, after winning the under-15 boys' 800m final; Lauren Ryan, Dooneen A.C, Co. Limerick, is congratulated after winning the Girls U.16 200m final; Sean Lawlor, Donore Harriers AC, after winning the under-18 boys 200m final; Phoebe Murphy, Clonmel AC, after winning the girls' under-17 200m final.


Zak Irwin (Sligo AC) was back on track on Sunday after his exciting 60m victory on Saturday and he delivered a weekend double, winning the U19 200m in 21.64.

Following on from her long jump gold on Saturday, the versatile Cushinstown AC athlete won the 60m hurdles (8.55s) and set a Championship Best performance in the high jump where she cleared 1.73m. Donogh Mahon (Gowran AC) excelled in the Boys U19 high jump, setting a new Championship Best when clearing 2.10m. This clearance added 6cm to the old mark (2.04m) held by Barry Pender (St Abban's AC). Darren Prout (Carrick-on-Suir AC) achieved 13.96m to win the Boys U18 triple jump title. The performance added 2cm to the existing record of 13.94m 60 Irish Runner

held by Niall Counihan (Dooneen AC). Sophie Meredith (St Marys Limerick) did likewise in the U14 Girls long jump, setting a Championship Best performance with a 5.39m performance. Zak Irwin (Sligo AC) was back on track on Sunday after his exciting 60m victory on Saturday and he delivered a weekend double, winning the U19 200m in 21.64. It was another top-drawer performance by the talented young Sligo AC athlete who is coached by Dermot McDermott. Vicky Harris (Mullingar Harriers AC) won the Girls U19 title in 24.67. There was another very impressive double in the Boys U18 age category by


Dunleer AC athlete Garry Campbell; who dominated both the 800m (1:55.38) and 1500m (4:07.18) events. Kevin McGrath did likewise at U16 level, winning the 800m in a time of 2:00.21 and the 1500m in a time of 4:16.30. European Youth Olympic gold medallist Louise Shanahan (Leevale AC) was also back in action in the Girls U18 800m after her victory in the 400m on Saturday. Shanahan coasted to victory in the 800m in 2:16.54 - a class performer. These Juvenile Championships conclude in Athlone on Saturday 29th March with the Juvenile Indoor Relay Championships of Ireland.

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CHAMPIONSHIP BEST PERFORMERS BOYS: • U12 60m: 1.Moses Ikpefua (Tallaght) 8.46 (=CBP) • U13 60m: 1.Matthew Buckley (Ratoath) 8.04 (CBP) • U15 1k Walk: 1.Gearoid McMahon (Shannon) 4.20.29 (CBP) • U15 Shot Put: 1.James Kelly (Finn Valley) 16.78, • U16 60mH: 1.Daniel Ryan (Moycarkey) 8.14 (CBP) • U16 Long Jump: 1.Daniel Ryan (Moycarkey) 6.58 (CBP) • U19 400m: Paul Murphy (Ferrybank AC) 48.96 (CBP) • U18 High Jump: 1.Donogh Mahon (Gowran) 2.10 (CBP) • U18 Triple Jump: 1.Darren Prout (Carrick-on-Suir) 13.96 (CBP) • U19 Shot Put: 1.John Kelly (Finn Valley) 17.80 (CBP) GIRLS: • U12 Shot Put: Megan Lenihan (North Cork) 10.20 (CBP) • U13 60m: 1.Niamh Foley (St.Marys Lisburn) 8.10 (CBP) • U13 60mH: 1.Niamh Foley (St.Marys) 9.58 (CBP) • U13 600m: 1.Corinne Kenny (SLOT) 1.38.23 (CBP) • U13 High Jump: 1.Holly Meredith (St.Marys) 1.51 (CBP) • U13 Shot Put: 1.Ciara Sheehy (Liscarroll) 11.95 (CBP) • U14 Long Jump: 1.Sophie Meredith (St.Marys) 5.39 (CBP) • U15 800m: 1.Alex O’Neill (St.Cronans) 2.16.48(CBP) • U16 60m: Gina Apke Moses (Blackrock-Louth) 7.67 (CBP) • U17 200m: 1.Phoebe Murphy (Clonmel) 24.66 (CBP) • U17 1500m: Nadia Power (Templeogue) 4.40.14 • U17 High Jump: 1.Elizabeth Morland (Cushinstown) 1.76 (CBP) • U17 Shot Put: 1.Michaela Walsh (Swinford) 15.08 (CBP) • U19 200m: 1.Vicki Harris (Mullingar) 24.67 (CBP) • U19 400m: 1.Alanna Lally (GCH) 56.75 (CBP)

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WHEN SHAMROCK BLOOMED IN BOSTON Frank Greally talks to his former Irish Brigade team-mate Neil Cusack about the famous day in 1974 when the Limerick legend blazed to victory in the Boston Marathon PHOTOS: DIARMUID GREENE / SPORTSFILE.COM & JEFF JOHNSON


HERE were many great days in Neil Cusack's illustrious running career, but none sweeter than when he came striding up Boylston street on Patriot's Day in April of 1974, to become the first and only Irish runner to win the famed Boston Marathon. His finishing time that day was 2:13.39. As the 40th anniversary of his historic achievement approaches, I meet Neil on an overcast morning in his native Limerick to find him in high spirits as he remembers his day in the sun almost four decades ago. "Time sure slips away on you, but the memory of winning Boston that April day forty years ago is something that I still savour and I can remember the detail of it as if it happened just yesterday,” says Cusack. "I remember travelling up to Boston from East Tennessee State University, where I was on an athletic scholarship at the time and having my mind already set on winning the event," he says. "I remember too, on the morning of the race, meeting Pat McMahon, an Irish Olympian from Clare who had finished second in Boston. And, when he asked me how I thought I would do on the day, I told him that I expected to win the event. “Pat still lives in Boston and when I last met him there, on the 35th anniversary of my win, he was still talking about how

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confident I appeared on that morning long ago and how surprised he was to see me back up my prediction." Irish Record When Neil Cusack arrived in Boston in 1974 he had already made a name for himself as a top-rated cross country runner who had won the American Collegiate NCAA title - leading the field with ease in Houston, Texas in 1972. Still only 20 at the time of this Houston victory, Cusack was already an Olympian and he had set an Irish record of 28.45.80 in Munich that same summer. In Houston, Cusack also led an all-Irish ETSU cross country team known as the Irish Brigade - to silver medal success. His Irish team-mates at the time were: Eddie and P.J. Leddy, Kevin Breen, Frank Greally and Ray McBride. Five days after his big cross country win in Houston, Cusack headed for Chicago and the American open (AAU) Cross Country Championships. It was there, in a snowstorm by the lakeshore in the Windy City, that he led the Munich Olympic marathon gold medallist Frank Shorter a merry dance. At the finish, Cusack had a comfortable winning margin on Shorter, but he was alleged to have marginally run the wrong way around a tree (in blinding snow and on the instructions of a race official) approaching the finish.

Of course, an objection was lodged by Shorter's Florida Track Club, who were locked in team competition with ETSU, even though Shorter had congratulated Cusack at the finish and acknowledged him as a worthy winner. Shorter was, by then, an American icon following on from his Munich Marathon victory and, after some deliberation by the appeals committee, he was awarded the race title. Over forty years later, Neil Cusack laughs heartily when he talks about the incident and says: “It does not matter now, for after all this time I still know who really won that race”. That same year Cusack also won the Canadian Cross Country Championship to crown a brilliant season. Going into the Boston race, Cusack's confidence was soaring and he had just come off a successful indoor racing campaign of eight races, that included 8:32 for two miles and 13:12 for 3 miles, on an eleven laps to the mile track in New York's Madison Square Garden. "I knew that I had good speed in my legs and even though my longest training run for Boston had been just 16 miles, I was still confident that I could run a fast marathon,” he recalls. Classic Distance Boston was not Cusack's first outing over the classic distance, as he had already

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posted a 2:16.18 effort in Atlanta, Georgia a few years previously as a 19-year-old. "I ran that race in Atlanta on pure impulse and, at the time, it was a world best time for a 19-year-old,” he says. “Running that marathon gave me some insight of what it was like to tackle the distance and, going into Boston, I had no fear at all about what lay in store. “At that point of my career, I put no limits on myself. I trained hard and I expected good results on the back of that hard training." Cusack arrived on the campus of East Tennessee State University in the Autumn of 1970 after being offered a halfscholarship by the late Coach Dave Walker, whose Limerick Athletic Club contact, Ronnie Long, had recommended Cusack as a fine emerging talent. Because he had to pay for his own meals during his first year at ETSU, Cusack had to juggle twice a day training with attending classes and putting in demanding shifts in the dish-room in the University Cafeteria, where he earned the money to help sustain himself. On his first outing in the US Collegiate Cross Country Championships, Cusack struggled to finish 186th - and got to know the feeling of going full-tilt while the field swept past. It was a feeling he didn't enjoy and he vowed to do better. A year later he posted seventh in the nationals, before going on a year later to win the title outright. "It took me a good year to adjust to twice a day training at ETSU and, when I came home for the Summer holidays in 1971, I had no intention of going back to ETSU," he says. "Looking back now, I think I was pretty homesick that first year; but, by the end of the summer in Limerick, I was again eager to give it another go in Tennessee." String Vest The night before the Boston race, Cusack remembers sitting in his hotel room in the city sewing a shamrock crest to the St Bernard string vest he was going to wear in the next day's event. "Ron Hill - who won Boston in 1970 had made the string vest a popular piece of apparel wear for marathon runners and I had my Irish Dunne's Stores version of the string vest with me in Boston,” says Cusack. "Although East Tennessee State University had paid my air fare to Boston, I was determined to run the race wearing an emblem of my country. That is why I decided to sew on the shamrock to the front of my vest." 64 Irish Runner

I always wanted to come back to Ireland and my native Limerick – a place that has always been my home and my heartland

The day after that famous Boston victory Cusack was delighted to see his picture appear on the front page of the New York Times - a photo that showed him crossing the finish line in Boston, arms upraised and the shamrock set proudly on his chest. "I never fully realised how big a deal it was to win the Boston Marathon until I actually achieved that victory," says Cusack. "I just wanted to test myself at the marathon at that time and I picked Boston because it suited my racing schedule. “My win in Boston received huge media attention at the time - way beyond anything I expected. The famous newscaster, Walter Cronkite even broadcast my win on the USA national TV news that day. It was just incredible the type of media attention I received." Cusack told the press after the race that he was going to celebrate his victory with a few beers and, for several weeks after his Boston victory, many letters and cards of congratulations - most of them simply addressed Neil Cusack-Boston Marathon - landed at East Tennessee State University Post Office from Irish people all over the United States…with

anything from five to twenty dollars included for a beer to celebrate the victory. "I can only smile when I think back on it now," Cusack says. "Every day for about a month the mail kept arriving for me at ETSU. My Boston win seemed to mean a lot to some Irish immigrants and second-generation Irish Americans and I received some lovely letters and cards at the time, most of them with some dollars included to buy me the celebratory few beers that I had mentioned at the post-race press conference in Boston." Incredible Support That day in Boston in 1974 Neil Cusack had a race plan that he executed to perfection. He held off the pace for the six miles; but, by half-way, he had surged into the lead and was over a minute ahead of the field. "The spectator support along the course that day was incredible," Cusack remembers. "The crowds lined the race route from the start in Hopkinton all of the 26.2 miles to the finish and lifted me all the way - especially after I took over the lead."

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It was a real sweet moment when I crossed the finish line in Boston – a moment that is still exciting when I think about it

Cusack found the final mile along Boylston Street tough going, but with the finish in sight he drew on all of the strength, speed and stamina he had built up while training in the hills of Tennessee to maintain his pace and hold on to his lead all the way to the line. "It was a real sweet moment when I crossed the finish line in Boston - a moment that is still exciting when I think about it,” says Cusack. He had been on 2:09 pace going up the famous Heartbreak Hill in Boston, between 18 and 21 miles. "The pace just found me out over the final miles, but I was happy to win - no matter what time I ran," he says. Behind him, in second place, American runner Tom Fleming shed bitter tears as he failed for the second time to win the big event. When he finished the race in Boston, Cusack received a medal and he travelled back to East Tennessee State University to a hero's welcome. There was no big prize money in Boston that year and Cusack missed by just a few years the big money that would later become the norm at city events like New York and Boston.

Huge Improvement That day in 1974, a certain Bill Rodgers finished in 14th place behind Cusack and he would later become one of the most successful marathoners of all time synonymous with the Boston and New York events. In 1975, Rodgers came back to win Boston for the first time in a then US record time of 2:09.55 - a huge improvement on his 2:19.34 posting the previous year. "I think that Bill Rodgers really knuckled down to hard training after the 1974 race," says Cusack. "He found a great coach in Bill Squires and he concentrated on long intervals - mile repeats and long training runs too." For most of his own athletics career Neil Cusack was self-coached and even at ETSU it was he who radically changed the training mold in agreement with Coach Dave Walker. "When I first arrived at ETSU, Coach Walker would have us running thirty laps of the track at 6.30am,” Cusack remembers. "I was only a few weeks there when I suggested it would be a better idea if we used the roads around the campus for

those early morning runs and Coach Walker was happy to take up my suggestion.” Cusack's dedication to hard work soon earned him full scholarship and so it was he and Coach Dave Walker who jointly shaped most of the training programmes at ETSU for the next few years. I can still see Cusack throwing his Tiger Cub racing shoes over the fence by the track as our Irish Brigade group headed out on an 11-mile training run in the Tennessee hills in the Fall of 1972. I remember too watching in awe as, on our return from the run, he proceeded to reel off 10 X 400 meters - averaging 64/65 seconds each with short recovery too. And I remember the shock I felt when he informed Ray McBride and myself that within a few weeks we would be expected to follow suit. Neil Cusack always trained and raced passionately - rarely slower than 5.30 per mile and with a fervour I have rarely seen in anyone else. He could lower a pint, or belt out a song with the best, but he was always out on the road for that 6.30am first training session of the day. Running to him seemed like a song where he had heard the tune and put his own brilliant words to the music. Another High Cusack hit another high when winning the 1981 Dublin Marathon in 2:13.59. He competed for Ireland in the World Cross Country Championships on 13 occasions and won national track championships at 5,000 and 10,000 metres. When he married Imelda O'Connor in 1979, Neil had the diamond from his Boston medal mounted on the wedding ring for his new bride. Today Neil and Imelda live happy and content in Limerick where they have raised two sons, Neil and Tony. "A number of the Irish Brigade members like Eddie Leddy, Kevin Breen, Ray Flynn, Louis Kenny and Tommy McCormack settled in America, but I always wanted to come back to Ireland and my native Limerick - a place that has always been my home and my heartland," Neil says. Neil is delighted that his native city of Limerick has now created and named a running trail in his honour and he is now making a come-back to running again after a short lapse. He is back running a few steady miles in the mornings and on these runs in Cratloe Forest - his old training ground - he tells me he often thinks back on a career that he believes has been truly blessed…one that no amount of money could ever buy. Irish Runner 65

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Triathlon: Interview

A NOBLE EFFORT At 31, Gavin Noble has been competing in triathlons for over 15 years and has held Ulster and Irish Championship titles over every distance from schools to Senior levels. He has an impressive list of results, including British Youth Champion, European Cup Winner, 7th in European Cup Standings, twice a Commonwealth Games representative an Ironman 70.3 win in 2013 and 23rd in London as Ireland's first male triathlon representative at the Olympic Games. Recently, Gavin announced his retirement from ITU Elite Series racing, having taken up the position of Global Sports Marketing Manager for Triathlon with Specialized Bicycles PHOTOS: PAT MURPHY, BRIAN LAWLESS, STEPHEN MCCARTHY, SPORTSFILE.COM

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You' re retiring. Why? R etiring is such an ugly word! I like to think of it as ' I am giving importance to something else rather than full-time training. And as such I won' t be in good enough shape to compete properly! I will still keep fit; race for a challenge; the racing is just not a priority. What do you plan to do nex t? I am working for Specialized in G lobal Sports Marketing H igh point and low point of your triathlon career? The high point was definitely the London Olympics. Not my finishing position, but I was very proud of the way I went about making the line and executing a strategy. The low points were injuries; especially before the European C hampionships in Athlone, when I had to pull out beforehand. But let' s not dwell on low points! Any maj or regrets or unfinished business? I have no regrets. Being an elite athlete is awesome but I wouldn' t say ' glamorous' , so you must understand that not everything is going to go your way. You make choices and learn from them all the time. I maybe should have raced more non-drafting and 7 0 .3 events, as I think I would have been successful there in terms of income; but if I am honest it didn' t have the same appeal for me as ITU racing. What do you think you brought to the sport? My blog. Only joking! I always worked to promote Triathlon in Ireland. I always had a great relationship with race directors and teams and promoted our races within Ireland and internationally. Within the Irish team I maybe brought a bit of a ' R oy K eane' attitude! Admittedly I could be quite difficult sometimes but I think I was respected for that amongst the athletes who knew I

always had their best interests at heart. At some points we needed to be better in all aspects. I was hungry to race internationally. I had no real interest in being a big fish in a small pond, with all due respect. I would put myself into environments that were outside my comfort zone and train with athletes who were better than me. I did my own thing very much until C hris J ones arrived and set up the structures that we see today. I think the best athletes in future generations will be a mix of myself, while being brought through the new system. I just hope they don’t get too comfortable with having everything done for them. I hope athletes learn from what I did and how far that got me, then look to someone as talented as Aileen [ R eid] and learn from her career path, the choices she made and aspire to emulate her. Was the loss of S ports Council funding a factor? Not in any way. I wouldn' t say I ' lost it' . I did not chose to do the races last year that meet the criteria. I was very well supported by the Sports C ouncil for many years but I wanted to try different races. I needed a year off the circuit to recharge, to recover from injury. I never saw funding as the be-all. Triathlon Ireland would support me if i needed it - and I have great sponsors. So I always knew I would not be funded initially at the beginning of the season. What has changed in triathlon during your involvement - in I reland and globally? Everything! Post-Sydney and then again post-Beijing the depth and speed of racing has increased internationally. I would have been winning more races in the ‘ 9 0 s for sure. I don’t think people can ever grasp the speed of the swim, bike or run ( and particularly the bike out of the swim) if they have never raced in a World Series race. In Ireland we have much more races and they have much higher numbers in general. When I was younger the best races were in the North but there has been a big shift in that regard. The numbers are higher, but I

would not say the level of domestic competition is any higher than it was when I started in the Men, but it is in the Women' s races. With the increase in number of races I don' t see the better athletes racing each other as much, though. Too many of the big races have wave starts too and sometimes the best athletes are not in the same waves, which makes the racing different and in my opinion, as a spectacle, poor. H ow do you see the future of I rish triathlon? I hope it continues to grow and I think it will. It is thriving in every area. It would be great to have more international races obviously, especially for the younger athletes. We need some draft-legal domestic events and I hope schools competition comes back. What would you have done if not triathlon? I would have played centre midfield for Newcastle United; a holding player and probably a little bit dirty! Anything you want to get off your chest? A little layer of fat that is slowly replacing some muscle I once had there.

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Triathlon’s Rising Stars With a new generation of Juniors poised to move into the Senior ranks, the future of Irish triathlon is in good hands. But what makes tomorrow’s multi-event heroes tick? We let three of them answer in their own words

CHRIS MINTERN Cork (crashed), 67th, Junior World Championships on Triathlon Lond 2 201 r, Silve Cup one ETU Athl n, multiple mpio Silver, Intervarsity National Cha onal Nati estic dom international top 10s and Series wins.

KIERAN JACKSON Waterford Multiple domestic race wins and representation at international races.

Your sporting background before taking up triathlon? I was swimming before I was able to walk! I competed regularly in regional and national galas. I also took up surf lifesaving before starting triathlon. Was there an Aha! moment for you? Instead of sticking with one sport, I decided to take up another two. When and where was your first triathlon? My first triathlon was in my home town of Tramore, Co.Waterford in 2010. I finished second in the Junior category at the age of 14. Which is your strongest discipline of the three? My strongest discipline of the three would be the run. I like being out of my comfort zone especially on the run. Weakest? Although my background was swimming, it is now my weakest discipline of the three. What has been your best result to date? My best result to date was finishing 25th in my first Junior European cup in Aguilas, Spain in 2012. I also finished 3rd in a British Super Series race in Sunderland.

Least favourite session? I dont have any; every session I do I enjoy. What are your ambitions in triathlon? My main life goal is to compete at the Olympics. Looking at my age now and the age profile of triathletes who have competed in the Olympics, it will hopefully be 2024! Targets for 2014? A consistent Top 20 or better position in European Cup races, and qualification for the European Championships and Worlds. Do you have a triathlon hero or particular inspiration? I would say Javier Gomez is my inspiration in triathlon. I love the way he can race both long distance and Olympic distance and have such consistency. Where are you now? At the moment I'm trying to improve my swimming and trying to stay injury-free for 2014. What do you think about on the bike? Mainly food

Your sporting background before triathlon? I have been swimming with Sundays Well since I was 11 and began running cross-country with my secondary school Coláiste Chríost Rí in third year. I played hurling and football for a while with St.Finbarrs, but decided to concentrate on triathlon at the age of 14. When and where was your first triathlon - and how did it go? I took part in relays in the Youghal Triathlon in 2006 and 2007 (swim leg) and decided to tackle the whole triathlon in 2008. I was a lot tougher back then; I didn't wear a wetsuit and I used my mountain bike for the cycle leg! I crossed the line in 142nd position at only 13 years old. I was immediately hooked on the sport. Which is your strongest discipline of the 3 - and your weakest? I was always a strong swimmer, but once I started training with Donie Walsh at Leevale AC I noticed a massive improvement in my running. Cycling would have been my weakest leg at the start. I've recently started cycling with Team Aquablue and with the guidance of Timmy Barry all things are moving in the right direction. I suppose I'd consider myself consistently average at all three. What has been your best result to date? Without doubt the Athlone Junior European Cup. A silver medal in front of a home crowd - and to top it off it was my first European Cup medal. To me, it was one of the most important races of the year, only amplified by the fact it was a chance to perform in front of the people who've been supporting me all the way up.

Describe a typical training week Monday-Friday: Swimming 5:007:00am Cycling 2 or 3 times a week, max 3hours. Running 2 times a week at the moment.

Describe a typical training week At this time of year the majority of my training is long aerobic base work. Building a solid foundation in the winter and increasing the pace towards race season. Nothing fancy, just honest effort. Every week is different, depending on my time schedule with college/work.

Favourite session? My favourite session would have to be a swim test set of 100m, race start straight into 3x300m, best average. It hurts.

Favourite session? My favourtie session would have to be 1,000m reps on the track, typically two weeks before the main race of the season. Peak condition, cruising around the track and feeling great.

68 Irish Runner

JuniorTRI_Layout 1 26/03/2014 13:51 Page 2 AARON O’BRIEN Limerick 20th, Junior World Championships, National Aquathlon Champion, 2012, London Triathlon Winner, multiple domestic National Series wins.

Your sporting background before triathlon? I was sporting mad from a young age and played GAA, rugby and some tennis. Was there an Aha! moment for you? Realising that I was depending on myself rather then depending on others; for the first time it was down to me, as triathlon is an individual sport.

Least favourite session? Would definitely be 10x1,000m @15mins in the U.L pool a couple of years ago. Mentally tough more than anything else; it's hard enough to do 10x1000m reps running, never mind swimming! What are your ambitions in triathlon? I want be a consistent performer as a Senior International and compete in the Olympic Games. Targets for 2014? Break into the Senior international scene with solid performances at British Super Series races and European Cup events. This year I'm moving from the Junior sprint distance (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run) up the Olympic distance (1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run). This will require a lot more strength, but it's a challenge I am embracing. Do you have a triathlon hero or particular inspiration? I wouldn't have a triathlon 'hero', but Robert Heffernan would be a big inspiration. It's great to see a World Champion walking around the streets of Cork. Where are you now? In the Boole Library in UCC trying to think of other things to do to avoid studying. What do you think about on the bike? When I'm with a bunch I'd just chat with the lads, but when I'm alone I'm usually just planning ahead on what to do for the rest of the day, where to squeeze in other sessions/ study/recovery time. I do a lot of planning and analysis when I'm out on the bike alone.

When and where was your first triathlon and how did it go? My first triathlon was the Joey Hannon Triathlon in Limerick 2009. It was the hardest thing I had ever encountered at that time. Which is your strongest discipline of the 3 and your weakest? My strongest would have to be swimming. I swam competitively from a young age and have just progressed since. My weakest is running, I’m a big guy and carry more weight then other triathlete competitors. What has been your best result to date? 20th in the Junior World Championships in London 2013 Describe a typical training week My typical training week consists of 30 hours including swimming, cycling running and two gym sessions. I swim five early morning sessions with the Limerick HPC swimmers. We cover anything from 5-7km per session. I have 4-6 run sessions with threshold runs,easy runs, long runs and a speed session. I cycle anything from 150km-250km a week. There are also two S&C sessions fitted in during the week. Favourite and least favourite sessions? My favourite session would have to be 24x100m step test in the pool, it’s fast and really tests your fitness. It always depends what the weather is like. There’s nothing worse than going out for a four-hour bike ride when its raining from the start. It’s horrible. What are your ambitions in triathlon? This year is my first year U23 as last year I was a Junior. I will be racing Olympic

distance which is a big step up from the sprint distance. I hope to progress into the senior ranks and eventually make the Olympics. Targets for 2014? Again it’s my first year as an U23 athlete so its not going to be an easy year but I hope to race some European Cup races and qualify for the U23 European Championships. Where are you now? I’m currently studying at the University of Limerick. I’m living with five other athletes, both runners and swimmers. I also do all my training here. What do you think about on the bike? You can have days where you think about nothing, and other days where you think about everything. If you surround yourself and training around good people, its a lot easier and doesn’t get you thinking as much. Irish Runner 69

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Triathlon: Training

PREPARE TO SUCCEED You’ve done the training; now make the most of your racing. Stephen Delaney, National Development Coach with Triathlon Ireland, offers his with race-day tips SWIM The first minute of my first triathlon was undoubtedly the scariest time I have ever experienced in sport. I had positioned myself at the back of the pack of swimmers - or so I thought - and planned to ease into the swim and then move on to my more favoured disciplines. Within seconds I was swamped by arms, legs and bodies. Twenty seconds into the race I was desperately looking for the support kayaks. All this could easily have been prevented by a little preparation and planning. I had been training on my own, so had no experience of even being in a lane with more than a couple of other recreational swimmers. Swim Tips Practise floating starts with as many as will fit in a lane. When you think no more will fit, get another swimmer. Having started with just one line add a second line of faster swimmers. Practise swimming with your eyes closed while staying straight and also learn to incorporate a sighting stroke into your swimming. You cannot trust those around you to go in a straight line. If you get a chance at a race, be sure to find a larger object than the turn buoys to sight off. In choppy water you may only get the occasional look at the buoys, but if there are obvious markers like houses, trees, mountains behind, use them. Learn to stand up quickly. This might seem simple enough, but most of the time we finish our set, stay by the wall for a while chatting and then slowly emerge from the pool. If you have been swimming straight for 15 minutes and jump out of the water you can expect your legs to turn to jelly especially if you have not been kicking, just letting your wetsuit do all the work. So practise at the pool, getting your exits right and plan on kicking strongly to get the blood flowing to your legs as you get towards the end of your race swim. Don’t forget to practise taking off your wetsuit; planning and practise can save seconds and even minutes that you spend hours training to save off your moving time. There are numerous online videos to 70 Irish Runner

demonstrate or ask a clubmate or local coach to help out.

BIKE With another winter of not too bike friendly weather behind us many athletes have spent most of their time on a turbo rather than the open road. Spending time subjected to the wind and rain and in a group setting will help prepare for having bikes flying past and reacting to riders moving around as you pass them. Most courses will have a turn point where riders bunch up under braking and you will need to develop cornering and braking skills to ensure you lose no time and even gain time. Bike Tips Try to do some of your training in a group. Triathlon in Ireland is primarily nondrafting, but that does not mean you will be alone on the road. Find a stretch of closed road or a carpark and practise your braking and cornering. Start on your own and then in pairs. You can use road markings or spare water bottles to define the width of the road and the start of braking zones.

RUN Once you get your legs working again there is nothing to stop you now. And that

moment when try to run can be another leap into the unknown. Even experienced triathletes can get that jelly-legged feeling as they leave transition. Again, prepare by incorporating brick sessions into your training. Run Tips No new shoes. Use only shoes you have trained in to avoid blisters and other far more serious injuries. If you plan on using lock laces, make sure you have trained with them also. Your first race is not the time to decide to act like a pro and run without socks for the first time. Train without them as well. Finally, practise your transitions and practise in a group if possible. We can all climb smoothly onto our bikes and take off a wetsuit in a wide open space with no distractions. Build your confidence and skill by building the group size and increasing the pace in training. You need to be able to mount and dismount in a straight line to avoid colliding with other athletes; keep looking ahead, not at your shoes. Think about which side of your bike you will run on and plan to lay out your gear accordingly. You do not want to have to run around your bike after racking it to get to your shoes. In practise, go through the whole procedure of transitions, including taking off hat and goggles or helmet.

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This new event with a global catchment will start against the scenic backdrop of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks mountain range and will feature stunning ocean views, dramatic landscapes and historic towns and villages. The runners will line up inside the Kings Bridge entrance of Killarney National Park, directly across the road from St. Mary’s Cathedral. At exactly 11am on May 4 they will exit the park, turn left and begin their anti-clockwise run around the world famous Ring of Kerry. Competitors will enjoy some of the most breathtaking views from any running course in the world; including landmarks such as Carrauntoohil - Ireland’s highest mountain, coastal scenery, Waterville’s Charlie Chaplin statue and Killorglin, home of the historic Puck Fair. Competitors will exit the park, turn left & run along the Port Road (R877) before turning left again after 500m at the roundabout onto the N72 (beginning of Ring of Kerry route). They will remain on the N72 for the rest of the run. The route is undulating, combining flat

sections with gentle climbs and descents and will pass through the towns of Killorglin, Cahirciveen and Waterville.

For full details see below and check out advert on page 73.

FREE edge bottle and 5% extra off all online orders for March, April and May 2014 when using checkout code IR_APR_2014.*T&C Apply, offer only applies to in stock items NEW IMPROVED WEBSITE LAUNCHING APRIL 2014!

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Triathlon: Club

CHECKING THE PULSE Patricia Murphy profiles Pulse Triathlon Club, established in 2003 It’s easy to see how Pulse Triathlon Club has been such a vital success over its ten year history. An initial core of five friends, including founding member Dave Adams, has blossomed into 284 athletes of all levels of ability, with an ethos of encouragement and change for all members. Over the years, the club has celebrated the many successes of husband and wife members Joe and Aoife Lynch, Mark Horan and brothers Colin and Neill Bolger - along with plenty of thrills and spills from agegroupers. The key club event of the year is the Pulse Sprint Triathlon at the glorious Port Beach, Co Louth, which has been hosted there since 2009, making national series status on three occasions. Three aquathlons at Bull Wall, Clontarf are well attended, with plenty of opportunities to practise transition skills and get some additonal coaching. A vibrant and expanding Youth section, with 30 junior members, brings new coaching challenges and opportunities for the club. Fully-coached training sessions take place monthly, plus the very successful Splash and Dash series for 10-15 year olds at Bullwall. Twelve weekly training sessions are scheduled in various locations around Dublin; most of them coached by club 72 Irish Runner

Pulse Triathlon Club Established 2003

Committee: Kathy Grassick Chairperson Hilary McKeown Treasurer Suzanne Lovely Secretary Rachel Eager Membership David Adams Development Jarlath Keaney Communications Alison Benson Events Colin Bolger Training Kieran Hopkins Sponsorship Full Membership €55 Student Membership €30

members, drawing on the wealth of skills and resources within the club. The club runs and actively encourages members to attend the extra courses laid on as part of the club’s development: First aid, life saving, kayaking, triathlon coaching, swim coaching and bike maintenance are all on offer at various times of the year.

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Gold on the Double in Bolton Young Irish athletes achieved double gold at the SIAB International Schools CC PHOTO: CHRIS TOFALOS/CTP PHOTO

Above: The Irish Schools team in Bolton with manager Athony White. Paddy Maher (41) forces the pace up front. Below: Caoimhe Harrington (33) also struck gold.

There were thrilling individual victories for two young Irish athletes, Caoimhe Harrington (Colaiste Pobail, Bheanntrai) and Paddy Maher (Dunshaughlin Community College) at Saturday's SIAB International Schools Cross Country event in Bolton and silver and bronze medal success too, for Kevin Mulcaire (St Flannan's, Ennis) and James Maguire (St Benildus, Dublin) in their respective Intermediate and Junior Boys events. Caoimhe Harrington delivered a top-drawer performance to win the Junior Girls race in a close finish with England's Josie Czura, who she just edged out approaching the finish line. Harrington also led the Irish Junior Women team to a third place finish behind England and Scotland. This early victory by Caoimhe Harrington helped to inspire Paddy Maher to achieve victory in the Junior Boys event. Maher, who was running in his first international, raced into an early lead and was closely followed by his Irish schools teammate James Maguire. However, it was Maher who had the faster turn of pace and he soon surged clear of England's Matthew Willis and James Maguire and went on to finish strongly. The Irish Junior Boys team led by Maher and Maguire, won the silver medals behind England. It was a day of special celebration for the Maher family as Paddy's father, Tommy Maher is a former Irish Senior international cross-country runner who also finished third in the Dublin Marathon on two occasions. The final race of the day was the Intermediate Boys event and here Kevin Mulcaire from St Flannan's College in Ennis delivered another top-class performance to take the silver medal behind the winner, Ben Dijkstra of England. Mulcaire also led the Irish team to silver medal success behind England and ahead of Scotland. 74 Irish Runner

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Presents an Evening With

Neil Cusack

Winner of the Boston Marathon 1974 Date: Good Friday – April 18th Venue: The Gibson Hotel, at The Point Village, Dublin 1 Time: 8pm

This evening of special celebration of Neil Cusack’s famous Boston Marathon Victory of 1974 will include an on- stage interview with Neil Cusack followed by an audience Q & A session – followed by a Running Forum. With special guests. Admission is €10 and early booking is advised. For booking details email:, please put Boston in subject area.

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Road Standards in Decline Winning times in Ireland’s top road races are well down on what they used to be, says David O'Dwyer. The Ballycotton 10-mile proves to be a good barometer. Photos: John Hennessy This year’s Ballycotton ‘10’ was won by Sergiu Ciobanu, who completed a four-ina-row with a personal best time of 48:58. Going sub-49 minutes is no mean feat, but it doesn’t even rank Ciobanu in the alltime top 40 performances in Ballycotton. The women's race was won by Siobhan O’Doherty in 57:32. This time is outside the all-time top 20 women's performances in Ballycotton. Are these indicators of where Irish men's and women's distance running is currently at? It is easy to get wrapped up in the nostalgia of how times of 20 and 30 years ago were faster than today. Taken in isolation, the Ballycotton ‘10’ is a window on the standard of Irish distance running, not just in the present but also the past. As the course has not changed in 37 years, Ballycotton is an accurate barometer when the times of this year are compared with previous times - and the statistics make for interesting reading. The popularity of the race is greater than ever, but the elite performances are a long way off the times of yesteryear. This year was the first time that 49 minutes was broken since 2005, when Dave Mitchinson (Newham & Essex Beagles) won the event in 48:26. Another notable factor in the 2005 race was that the next two finishers were within ten seconds of the winner, with Seamus Power in 3rd position. All three make the all-time top 40 which has not been updated since the 2005 race. Why then are the winning times of recent years not challenging those top 40 all-time performances? Is it simply a case of not enough of the elites turning up to mount a challenge? It would have been a fair assumption that Sergiu Ciobanu was going to attempt to retain his title this year. Did this scare away any would-be challengers? Ciobanu's winning time of 48:58 was more than two minutes ahead of runner-up and former winner of the race Alan O’Shea, who posted 51:06 Is the fact that there are so many other races on the calendar now also a factor? Perhaps the standard of athlete is as good as those of the heady days of the 1980s and 1990s, but there are more races to choose from today and the annual Ballycotton ’10’ is just another race. It could be argued that the 76 Irish Runner

Why are the winning times of recent years not challenging those top-40 all-time performances?

abundance of road races has diluted competition at the top end. The Ballycotton ‘10’ winners’ prize of €500 is not insignificant, but is it enough to attract the current top Irish distance runners? The FIT Magazine 10K in Dublin on the same day had €800 on offer for the winner. John Walshe, the Ballycotton ‘10’ Race Organiser believes that money is not necessarily a big factor. He feels it has never been a factor in Ballycotton. There has never been sufficient incentive offered to entice the big names and even when Nike was on board as title sponsor, the prize money was not excessive. John Walshe points out that a more pertinent point may well be the lower number of track races that the top road men are running. This theory is borne out by taking a closer look at those who are already listed in the Ballycotton all-time top 40. Closer examination of those top-40

performances shows that 19 of these times have been set by five Irish athletes; four each for Liam O’Brien, Robert Costelloe, John Griffin and Noel Berkeley and three for Jerry Kiernan. All were homegrown athletes who kept coming back for more. The last of these times was set in 2000 and since then Seamus Power is the only Irish addition to the top 40; by virtue of his 2005 win. A common denominator of those athletes mentioned above was the fact that they were all competitive on the track. Liam O’Brien was a multiple national champion in the 3,000m steeplechase and former national record holder for the distance with 8.27. Noel Berkley won six national 10,000 metres titles with a personal best time of 27:55 and a PB of 13:32 for 5,000m. Jerry Kiernan may be best remembered for his ninth place finish in the marathon in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Marathon, but he also notched up a sub-four minute mile, plus a national 10,000m title. Kiernan, who is now coach to Sergiu Ciobanu, is a former national record holder for 3,000m. Robert Costelloe also won a national 10,000m. Seamus Power, again a national 10,000m champion, and the most recent addition to the Ballycotton all-time top 40, has personal best times of 28:18 and 13:31 for 10,000m and 5,000m respectively. Even if the entire current crop of top Irish

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TOP FORTY PERFORMANCES (MEN) 47:00 47:04 47:17 47:38 47:42 47:52 47:57 47:57 48:00 48:00 48:01 48:03 48:05 48:05 48:06 48:07 48:08 48:13 48:15 48:16 48:17 48:18 48:20 48:22 48:22 48:22 48:23 48:24 48:26 48:30 48:36 48:36 48:38 48:42 48:44 48:44 48:44 48:46 48:46 48:47 48:47


54:48 55:01 55:28 55:29 55:34 55:37 55:56 56:00 56:08 56:22 56:33 56:44 56:48 56:51 56:56 57:05 57:07 57:09 57:09



1995 1983 1995 1997 1983 2000 1988 2000 1983 2004 1982 1988 1985 1986 1987 1993 1988 1999 1997 1985 1992 1987 1993 1984 1988 1991 1992 1993 2005 2005 1985 2005 1984 1984 1983 1988 1995 1987 2004 1984 1986

(1) (1) (2) (1) (2) (1) (1) (2) (3) (1) (1) (2) (1) (1) (1) (1) (3) (1) (2) (2) (1) (2) (2) (1) (4) (1) (2) (3) (1) (2) (3) (3) (2) (3) (4) (5) (3) (3) (2) (4) (2)

2012 2013 1997 1997 1996 2001 2000 1985 2001 2000 2006 1990 2008 2004 2013 1998 1987 1990 2000

(1) (1) (1) (2) (1) (1) (1) (1) (2) (2) (1) (1) (1) (1) (2) (1) (1) (2) (3)

contributed to plummeting road race times, according to John Walshe. "In the past the Inter-Clubs Cross Country would have been used in the selection criteria for picking teams to compete in the World Cross Country Championships and competition would have been keen for places," Walshe said. "The Inter Clubs would traditionally have been held towards the end of February, with the Ballycotton ‘10’ on the first Sunday in March. If you made the Irish team you might fancy your chances in Ballycotton, or if you just missed out then you might still fancy your chances as you would be in the shape to mount a challenge. This year only three of the top ten finishers in the National Inter Clubs Cross Country ran in Ballycotton and two of them were from East Cork AC. Sergiu Ciobanu in some respects is battling against the tide and is at least attempting to emulate the previous generation in that he mounted a big challenge in the Inter Clubs Cross Country, where he finished third and followed this up by achieving a new personal best time for 10 miles in Ballycotton. Who would bet against Ciobanu achieving five in a row next year? It will be interesting to see if, by then, any other Irish athlete will be capable of mounting a challenge or making it into the alltime top 40 rankings.


distance runners was to race in Ballycotton, would they be able to push hard enough to break into that all-time top 40? A few of today’s top distance runners can run 28:30 for 10,000m, but they are not racing against each other on the roads. Noel Berkeley, winner of six Ballycotton 10 titles, believes that the decline in times is not just an Irish phenomenon. He contends that the trend is the same in the England and the USA - with the odd exception. Berkeley thinks that there are a number of contributing factors, from lifestyle changes to the dearth of good coaches - in this country at least. He also feels that over-training by athletes may be as much a problem as under-training. “Anyone can put in 100 miles a week, but it is quality as much as quantity that matters," Berkeley said. Liam O’Brien is of a similar opinion, “How


many runners are training twice a day? How many reps are they doing in sessions? It is probably 12 to 15 as opposed to 25 to 30," O'Brien said. Both Berkeley and O'Brien believe that societal changes are also a factor. “In general terms we are a bit softer," Noel Berkeley said. "How many guys are cycling to college or work in the morning, training afterwards and then cycling home again?” Marathon Mission, the initiative set up between Athletics Ireland and the Dublin Marathon, aimed at raising the standards of Irish marathon running, has as one of its entry requirements sub-50mins for 10 miles. Should this be now revised downwards, and do more exacting standards need to be set for 10K, 10 miles and half-marathon? The National Inter-Club Cross Country Championships that was once a bigger competition may also be a factor that has

Winner alright: Sergiu Ciobanu was a convincing winner of this year's Ballycotton 10 in 48:58, but his winning margin of over two minutes suggests a continuing decline in road running standards. Irish Runner 77

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Start of St Patrick’s Festival 5k. Photo: Tomas Greally. WEDNESDAY MARCH 26 Raheny Shamrock Winter Road League Rd 10 (mile), 8pm. Entry €7 or €50 for 11-race series. Reg Raheny clubhouse (behind Scout den). C: 086 8158052. Meath Inter Club T-F League Day 1. North County Farmers BHAA Floodlit 5K, Malahide RFC, 7.30pm. Entry €10 members/€15 guests. Morrison 6K Inter-Firm Series, Clonmel, 6.15pm. Practise run. C: Niall O’Sullivan 086 1660888. Mason Mortgages and Financial Services Colligan League, Dungarvan. Co Waterford Rd 1, 6.15pm. C: James Veale 086 8184762 SATURDAY MARCH 29 AAI Junior Indoor C’ships Day 3, Athlone (relays).

Compiled by Lindie Naughton

IMRA Spring League, Little Sliabh Bui, Co Wexford (6K, 177m), 11am.

All information correct when going to press but may be subject to change. Always check with race organisers and websites for any changes

Catherina McKiernan in full-flight in Irish Independent Fit Magazine 10k. Photo: Tomas Greally. 78 Irish Runner

Eamonn Moloney Run for Life 10K, Ennis, Co Clare, 11am. AI Permit. Online entry €21.40. T-shirt first 350 entries; medal all

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Want us to feature your race? Email Lindie at: Castlewellan Springlake 10K, 1pm. C: Brian Dougherty 07740405767;

APRIL WEDNESDAY APRIL 2 DkIT Dundalk 10K, 6.30pm. Entry €20; €15 students or team members. C: Colm 085 1655292; West Leinster Schools Medley Relays, Santry, 1pm. Mason Mortgages and Financial Services Colligan League Rd 2, Dungarvan. Co Waterford, 6.15pm. C: James Veale 086 8184762. Morrison 6K Inter-Firm Series Rd 1, Clonmel, 7pm. C: Niall O’Sullivan 086 1660888.

Hand in hand – Cindy Oliphant from Castleknock, Dublin with her daughter Molly (8) finishers. Pacers; training schedules, spot prizes. Also 5K walk; entry €11. C: Jason 087 8453058 and Facebook. IMRA Munster Hill Running League Rd 1, Mount Hillary (10.7K, 300m), Banteer, Co Cork, 1pm. Achill Island 10K, Sandybanks, Keel, 11am. Also 5K. Entry €20 plus reg fee or €25 on day. 25th Spar Omagh Half Marathon and 5K Fun Run, Gibson Primary School, 12 noon (walk 11am). ANI Permit. Pure Running Series Race 3. C: Martin McLaughlin 07786764431; IAAF World Half Marathon, Copenhagen SUNDAY MARCH 30 Dunboyne 4-Mile, 3pm. AI Permit. Entry €15/20. Goody bags, T-shirt, €400 first M&F plus course rec bonus (18.09 men, 20,20 women). Spots. Also Juvenile programme from 2pm, €2 EOD. Medals, goody bags. C: Tommy 087-2534833. Lough Boora Parkland 10K, Co Offaly, 10am. AI Permit.

C: Paul Buckley 086 3248086. Midlands 10K and 5K, Walderstown, Athlone, 12 noon. C: 0876400326; Tri an Mhi Trim Castle Duathlon Series Rd 2. 4K run - 20K cycle - 3K run. Entry €21.50. Cork BHAA UCC/Carmel Lynch Memorial 10K, Western Gateway Buildings, 11am. C: Gillian Cotter 085 7782586. Scoil Bhride GNS 8K, Crosshaven, Co Cork, 11am. AI Permit. C: Rose Copithorne 021 4831646. Kerryhead/Baallyheigue FRC 5K/10K, Co Kerry,1pm. Entry €5/€10. Munster Novice and Senior Road C’ships, Carriglea, Dungarvan. Gaelscoil de h Ide 5K, Fermoy, 1am. C: Kealan O’Connor 087 2333665. St Killian’s NS 5K, New Inn, Co Galway, 1pm. AI Permit. C: Padraig Kelly 090 9675811. New Inn 5K, Co Galway, 1pm. C: Iggy Clarke 086 3001954.

Cos Cos Rathcormac 8K, Co Sligo, 7pm. C: Shane McDonald 087 7716861. Queen’s 5K, Annadale Embankent, 7pm. ANI Permit. C: Robby Rankin 028 90681126; THURSDAY APRIL 3 Clare Athletics Summer Road Race Series Rd 1, 5km, Lees Rd, Ennis, 7pm. Entry €10;r #30 for 5-race series.Spot prizes, refreshments. C: Clare Sports Partnership 065 6965434; Clare Athletics PRO James Sexton 087 2472623. FRIDAY APRIL 4 WIT 5K, Waterford, 7pm. AI Permit. Entry €10/12. C: Diane Behan 087 6324421; Athletics Limerick Feet on the Street 6K Rd 1, Raheen Industrial Estate, 7.30pm. AI Permit. Entry €7; EOD €10. C: Mossie Wolfe 069 64837; SATURDAY APRIL 5 LEINSTER Ras UCD 5K, Belfield, Dublin, 11am. Entry €15, €10 students, €40 families. All proceeds to UCD Volunteers Overseas. Tshirt, goody bag first 500 to reg; sandwiches, goodies, team and indiv prizes. Reg at C:

DCC BHAA Road Races, St Anne’s Park, Raheny, 11am. Entry €10 reg/€15 non-reg. St Brigid’s Hill Run (5K), Mullagheen, Oldcastle, Co Meath, 12 noon. AI Permit. Incorp IMRA Spring League. C: Martin Heery 086 8564160. Bray 10K Cliff Run. Preentry €25 (incl €3 processing fee) or €13 Jun. Spring Throws, Santry, Dublin. Fingal Duathlon Series Rd 3, Ardgillen Park, Skerries, Co Dublin (9.3K run run, 40K cycle, 6K run). Leevale Open Sports Track Meet Day 1, CIT, Cork, 12 noon. AI Permit. C: Ina Killeen 086 8591522; COPE Galway Give it Socks 5K, Claddagh Hall to Salthill and Back, 12 noon. Entry €15 before Apr 3; EOD €20. C: Bernice Kirwan 091 778750. Leitrim ‘5’, Fontenoy Park, 12 noon. ANI Permit. Also 2-mile fun run 11am. C: Frank Morgan 07791510867. SUNDAY APRIL 6 Woodie’s DIY National 10K Road Race C’ships/Great Ireland Run, Phoenix Park, Dublin, 10am. C: 01-8869933; Craanford Harriers 5-Mile, Gorey, Co Wexford, 12 noon. AI Permit. Entry €15; EOD €18. Sen, masters prizes M&F; spots. Also juvenile mile, 11.15am. AI Permit. C: Edel Byrne 087 9187206. Castlecomer 5K, Discovery Park, 1am. Entry €10 adults, €20 families, €5 students. Also 2K family walk/run, 11.30am. C: Shay Bollard 086 3082599. All County 5K, Kennedy Rd, Navan, Co Meath, 12 noon. AI Permit. Early bird entry €16 adult, €5 U16; EOD €20/€5. T-shirt first 500 to reg. C: 9067337.

Useful info... ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND Unit 19, Northwood Court, Northwood Business Campus, Santry, Dublin 9 01 886 9933

NORTHERN IRELAND ATHLETIC FEDERATION Athletics House, Old Coach Road, Belfast BT9 5PR 028 9060 2707




FLORA WOMEN’S MINI MARATHON 27 Sandyford Office Park, Sandyford Ind Est, Dublin 18 01 293 0984

Leevale Open Sports Track Meet Day 2, CIT, Cork, 12 noon. C: Ina Killeen 086 8591522; Irish Runner 79

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Elvery’s Connemarathon Half, Full and Ultra, Maam Cross, Co Galway. AI Permit. Limit 3,200. St Clare’s Comprehensive 10K, Manorhamilton, 12.30pm. Also 4K fun run, 12.45pm. Titanic Quarter 10K, Belfast, 2.15pm. ANI Permit. Entry £13/15; entries before Mar 14 get names printed on number. EOD £20. Also 1 Mile fun run, 1.30pm; entry £5 and TQ 60m Sprint, 12 noon-1.30pm; entry £1. C: 028 90602707; TUESDAY APRIL 8 Claregalway 5K, Co Clare, 7pm. AI Permit. Entry €10. C: Tom Kilgarriff 087 6858980. Ballymena Belles 5-Mile, Fenaghy Rd, 6.45pm. ANI Permit. C: Kelly Courtney 07714232691; WEDNESDAY APRIL 9 Raheny Shamrock Winter Road League Rd 11, incorp Raheny Open Mile, 8pm. Entry €7; followed by prizegiving. Reg Raheny clubhouse (behind Scout den). C: 086 8158052. CBS Schools T-F, Santry, 12 noon. Meath Road Relay C’ships. Mason Mortgages and Financial Services Colligan League, Dungarvan. Co

80 Irish Runner

Waterford Rd 3, 6.15pm. AI Permit. C: James Veale 086 8184762. Morrison 6K Inter-Firm Series Rd 2, Clonmel, 7pm. C: Niall O’Sullivan 086 1660888. THURSDAY APRIL 10 Loreto Schools T-F, Kilkenny FRIDAY APRIL 11 IUAA Intervarsity T-F Championships Day 1, Waterford IT. Meath Secondary Schools T-F C’ships. Ballinroad 5K, 7pm. Ger Wyley Sports/Skins Series Rd 1. AI permit. C: James Veale 086 8184762 Athletics Limerick Feet on the Street 6K Rd 2, Raheen Industrial Estate, 7.30pm. AI Permit. Entry €7; EOD €10. C: Mossie Woulfe 069 64837; SATURDAY APRIL 12 IUAA Intervarsity T-F Championships Day 2, Waterford IT. K Club BHAA 10K, Straffan, Co Kildare, 11am. Entry €10 reg; €15 non-reg. NER Patsy Kelly 5K, Dundalk, 6.30pm. AI Permit. Entry €15. T-shirt first 500 entrants. C: Jim Gonnelly 086 2902029. Beach Bog Run 6/10K, Castletown, Co Wexford,

1pm. Entry €30. IMRA Long Distance Championships Wicklow Glacier Lakes (42.7K, 1783m), 8am. Gortin 10K and 5K, Gortin, 12 noon. ANI Permit pending. C: 028 81648268. Castleward Challenge, Castleward Mansion, 9.30am. ANI Permit. C: Jane Rowe 07855586438; SUNDAY APRIL 13 Woodie’s DIY AAI Road Relay C’ships, Raheny, Dublin. South Dublin Sports Partnership Ramble Aid Series,Tymon Park, 11am. AI Permit. C: Thomas McDermott 01 4149000. Lismullen School 10K in conJunction with Tara AC, 12 noon. AI Permit. C: Lisa O’Dowd 085 1416041. Dead Man’s Dash 7K, Ballyfin, Co Laois, 12 noon. AI Permit. Entry €15; students €5. Cash prizes, spots. Also Kids Dach, €2. C: Cormac Fitzpatrick 086 8366561. Women’s Meet and Train Summer League Rd 1, Griffeen Park Lucan 5K, 11am. Entry €20 for series or €7 per race. New groups and individuals – especially those training for the Flora Women’s Mini Marathon – always welcome. C: Sue

Lynch 086-2327570 / www.womensmeetandtrain. Cushinstown Open T-F Sports, Co Meath. Hope and Dream ‘10’, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, 10.15am. 10-mile run; 10K walk. C: 087 0530277; 28th Sonny Murphy Kinaboy 10-Mile, Co Clare, 1pm (note change). AI Permit. Entry €20; T-shirt frst 300 entries. Prizes first 10 men, 6 women; also masters, teams. Also 6K walk, 1.10pm; entry €8. C: Vincent McCarthy 087 0636236. O’Briensbridge 10K/5K, Sixmilebridge, Co Clare, 12 noon. C: Stephen Howard 087 3244959. Great Island 10-Mile, Cobh, Co Cork, 10.30am. Entry €19.50. Entry €18 or €20 on day. C: Eamonn Crotty 087 9863805; Ballincollig 5K, Regional Park, 11am. AI Permit. C: Mags Whyte 087 1436121. Splashworld 10K, Tramore, Co Waterford, 11am. Entry €12. Also Junior 5K, entry €7. C: 051 390176; Ferrybank AC T-F, Waterford RSC, 12 noon. C: Brid Golden 087 6889330.

Old Head of Kinsale 7K Run, Garrettstown Beach, 11.30am. Entry adults €10, U16 €5, U12 free. All funds to Old Head Tower Restoration Fund. C: 0876529806. Inishowen Half Marathon, Buncrana, Co Donegal, 2pm. AI Permit. Online entry €25 plus fee. Medal, T-shirt, massage all finishers. €2,000 prize fund. C: Niall McGee 086 3426698; Beragh Knights 5-Mile and 5K, St Mary’s Park, Beragh, 12 noon. ANI Permit. Reg £10/12. C: Adrian Donnelly 07761610828. London Marathon Rotterdam Marathon TUESDAY APRIL 15 ALSAA Track Series Rd 5 (Mile), Dublin Airport, 7.30pm. Entry €4. Final round; followed by series prizegiving. C: Gerry Martin 087 2132244; Eugene Foley 086 3835695, PJ Noonan 01-8315803. WEDNESDAY APRIL 16 IMRA Killiney Hill GOAL Relay (3x2.5K, 129m), 7.30pm. Ballintotis 4 Mile, Castlemartyr, Co Cork, 8pm. AI Permit. C: 086-8778182 Morrison 6K Inter-Firm Series Rd 3, Clonmel, 7pm. C: Niall O’Sullivan 086 1660888.

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Want us to feature your race? Email Lindie at: Mason Mortgages and Financial Services Colligan League, Dungarvan. Co Waterford Rd 4, 6.15pm. C: James Veale 086 8184762. FRIDAY APRIL 18 Run with Ray 5K, Phoenix Park. AI Permit. C: Athletics Ireland 01 8869933 Good Friday Forest Run 5K/8K, Emo Court, Co Laois, 6.30pm. AI Permit. Entry €10. C: Pippa Hackett 086 8852368. The Good Friday Run 5Mile, Killarney, Co Kerry, 6.30pm. Liscarroll 5K, Doneraile Park, Co Cork. AI Permit. C: Esther Fitzpatrick 087 6888591. SATURDAY APRIL 19 Cooley Legends Half Marathon/10K, Carlingford, Co Louth, 10am. www.cooleylegendshalfmar Sheep’s Head Easter Run 10K, Ahakista Rowing Club, Durrus, Co Cork, 12 noon. AI Permit. C: Carmel Nash 086 8325301. Butlerstown 4M, Co Waterford, 7pm. Ger Wyley Sports/Skins Summer Series Rd 2. C: James Veale 086 8184762. Ballybunion Half Marathon and 10K, 2pm. Entry €40 half; €20 10K.

Galway Sports Partnership 10K, Ardrahan, Co Galway, 11am. Entry €15/20. C: 087 8520945. Kilmovee 10K, Co Mayo, 1pm. Entry €20. C: 086 1737111; Colmanstown United FC 10K, Galway, 12 noon. AI Permit. Online entry €15 or €20 on day. Race souvenir all finishers. Also children’s 1K. C: Martina Donnellan 087 9000526.

first 200 to reg. C: 087 7773440 Solas Centre 5-Mile, Co Waterford, 11am. Entry €12 IMRA Munster League Rd 2, Claragh Mountain (7K, 340m), 7pm. Ballygalget Community 10K, 12 noon. ANI Permit. Shuttle bus to and from ferry (Portaferry) slip). C: Joe Quinn 07933214894;

Ballyliffin Coastal 10-Mile, Co Donegal, 2pm. Entry €20; €10 students. C: 087 2226112;

Letterkenny 3K, Aura Leisure Centre, Co Donegal, 11.30am. AI Permit. C: Brendan McDiad 086 8354708.

Beragh Red Knights 5 Mile and 5K, St Mary’s Pk, Beragh, 12 noon. ANI Permit. C: Adrian Donnelly 07761610828.

MONDAY APRIL 21 St Senan’s T-F Sports, Kilmacow, Co Kilkenny, 1pm. AI Permit. C: James Aylward 086 1087030.

SUNDAY APRIL 20 – EASTER SUNDAY Fr Murphy AC 5-Mile, incorp. Meath Road C’ships, Kildalkey, Co Meath 12. noon. AI Permit. Entry €15. C: Philip Cogavin 087 2930058.

Battle of Clontarf Brian Boru 10-Mile, St Anne’s Park, 10am. AI Permit. Entry €20 before Apr 19 at . Plaque all finishers. Incorp Leinster 10-Mile C’ships. C: Pat Hooper 086 8158052;

Cushinstown T-F, Kilmoon, 12 noon. AI Permit. C: 01 8354708. Slieve Bloom 10K and Half Marathon, 10.30am. AI Permit. Mug, Easter egg all finishers. Graiguenamanagh 10K, Co Kilkenny, 12.30pm. T-shirt

Mountpleasant AC, Co Louth 12 noon. AI Permit. C: John Kenwright 086 1953766. TEAM 10K and Half Marathon, Ringtown, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, 11.30am. AI Permit. C: 087 2428690.

PortlaoiseRugby Club 5K, Togher, Co Laois, 12 noon. AI Permit. C: Paul Conroy 087 2343686.

Quick Picks

SUNDAY APRIL 13 Women's Meet and Train Summer League Round 1 With an increasing number of women joining running clubs and training groups, numbers John Minogue 8K Memorial, completing the Women's Meet and Train Winter League Cross-Country Miltown Malbay, Co Clare, 11am. AI Permit. C: James Series have hit an all-time high. No surprise really - all shapes, standards Sexton 087 2472623. and ages are welcome at these runs, Aglish 10K/5K Fun Run, Co which grew out of the first-ever Dublin Women's Mini Marathon in Waterford, 11.45 (walkers 1983. So why not sign up for the 11.30am). Entry €7or Summer League – a 5K jaunt around donation. Spot prizes. C: Griffeen Park, Lucan on Sunday 086 8474285. April 13? Other dates this year are Wednesday May 7 - Irishtown (3M), Gneeveguilla 4-Mile, Wednesday May 21 - Phoenix Park Kiskeam-Boherbue, 1pm. (4M) and Wednesday June 18 AI Permit. C: Tom Joe Cherryfield Park(5K).Entry is €20 Donoghue 064 7756309. for the series or €7 per race. New groups and individuals – especially Carney Lissadell 10K, those training for the Flora Women's Drumcliffe, Co Sligo, 12 Mini Marathon – always welcome. noon. AI Permit. Entry C: Sue Lynch 086-2327570 €12/15. C: Rowan O’Callaghan 087 9331080; SUNDAY MARCH 29 Portumna Forest 10K Trail Eamonn Moloney Run for Life 10K, Run, Co Galway, 1pm. Also Ennis, Co Clare (11am) 5K run/walk. C: Lyndsay Last year's inaugural Eamonn Hay 087 99595696 Moloney Run for Life 10K in Ennis, Co Clare received lots of good St Mura’s NS 5K, Aileach reviews. Befitting a race originally set FC, Burnfoot, Co Donegal, up to remember a man who devoted much of his time to coaching young 12 noon. AI Permit. C: athletes, the race showed a fine Pauric McKinney 087 appreciation of what the average 6148696. runner wants; a tightly organised race on a well marshalled and Whitehead Easter Monday properly measured course. Add a 5-Mile, King’s medal for all finishers, T-shirts, Road,Whitehead, 12 noon. prizes and refreshments, and we ANI Permit. C: Tanya have no doubt that last year's entry Woods 028 93378077; of 500 will be surpassed. Register now! Rosslare 10K, 11am. Entry €13. C:

Irish Runner 81

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Clonakilty 10-Mile, Clonakilty, Co Cork, 10am. AI Permit. Also 4-Mile. C: Brian O’Donnell 087 2780225. Boston Marathon TUESDAY APRIL 22 Cork BHAA Stryker 4-Mile, Carrigtwohill, 7.30pm. Entry €5 reg/€8 non-reg. C: Michelle Lyons 0321 4533202; Minnie’s Fit for Life Summer League, Friary College, Dungarvan, 7pm. Entry €2. AI Permit. C: Ann Dunford 086 0619711 WEDNESDAY APRIL 23 IMRA Leinster Evening League Rd 1, Bray Head (6K, 290m), Co Wicklow. 7.30pm. Tullamore Camogie Club 5K, Arden Rd, 7pm. AI Permit. C: Emer Keegan 085 1531862. Morrison 6K Inter-Firm Series handicap race/ series prizegiving, Clonmel, 7pm. C: Niall O’Sullivan 086 1660888. THURSDAY APRIL 24 Clare Athletics Summer Road Race Series Rd 2, 5km, Lissycasey, 7pm. Entry €10 or €30 for 5-race series.Spot prizes, refreshments. C: Clare Sports Partnership 065 6965434; Clare Athletics PRO James Sexton 087 2472623. Lagan Valley Young Athlete Meeting, Mary Peters Track, Belfast, 6pm. FRIDAY APRIL 25 Bobby Fitzgerald Accountant 5K, Faugheen, Co Tipperary, 7.30pm. AI Permit. Entry €8. Carrick-on-Suir 3-County Series.C: 087 2931430 Passage West Charity 10K, Co Cork, 7.30pm. AI Permit. Entry €10. C: Francis McEveney 087 9159834. Milford 5K, 7.30pm. Entry €10. C: 086 2251630 Athletics Limerick Feet on the Street 6K Rd 3 (final rd), Raheen Industrial Estate, 7.30pm. AI Permit. Entry €7; EOD €10.C: Mossie Woulfe 069 64837; Sperrin Harriers 5-Mile Classic, ParKore Rd, Magherafelt, 7.30pm. ANI Permit. C: Glenn Donnelly 077736641524; 82 Irish Runner

SATURDAY APRIL 26 Run Altidore – Leg if for Lakers 10K, Co Wicklow, 10.30am. Entry €20 before Apr 10 for T-shirt; EOD €25 (until 10am).C: WAR – Wicklow Adventure Race, Glendalough; three distances. Dingle 10K and 5K. Entry €15/9. Monster Mac Adventure Race, Millstreet, Co Cork. Ballinahinch Lions 10K, 2pm. ANI Permit. C: Robert Bradford 028 97566258; NI YAL Rd 1 Competition, Antrim Forum, 10am. SUNDAY APRIL 27 Pettit’s SuperValu Wexford Half Marathon and 10K, 10.30am. Entry €35-40 half; €20-25 10K. C: 086 3060890; Samsung Night Run, Dublin and Cork, 9pm. C: 018869933; Royal County 5K, Kells, Co Meath, 11am. Entry €15. C: 046 9067337; IMRA Leinster Championships Rd 1, Circuit of Brockagh (28K, 1372m), Co Wicklow, 12 noon. Bogathon Mud Race, Lisduff Adventure Farm, Lisduff, Co Laois, 1pm. Entry €30 or €100 for team of 4. C: 050544961. Run for Boylo, Foxford, Co Mayo, 12 noon. Entry €15/20. Also kids’ run. SSE Electricity 10-Mile, Ebrington Square, Limavady Rd, Derry, 11am. ANI Permit. Entry £10. C: Noel McMonagle 028 71359888. Run Armagh 10K, 2pm. ANI Permit. Entry £14 reg, £15 non-reg; £17/20 on day. Also 5K fun run, entry £10 reg, £11 non-reg; £14/15 on day. TUESDAY APRIL 29 West Leinster Schools T-F Day 1, Santry, 10am. East Leinster Schools Day 1, Irishtown, 10am. Minnie’s Fit for Life Summer League, Friary College, Dungarvan, 7pm. Entry €2. AI Permit. C: Ann Dunford 086 0619711

Ciaran Lynch, Pat Payne and Conor Leech at Bohermeen Half-Marathon. Photo: D. Glackin.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 30 Friends of Coralstown Church 5K, Co Westmeath, 7.30pm. AI Permit. C: Matthew Glennon 086 2473119. IMRA Leinster Evening League Rd 2, Howth Head (8K, 376m), Co Dublin, 7.30pm. Schools: East Leinster Schools T-F Day 2, Irishtown, 10am. North Leinster Schools T-F Day 1, Santry, 10am. East Munster Schools’ T-F, Waterford, 12 noon. Ulster Schools T-F A District, inter/Sen, Mary Peters Track, 10am. Meath Inter Club T-F League Day 2. The Cahir Run4Fun, 7pm. C: Niall O’Sullivan 086 1660888 Scoil Bhride GNS 8K, Crosshaven, Co Cork, 11am. AI Permit. C: Rose Copithorne 021 4831646. Purple Ladies 5K, Joey Dunlop LC, Ballymoney, 7.30pm. ANI Permit. C: Debbie Tutty 07927666339;

MAY THURSDAY MAY 1 East Leinster Schools T-F Day 3, Irishtown, 10am. West Leinster Schools T-F Day 2, Santry, 10am. Joe Hourigan Memorial 5Mile, Midleton, Co Cork, 8pm. C: Danny McCarthy 087-2403940. FRIDAY MAY 2 North Leinster Schools T-F Day 2, Santry, 11am. South Leinster Schools T-F Day 1, Kilkenny. Loughmore NS 7K, Teemplemore, Co Tipperary, 7pm. AI Permit. C: Angela Dunne 0504 32225. MAY 3-4 IAAF World Race Walking World and European 24-Hour Ultra C’ships SATURDAY MAY 3 RTE BHAA 5-Mile, Donnybrook, Dublin 11am. Entry €10 reg, €15 non reg. Leixlip Le Cheile 5K, Co Kildare, 11am. AI Permit. Online entry €12; prizes, cake! C: Eileen Connolly 087 6824744.

Waterford-Tramore 7.5 Mile, Waterford, 7pm. AI Permit. Ger Wyley Sports/Skins Summer Series Rd 3. C: James Veale 086 8184762. Bandon Half Marathon, 10.15am. AI Permit. Entry €20 (before Mar 31); €25 after. Also 10K, 10.15am. Entry €12 (before Mar 31) €15 after. Ballyhoura Mountain Marathon (42K, 500m), Kilfinane, Co Limerick, 8.30am. Entry €40; T-shirt all entries before Apr 1. Anglo Celt Plate 100K, England. SUNDAY MAY 4 Tallaght 5K, Greenhills Rd, 10.30am. AI Permit. Entry €15; T-shirt first 400 to reg. Prizes Sen,masters M&F. Incorp Dublin Novice C’ships. C: Paula Murray 087 9439964. Boyne 10K, Drogheda, Co Louth, 3pm. AI Permit. Entry €20. C: Ciaran Doyle 086 8512039; Dochas 4-Mile Run/Walk, Tullamore, 11.30am. AI Permit. Entry €15. C: Mary Daley 086 1906747.

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Gaels Utd 10-mile and 10K, Drummlish CC, Longford, 12.30pm. AI permit. C: Mel Crowe 087 2976538. Great Limerick Run, People’s Park, 9am. AI Permit. Marathon, half, relay, 6-mile. Entry €60-70 marathon; €110-€120 relay; €45-55 half; €20-25 6-mile; Also children’s run (UL), entry €12. C: 061-609627; Wings for Life World Run, Ring of Kerry, Killarney, 11am. AI Permit. C: Eamonn Seoige 086 7988508. Bay Run Half Marathon, Glengarriff to Bantry. Entry €45. Also 10K and 3K family fun run. Western People West of Ireland Women’s Mini Marathon, Castlebar, Co Mayo, 12 noon. AI Permit. Entry €20; prize money, medals. C: 094 9047025; Northwest 10K, Letterkenny, Co Donegal, 2pm. AI Permit. Entry €15. C: 086 8113947; MONDAY MAY 5 Deep River Rock Belfast Marathon, City Hall, 9am. C: Claire O’Reilly 028 96065933. Leinster Novice and Masters Road Races, Gowran, Co Kilkenny, 12 noon. Centre of Ireland 5K, Moate, Co Westmeath, 12 noon. AI Permit tbc. Entry €15; €10 U18.C: Doreen Farrelly 087 9372361. Carrigaline Road Runners 25K and 10K, Centre Park Rd, Cork, 9.30am. AI Permit. C: Conor Phelan 087 2531407. Munster Junior/U23 and Juvenile CE C’ships. TUESDAY MAY 6 Minnie’s Fit for Life Summer League, Friary College, Dungarvan, 7pm. Entry €2. AI Permit. C: Ann Dunford 086 0619711. Ulster Schools T-F B District, Antrim Forum, 10am. WEDNESDAY MAY 7 South Leinster Schools T-F Day 2, Kilkenny, 9am. West Leinster Schools B C’ships, Santry, 1.30pm. Brooks Pat Finnerty Memorial 5K Series Race 1, Belvedere House, Mullingar, 8pm. AI

Start of Tuam AC Road Race. Photo. Donal Glackin.

Permit. Entry €30 for 4-race series. C: Greg Duggan 087 2838329. Women’s Meet and Train Summer League Rd 2, Irishtown, Dublin, 3-Mile, 7.30pm. Entry €20 for series or €7 per race. C: Sue Lynch 086-2327570. www.womensmeetandtrain. IMRA Leinster Evening League Rd 3, the Scalp (6K, 212m), Co Wicklow, 7.30pm. Meath T-F C’ships, Day 1 (hammer) Runways Dublin Duathlon Series 1 (2.7K run, 13 K cycle, 2.7K run), Phooenix Park. Entry €15; €3,500 prize fund. South Munster Schools’ T-F, CIT, 10am. North Munster Schools’ T-F,Castleisland, 10am. East Munster Schools’ T-F, Templemore, 11.30am. Ulster Schools T-F C District, Antrim Forum, 10am. THURSDAY MAY 8 Leinster Community and Comprehensive Schools T-F, Santry, 10am.

Clonpriest Parents’ Association 5K, Gortroe, Youghal, Co Cork, 7.30pm. AI Permit. C: Laura Innes 086 8593483. Ulster Schools T-F A District, Jun/minor, Mary Peters Track, 10am. C District, Antrim Forum, 10am. FRIDAY MAY 9 Wexford County Masters’ Road Championships (3K/6K), Enniscorthy. Entry €5. O’Neill Pharmacy Tom Jordan Memorial 5-Mile, Portlaw, Co Waterford, 7.30pm. AI Permit. Entry €8. Carrick-onSuir 3-County Series. C: Mark Connolly 086 1608165. North Munster Schools’ T-F, UL, 10am. South Munster Schools’ T-F, CIT, 10am. Ulster Schools T-F D District, Antrim Forum, Grange Fermoy 5-Mile, Kilworth Army Camp, 7pm. AI permit. C: Clotilde Fitzgibbon 025 38193. SATURDAY MAY 10 IMC Club, Greystones.

Meath T-F C’ships, Day Ulster Schools T-F B District, Antrim Forum, 10am. 3 Lakes 8K and 14K Charity Race, 11am. ANI Permit C: Joe Quinn 07933214894; SUNDAY MAY 11 Tom Byrne 5KT, Lucan, Co Dublin, 11am. AI Permit. Entry €15. Goodie bag; cash prizes Sen, masters, teams. C: 087 7982313. Stoneyford 10K Challenge, Co Kilkenny, 11.30am. Entry €15/20; walkers €10 (nonchipped). Over €1,000 in cash prizes; Sen masters, spots. Course record bonus. Also 5K juvenile race; entry €10 on day. All proceeds to Scoil Naisiunta Chiarain Naofa. Annerville 10K, 2pm. C: Niall O’Sullivan 086 1660888 Meath T-F C’ships, Day 3. Rathcoyle NS 8K, Co Wicklow, 11am. Entry €15 adult, €5 pupil, €30 family. C: Trioan Byrne 087 2155347.

IMRA Leinster Championships Rd 2, Vale of Glendasan (22K, 1000m), Co wicklow, 12 noon. An Riocht Lee Strand 10-Mile Classic, Castleisland, Co Kerry, 11am. AI Permit. Online entry €21.75; €30 on day. Souvenir all finishers. Also 5K, online entry €13. C: Denis McSweeney 087 7995647. IMRA Munster Hill Running League Rd 3, Doon Hill (10.2K, 370m), Co Limerick, 1pm. Kilglass Gaels 5K/10K, Roosky, Co Roscommon, 11.30am C: Brian Hall 087 9354731. Strabane to Lifford Half Marathon and 5K Fun Run, time tbc. ANI Permit. C: Aiden Lynch 028 71382204; www.strabaneedc,com Termoneeny 10K and 5K Fun Run, 1.30pm. ANI Permit. C: Kieran Henry 07841979678; Do Run Run Duathlon (2.9K run, 17.4K cycle, 2.9K run) or 5K, Bailieborough, 12.30pm. C: 042 9666644 MONDAY MAY 12 Clonakilty 4-Mile, Castlefreke Woods, Rathbarry, Co Cork, 10am. AI Permit. C: Paul Deane 087 2780225. Irish Runner 83

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SUNDAY MAY 18 AAI National T-F League Rd 1, venues tbd. Terenure 5-Mile, Dublin, 11am. AI Permit. Online entry €20 plus processing fee; EOD €25. Goody bag, T-shirt, spots. C: 086 1067421; Vinegar Hill 5-Mile, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, 11am. AI Permit. Cash prizes, goodie bags. C: Siobhan O’Shea 087 6956894. Maynooth Charity 10K, 10.30am. EOD €25. Mungret St Paul’s GAA 10K, Co Limerick, 1.30pm. AI Permit. Entry €20; T-shirts, pacers, BBQ, live music. C: Kieran O’Brien 087 7382441;

Raheny Shamrock AC Runners leading this mid-pack group in Irish Independent Fit Magazine Race. Photo: Tomas Greally. TUESDAY MAY 13 ESB BHAA Beach 5K, Sandymount, 7.30pm. Entry €10; €15 guests. Star of the Sea 5K, Stamullen, 8.30pm. AI Permit. Entry €20. Also juvenile programme. C: Brendan Meade 0872533113; Minnie’s Fit for Life Summer League, Friary College, Dungarvan, 7pm. Entry €2. AI Permit. C: Ann Dunford 086 0619711 WEDNESDAY MAY 14 Aviva Leinster Schools T-F C’ships Day 1, Santry, 11am. Brooks Pat Finnerty Memorial 5K Series Race 2, Belvedere House, Mullingar, 8pm. AI Permit. Entry €30 for 4-race series. C: Greg Duggan 087 2838329.

IMRA Munster Wednesday League Rd 1, Clare Glens (9.6K, 190m), Newport, Co Tipperary, 8pm. Cork BHAA Pfizer’s 6-Mile, Ringaskiddy, 8pm. C: Kevin O’Driscoll 085 1160129; THURSDAY MAY 15 The Cheetah Run, Fota Wildlife Park, Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork, 8pm. AI Permit. Limited entry. C: Pat Murphy 086 3230310; Connacht Schools T-F C’ships, Athlone. Clare Athletics Summer Road Race Series Rd 3, 5km, Lees Rd, Ennis, 7pm. Entry €10 or €30 for 5-race series. Spot prizes, refreshments. C: Clare Sports Partnership 065 6965434; Clare Athletics PRO James Sexton 087 2472623. FRIDAY MAY 16 City of Dublin VEC Sports, Santry, 10am.

IMRA Leinster Evening League Rd 4, Djouce (10K, 400m), Co Wicklow, 7.30pm.

Mooreabbey Milers 5-Mile, Galbally, Co Tipperary. AI Permit. C: Tom Blackburn 087 6994976.

Leg it for your Liver 8K Fun Run, Phoenix Park, Dublin, 7pm. Entry €20. C: 01-4549772

Cooley Kickhams GFC 12.5K and 10K, Monsland, Carlingford, Co Louth, 7pm. C: 087 6276947.

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Aviva Ulster Schools T-F C’ships Day 1, Antrim Forum. Sligo AC 8K, Rosses Point, 8pm. Entry €15. C: 087 6405190; Les Jones Memorial 10K, tbc SATURDAY MAY 17 Aviva Leinster Schools T-F C’ships Day 2, Santry, 9am. Staplestown Marathon 50K and 50 Mile, Co Kildare, 9am. AI Permit. Entry limit 80. C: Emma Fox 087 7602071; Aviva Ulster Schools T-F C’ships Day 2, Mary Peters, Belfast. River Moy Half Marathon, Ballina, 10am. AI Permit. Entry €30. C: 0868507424; Roundstone Bay 8K, Connemara, Co Galway, 1pm. AI Permit tbc. Entry €20. Prizes Sen,masters. Apres-race party. IMRA Irish Championships Rd 1, Slieve Donard (9K, 840m), Newcastle Centre, Co Down, 2pm.

Blackwater 10K, Rossmore Park, Gortekeegan, Co Monaghan, 12 noon. AI Permit. Entry €20 (€10 walkers). T-shirt, goodie bag, prizes. Also 3K fun run, entry €5. C: Brian Peppard 087 9370419; Belfast One World 10K and 3K, Ozone Centre, 3pm. ANI Permit. C: Laurence Frazer TUESDAY MAY 20 Bob Heffernan 5K, Johnstownbridge, Enfield, Co Kildare, 8pm. AI Permit. C: Lena Heffernan 087 6793220. Minnie’s Fit for Life Summer League, Friary College, Dungarvan, 7pm. Entry €2. AI Permit. C: Ann Dunford 086 0619711 Interfirms 5K, Letterkenny, Entry €10. C: 086 8113947; Maghera 10K, Gort Service Station, 8pm. ANI Permit. C: Fintan Campbell 028 79547400; WEDNESDAY MAY 21 Brooks Pat Finnerty Memorial 5K Series Race 3, Belvedere House, Mullingar, 8pm. AI Permit. Entry €30 for 4-race series. C: Greg Duggan 087 2838329. Women’s Meet and Train Summer League Rd 3, Phoenix Park 4-Mile, 7.30pm. Entry €20 for series or €7 per race. C: Sue Lynch 086-2327570 womensmeetandtrain.blogsp

Quick Picks SUNDAY MARCH 30 Eirgrid Dunboyne 4-Mile, 3pm A short race with a big reputation – that's the EirGrid Dunboyne 4-Mile that takes place for a 45th year on the last Sunday of March at 3pm. The fast, flat course virtually guarantees fast times, while the distance is the perfect intermediate step between 5km and 10km. Last year, over a thousand finishers were led home by John Club, with Maria McCambridge winning the women's race. Adding greatly to the atmosphere on the day are the Juvenile races that make this a day out for all the family. See for further info. SUNDAY MAY 18 Terenure 5-Mile, 11am Celebrating its 30th anniversary on Sunday May 18 is the Terenure 5-Mile, which started life as the Dublin 5-Mile Classic in 1985. In the past couple of year, the Sportsworldorganised race has moved its headquarters to Terenure College and the course changed to make it faster and flatter. Close to 1,400 took part in the race last year, and even more are expected this time. Many will be women preparing for the Flora Women's Mini Marathon and looking for an official time that will guarantee them a runner or jogger's number. Online entry is now open for €20 plus processing fee. See SUNDAY JUNE 1 SSE Renewables Airtricity Walled City Marathon. Prehen Road, Derry (8.30am) Marathon runners are spoiled for choice these days, with races over the ultimate distance taking place almost every weekend in some corner of Ireland. One that's special is the SSE Walled City Marathon, which takes in a challenging route around the neighbourhoods of Derry City and County, the banks of the River Foyle and the city’s two bridges before returning to the finish in the historic Guildhall Square. Numbers are limited, so if you want to run sign up now.

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Meath T-F C’ships, Day 4, relays. IMRA Leinster Evening League Rd 5, Carrick Mountain (10K, 426m), Co Wicklow, 7.30pm. Bann 10K and Fun Run, Havelock Park, Banbridge, 7pm. ANI Permit. C: Heather Ardis 07841804033. THURSDAY MAY 22 Dublin Staff Relay 5x5K, Phoenix Park, 6pm. Entry €149 (team of 5). C: 093 42896 Ballyandreen ‘5’, Co Cork, 8pm. AI Permit. Race 1 Ballycotton 5-Mile Series. Wilkie’s Classic 5-Mile, Foyle Cycle Path, 7.30pm. ANI Permit. FRIDAY MAY 23 Wexford County Senior Road C’ships (5K/10K) Kilmore. Entry €5. Ardmore 5M, Co Waterford, 8pm. Ger Wyley Sports/Skins Summer Series Rd 4. C: James Veale 086 8184762 Poulamucka 5K/8K, 7.30pm. C: Niall O’Sullivan 086 1660888 Belfast Telegraph RunHer Coastal 10K, 7pm. ANI Permit. Entry £18. MAY 24-25 European Clubs T-F C’ships, Slovakia. SATURDAY MAY 24 Leinster Relay and Junior T-F C’ships. IMRA Wicklow Trail Relay, Kilmashogue to Shillelagh, 7am. Also Wicklow ‘127K’. Sneem JFK 50-Mile Challenge, 5am. Valentia Island Sprint Triathlon, Co Kerry, 1.30pm. C: Inisowen Trail Run, Co Donegal (20K, 7K, 11K), Entry €35. Medals, T-shirts, goodie bag. SUNDAY MAY 25 AAI Games, Santry. South Dublin Sports Partnership Ramble Aid

Operation Transformation 5k – John Murray (RTE Radio one), Sarah Campbell (Leader), Siobhan McKillen (leader), Kathryn Thomas, Marc Gibbs (leader), Dr. Ciara Kelly and Karl Henry. Series 7.5K, Griffeen Park, Lucan, 11am. AI Permit. C: Thomas McDermott 01 4149000. Barretstown Dublin Mountains Way (42K Tallaght to Shankill; or 21K Tallaght to Fair Castle). Entry €75 for 42K; €50 for 21K. C: Bernie Carroll 045 864115. IMRA Munster Championships Rd 1, Templehill out of Limerick (6K, 400m), 1pm. Running Against Cancer 5Mile, Ballinasloe, Co Galway, 11am. T-shirt, spot prizes. C: Ken Campbell 087 7654200. Newry City Marathon, 9am. Also half marathon, 10.30am and 10-mile walk, 10am. Entry £30 marathon, £25 half/wheelchair, £20 10mile walk. TUESDAY MAY 27 Dunboyne BHAA 5-Mile, 8pm. Entry €15 reg/€10 non-reg.

WEDNESDAY MAY 28 Brooks Pat Finnerty Memorial 5K Series Race 4 (final rd), Belvedere House, Mullingar, 8pm. AI Permit. Entry €30 for 4-race series. C: Greg Duggan 087 2838329.

Forever young – Roger Rushe celebrated his 75th birthday at Tuam Road Race.

Meath Inter Club T-F League Day 3 *IMRA Leinster Evening League Rd 6, Glasnamullen (8K, 410m), Co Wicklow, 7.30pm. *IMRA Munster Wednesday League Rd 2, Murroe (9K, 270m), Co Kerry, 8pm. THURSDAY MAY 29 Old Abbey 4-Mile, Ballinahassig, Co Cork, 7pm. AI Permit. C: Maria Terry 087 2972324. FRIDAY MAY 30 Simon Cumbers 10th Anniversary and Paddy Hyland 6K, Navan, 8pm. AI Permit. Entry €15. Special 10th anniversary medal all finishers. C: 086 3147450.

Cork BHAA John Buckley Sports 5K, Lee RC, Marina, 8pm. C: John Buckley 021 4508830;

Touraneena 5K, Co Waterford, 8pm. Ger Wyley Sports/Skins Summer Series Rd 5. C: James Veale 086 8184762

Minnie’s Fit for Life Summer League, Friary College, Dungarvan, 7pm. Entry €2. AI Permit. C: Ann Dunford 086 0619711

Kilcredan NS/Youghal AC 5K, Fr O’Neill Sportsfield, Ballymacoda, 8pm. AI Permit. C: Finbar Kingston 024 98220.

BMOH AC 10K, Sixmilebridge, Co Clare, 6.45pm. AI Permit. C: Katherine Flynn 087 4184051. *Ards Lions 5-Mile Challenge, 7pm. Ani Permit. C: John Neil McCormack 028 91466743.

SATURDAY MAY 31 Tullaroan AC Marathon, 10K, 5K, Tullaroan, Kilkenny, 9am. AI Permit. Also half mar, 10Kand 5K. Vincent Guthrie 087 9478821.

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There was a moment, poignant but beautiful, at the St Patrick’s Festival 5K Road Race on St Stephen’s Green, when Brian Tyrrell from Poppintree on Dublin’s northside came walking briskly towards the finish line, accompanied by members of his family who had ferried him around most of the course in his wheelchair. And of course Brian, who has long been the master of fancy dress at many running events, was appropriately dressed as St Patrick as he crossed the finish line to a rousing reception. Brian was determined to walk those final 200 metres to the finish line and his family members; daughters Louise Fagan and Karen Malone and his grand-daughter Jessica Malone were there by his side all the way, along with his sons-in-law Paul Fagan and Kieran Malone. Brian Tyrell has never had things easy and since the early 1980s he has struggled with a number of serious health issues. However, since taking up running back in 1982, Brian has set a marathon personal best time of 3:09 and I remember when he completed 114 miles 1,726 yards in a 24-hour 86 Irish Runner

ultra-running event in Greystones. Over the years Brian has brightened up many running events by turning out in a wide array of fancy dress outfits. Despite his many health challenges, Brian has always appeared up-beat and positive; a man of terrific attitude, quiet determination and a lovely smile. It was nice to see that St Patrick’s Festival Race Director Eamonn Coghlan singled out Brian Tyrrell for special recognition at this year’s race and when Brian spoke to the runners who

assembled at the post- race knees-up in the Mansion House he received a wonderful reception that his wife Nancy reckons was the highlight of Brian’s running career. Right now, Brian Tyrrell is struggling with cancer, but you will not hear him complain about his condition. At 76 he remains the same cheerful and positive runner I first met back in the early 1980s; that is why I am devoting this Home Straight page to an ordinary runner who to me will always be quite extraordinary.

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Irish runner april 14  
Irish runner april 14