60 Seconds with a Harrier! No. 1: Mark McDonald

This is a new series to bring some light and laughter to these dark days! It’s called “60 Seconds with a Harrier!”. To become involved e mail clonliffeharriersac@gmail.com for Questions. First up is Mark McDonald:

Bio: Been a Clonliffe Member since 8/9. Work in Financial services. Have competed in everything from 400m to 10k cross country. Athletics is probably an addiction at this stage.

What age did you take up the sport of athletics and why? I started like most winning the 40m dash in Junior infants sports day at Wadelai Park. Joined Clonliffe quite young and still here!

When and why did you join Clonliffe Harriers? My father ran for Clonliffe in the 70s/80s coached by the legendary Lar O’Byrne so I was never joining anywhere else. One man club

What is your favourite training workout? Hill of Howth or pre race speed

And your least favourite? Long Tempos

What’s your favourite race / athletics meet? Morton Games (of course)

What is your most cherished or proudest moment in athletics? (as athlete and/or coach) Winning All Ireland Schools Senior team in Loughrea. Athletics is an individual sport so not many times you get to win with your mates

What was your worst injury – and how did you get over it? I had a bad knee injury in college slipping on snow. Put me out for 10/12 weeks

(For a coach or seasoned athlete) What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete? Don’t stop enjoying it. Run with a smile

Do you have any memorable or funny story from Clonliffe Harriers that you could share? (the censorship board may review!) 1st European T&F clubs in Dubnica nad Váhom, Slovakia. Stayed up all night drinking 40c beers trying to solve all Irish athletics problems. No sleep and straight on the bus home.

What’s your favourite meal? A. For competition Chicken and Pasta B. Outside competition ‘Chinese Duck’ Pizza from Independent Pizza

Who is your sporting ‘hero’? (athletics or other) A. Irish: Brian O’Driscoll B. International: Usain Bolt

What’s your favourite…? A. Film: Shawshank Redemption

B. Song or Album: Spotify tells me Electricity by Dua Lipa. 1st single I bought ‘Blue’ by Eiffel 65

C. Book: Not a book reader, last I read was Harry Potter. I read the Economist

What’s your favourite holiday destination? Seoul, South Korea

What’s your favourite hobby / activity outside athletics? I watch a lot of sport, not sure if that counts. Skiing maybe

If you were Seb Coe what changes would you implement to improve our sport? Need to promote bigger matchups and rivalry more like boxing and UFC. It creates headlines and promotes the sport. Athletes calling out other athletes saying they want to race them. Most top athletes are too nice and boring. More championship style racing. Racing for medals is a lot more exciting than the circuit. Also ban ‘the shoes’

How would your non-athlete friends describe you? (in 3 words) Beards, Beers, Bants

What is your next running / athletics goal? (whenever normality returns!) Run 1.52.2. My father’s PB.

How are you motivating yourself to continue training at these difficult times? I suppose the above goal, if the 2020 track season ever happens