All posts by noelguiden

Smile awhile! Clonliffe Juvenile Open Sports

Today was supposed to be the day of the annual Clonliffe Juvenile all medal Open Sports. Unfortunately Covid-19 restrictions put an end to that a while back but rather then being down in the mouth this morning let’s smile as we look back on the sunny times that this fantastic event has provided for the Clonliffe Harriers family.

The Open Sports first took place in 2016 driven by juvenile captain Gladys Cooper. That day fixed the trend with superb sunshine from start to finish. The bright sunshine only bettered by the brightest of smiles from the young athletes who had a magnificent day in a fun environment. That set the trend, which has continued every year since a fun day from the time the tiny tots go onto the track until the event finishes two hours later, usually with either the ever popular long jump or howler javelin. The All Medal Open will return on the 23rd of May 2021.

As they say a picture speaks a thousand words to let’s go with the pictures!

2016 early beginnings Rebecca Fitzsimons with Rhasidat Adeleka
2016, with Georgina Drumm, the then newly elected President of Athletics Ireland
2017: The Clonliffe pack!
Lucan Harriers one two in 2017
Jump to it in 2018
2019 and Clonliffe leads the way
Howler Javelin Thrown

Enjoy the whole set, just click on the links:





No. 56: 60 Seconds with Harrier Liam Roarty

Today an athlete who has been at college and then lecturing across the water for the past few years. He is a frequent visitor home to Clonliffe and always fits right back into the training group under Peter McDermott. He is always available for selection for Clonliffe teams, cross country in particular and as you will see is an athlete who loves to “Keep it Country!”.

Bio: Liam Roarty, I run XC, 3000, 5000 and 10K for Clonliffe and Morpeth Harriers in England. Recently finished working as a Sport and Exercise Psychology Lecturer at Sunderland College. Coached by Peter McDermott at Clonliffe and 1966 Commonwealth Gold Medallist, Jim Alder at Morpeth.

What age did you take up the sport of athletics and why? For most of my childhood, I was in and out of the sport. I ran for Fingallians when I was 9/10 as I was the fastest player on my football team and my dad wanted me to work on my sprints. However, it was a brief stay. When I was 13, I was asked by my PE teacher in Colaiste Choilm to represent the school having won gold in my year in the 100m sprints, hurdles and the high jump in the school sports day. I ran 100m and did the high jump in Santry for my school in April 2009 and it didn’t go well. It was a bit of a shock to the system. I decided to pack it in as football was my sport at the time and I always wanted a ball at my feet. I started taking athletics seriously when I left school.

When and why did you join Clonliffe Harriers? I hung up my football boots as I fell out of love with playing the sport and decided to put on the spikes. I always knew Clonliffe was a very prestigious club so I joined in October 2013 when I was 19 and I have been an active member ever since (time flies)!!

What is your favourite training workout? I like Fartlek sessions because it is on and off in terms of intervals. At Morpeth, Jim Alder gets myself and the lads to do this 6 mile fartlek session around the town which consists of inclines, declines, flat running, bends and a long sprint to Morpeth train station. It is class!

Liam with Morpeth coach the great Jim Alder

And your least favourite? Long Tempo runs – they will always be the death of me!

What’s your favourite race / athletics meet? The English Nationals Cross Country – the brutality and pace of the race is relentless! The atmosphere is incredible and all about mental toughness.

What is your most cherished or proudest moment in athletics? (as athlete and/or coach) My most cherished moment in athletics is the British Universities XC 2020 at Holyrood Park, Edinburgh in February. For the first time, this year, they had an alumni entry which I pounced on and was able to compete. I came 81st and screamed at the top of my lungs when I hit the finish. Everything fell into place on the day and I felt I could keep going. George Gandy was delighted for me because he knew how much that meant to me and the adversities I went through. I have the vest and number framed and going to put it up on my bedroom wall. Along with that, Jay Rossiter got Dan Jarvis of St. Marys at the line to get a bronze medal. Two lads from Clonliffe, who left to go to Uni in England around the same time, slayed our demons and achieved what we wanted to achieve.

What was your worst injury – and how did you get over it? I picked up a knee injury on Christmas Day 2017 (of all days to get injured) whilst running in Raheny with Jay Rossiter and Colm Rooney. I was out for the whole of the 2017-18 season as it took ages to recover due to stress and anxiety. I went through a series of unfortunate events in 2018; not being able to run BUCS XC for Loughborough, the tragic passing of my coach at former club, Sunderland, having to go under the knife ten days after the funeral and trying to finish a Masters. I went to see Olympic racewalker, Colin Griffin who works as an S&C coach in the SSC. He noticed I was adding pressure to my knee while I was running and completely changed my running technique and provided me a programme to strengthen the knee and get ready for the 2018-19 season. If there is one word I could describe Colin, the man is a SAINT! He is very intelligent, knows running and a really nice lad!

(For a coach or seasoned athlete) What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete? 1. Time, patience, but most importantly, CONSISTENCY. That was drilled into me the day I met Peter McDermott and has become my motto ever since. 2. Enjoy yourself, focus on your own development rather than others.

Do you have any memorable or funny story from Clonliffe Harriers that you could share? (the censorship board may review!) April 2019 – We were doing the Howth Hills session and midway through the session, Shaun Conaghan was having a go at Sean Carrigg because he was leading at the top (as instructed by Peter McDermott). At the end of the session, there was handbags between the two parties and a few explicits exchanged. Whilst the two of them were having a go at each other and getting separated, Peter is just standing beside his car, hands in the pockets with a smile on his face and doesn’t say anything. We put our kit on, get a snack in and get in Peter and Gerry Cullen’s car respectively to go back to the Marine Hotel. Myself, Colm Rooney and Carrigg get in Peter’s car with Carrigg sitting in the front. Peter gets in last, looks at Carrigg and says in his Roscommon accent, “I see yourself and Shaun had a little bit of an altercation today.” It was so well-timed and said!! Peter being an avid Manchester United supporter then proceeds to tell Carrigg a story about Matt Busby, the Man United manager witnessing a fight between two players on the pitch through his office window. Busby goes to the pitch, grabs the two lads and says “Gentlemen, this is Manchester United! We don’t do that here”. Peter puts his hand on Carrigg’s arm and says “So Sean, in your case, this is Clonliffe Harriers!” Classic Peter!

What’s your favourite meal? A. For competition – Pasta B. Outside competition – Indian food, particularly Chicken tikka Masala

Who is your sporting ‘hero’? (athletics or other) A. Irish – John Treacy for his sheer mental toughness. *That* finish against Ovett is my favourite finish of all time. Treacy put a cocky Steve Ovett in his place. B. International – Jim Alder – One of the most resilient people I have ever met and very fortunate to be coached by him at Morpeth. His father died in the WWII, mother died of tuberculosis, lived in multiple foster homes, moved to Newcastle and bullied in school for having a Scottish accent. He won Commonwealth Gold in the Marathon in Jamaica and European Bronze in Athens ’69.

What’s your favourite…? A. Film – Bohemian Rhapsody B. Album – Definitely Maybe by Oasis (I was born the day after it was released) C. Book – Please Don’t Go by John Hartson

What’s your favourite holiday destination? Sicily and Ghana What’s your favourite hobby / activity outside athletics? Socialising, going to the cinema, playing guitar

If you were Seb Coe what changes would you implement to improve our sport? I would ban athletes who dope for life. They get away with murder! I would televise more athletics competitions, XC as an Olympic event and athletes who run for an adoptive country should only be allowed if they have been a resident in the country for 3 years.

How would your non-athlete friends describe you? (in 3 words) Nice, quiet and modest What is your next running / athletics goal? (whenever normality returns!) My next goal is to have a good cross country season to build the strength and stamina for the track.

How are you motivating yourself to continue training at these difficult times? I have decided to have a break from sessions and am running for enjoyment. It’s important to be kind to the mind and body during this time. I will start focusing on competition when the storm passes.

Exiles Liam & Jayme Rossiter at BUC XC 2020

No. 55: 60 Seconds with Harrier Lacey

When Daniel Lacey transfered to Clonliffe it was a big blow to them and an even bigger blow to us! Only joking! A true Clonliffe man, wears his heart on his sleeve, always gives of his best, now in the senior ranks and serves a truly exceptional pint of Guinness.

Bio: Daniel Lacey, 19 year old from Santry , middle distance athlete who is coached by Joe Cooper, the Clonliffe bar’s most valuable worker and Clonliffe’s most beloved member!

What age did you take up the sport of athletics and why? Took up athletics at about 11 with Fingallians as I had aspirations to be a sprinter but as I went into secondary school was forced into a move over to cConliffe from my schoolmates

When and why did you join Clonliffe Harriers? Joined at around 14 after a good year as a minor in St.Aidans under Alan O’Neill’s supervision and after a few months of persuasion from the Aidans lads I gave in and made the move over

What is your favourite training workout? 1k sessions in Trinity

And your least favourite? I enjoy most sessions but probably tempo runs are my least

What’s your favourite race / athletics meet? All Ireland schools track or National Cross country

What is your most cherished or proudest moment in athletics? (as athlete and/or coach) Winning the all Ireland schools 2k steeplechase as an inter was a very proud moment

What was your worst injury – and how did you get over it? Unfortunately I have had my fair share of injuries over the past couple years, but when at the start of 2018 I picked up a knee injury that put me out for about 9 months which was unfortunate as I was coming off a very strong XC season

(For a coach or seasoned athlete) What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete? Enjoy it and work hard

Do you have any memorable or funny story from Clonliffe Harriers that you could share? (the censorship board may review!) Basically carrying Ian Guiden home on the last night of the Seville trip this year was a memorable one , I am sure he would like to give his side of the story.

What’s your favourite meal? A. For competition: pasta B. Outside competition: pizza

Who is your sporting ‘hero’? (athletics or other) A. Irish: Wouldn’t say I have a hero but I get inspired by my teammates and people around me performing well. B. International: same as above

What’s your favourite…? A. Film : Parasite B. Song or Album: Too many to choose from C. Book: The Harry Potter books are the latest books I’ve read.

What’s your favourite holiday destination? Loved Budapest when I was there during the summer

What’s your favourite hobby / activity outside athletics? I like going for a game of football

If you were Seb Coe what changes would you implement to improve our sport? Certainly advertise it more and make it easier to watch races for the non hardcore fans

How would your non-athlete friends describe you? (in 3 words) An exceptional bar man

What is your next running / athletics goal? (whenever normality returns!) To run a few new Pbs in the next year or so on the track

How are you motivating yourself to continue training at these difficult times? Not being too strict on mileage and just running for as long and for as hard as I feel on any given day, some days I go for 20 minutes some days I go for 100 just depends how I feel.

Seville XC, Jan. 2020

Alex Murray St. Aidans Athlete of the Year

Alex Murray in a remote Covid-19 restricted St. Aidans awards night was today presented with the Brother Clarke Memorial Trophy for the Athlete of the Year, sponsored by Clonliffe Harriers. Alex has given 6 years service to the St. Aidans’ cause, he is the current senior captain who in his time with the school gained international honours representing the Irish Schools in the inter steeple chase in 2018.

2019/20 St. Aidans’ Athlete of the Year
Irish Schools International 2018

Morton Stadium reopens Friday 22nd

Great news as Morton Stadium will this morning, Friday the 22nd re open to the public. Please note that at this time there is a strict limit on numbers of users at any given time and bookings are an absolute must. To access the Morton Stadium/Sport Ireland booking system use this link:

Clonliffe Harriers exclusive use of Morton Stadium re commences on Tuesday the 26th at 7.00pm, continuing then on our usual hours: Tuesday/Thursdays 7.00pm to 9.00pm, Sundays 9.30am to 11.00am. Again there are limits on numbers and to assist all we have divided our time into slots. Again bookings exclusively for Clonliffe through are required. Please all Clonliffe members read the attached document:

No. 54: 60 Seconds with Harrier Nicola Fallon.

An athlete who at one time was described by her coach as his “meal ticket and way out of here”, but unfortunately injury intervened and those best laid plans were torn up! So both coach and athlete are still with us! Still the lady in question has returned to the fold in a coaching capacity and is a valued member of the team: Nicola Fallon.

Bio: I am 34 and living in Rathfarnham. I ran for Clonliffe Harriers mostly as a Junior for over a decade. I was a middle-distance athlete who also ran XC to build moral fibre as Joe called it. I’m a qualified Geologist turned secondary school teacher. I am helping Joe Cooper to coach the Juniors and am currently on maternity leave from my post! I am the Mum of a 5-month-old girl who thankfully came the day after the 2019 National XC championship, I know Noel Guiden was worried I would have the baby on the National XC course. Five months on I am no longer “huge” as Kilian Lonergan told me that evening in the bar. 😉

What age did you take up the sport of Athletics and why? I started running in primary school. Our school always entered the Santry Games. The trials and training were held in Dalymount Park so the prospect of getting out of school was the first appeal and a trip to the sweetshop on the way home, the second. Each year I put myself forward for the trials and made the cut, from there, I really started to love running. I was told in later years by one of the groundsmen in Dalymount that he used to bet on me with the other groundsmen, that I would win my race.

When and why did you join Clonliffe Harriers? In sixth class the distance of 500 metres was on offer in the school’s Santry games. The day of the race I decided to take off from the gun and go on to win. My teacher told me she was approached by someone who worked in Morton stadium and that she was to tell me to join a running club. I looked across the track and saw Clonliffe Harriers, I didn’t know of any other clubs, so it was an easy decision.

What was your favourite training workout? I am long retired now. As an athlete I used to love training on the “Munich lap” as we called it in the Phoenix park or a fartlek session in Trinity sports ground.

And your least favourite? I always felt the need to front run when training so 12x400s on the track was tough mentally. I had a habit of letting my head wander mid-session so trying to focus was a killer.

What is your favourite race/athletics meet? Morton Games of course😊.

What is your most cherished or proudest moment in Athletics? I was unfortunate that I used to pick up quite a few niggles, but I was lucky to have had some great individual and team successes in the black and amber. In 2001 at the age of 15 I won my first All-Ireland 1500m medal and I got the call up to run for the Club’s Senior Women’s A-team in the National Road Relays in Raheny. We won team bronze making it my first National Senior medal and a big achievement for the Club’s Women. I have been lucky to win several All-Ireland medals but a year to remember for me as an athlete would be 2003 as a 17-year-old. 2003 was my most successful and memorable year as an athlete. That year I had the most consistent block of training coached by Joe Cooper. I won the National Junior and U19 All-Ireland 800m & 1500m. I broke through 2:10 for 800m, 4:30 for 1500m and ran a sub 5-minute mile. As someone who wanted to run track all year round these races were certainly great memories. I finished Top 5 in the National Junior XC and I led the team home to take the National Junior Team Silver. The National XC Championships were held in Rathdrum that year and Joe had us well primed with hill sessions. That was a really proud moment for Joe and his Junior Ladies 😊. Anyone who has ever been coached by Joe knows the time and effort he puts into you as an athlete and a person, so it felt particularly special to show up on the day for him. The pat on the back and some kind of slagging after meant you did well. He seems to have become soft these days and gives a compliment rather than a slag… 😉. In 2003 I also won my first All-Ireland Schools XC individual medal in the Senior Girls. This was a big moment considering my hatred for cross country races and with it being held in ALSAA down the road, the support was out in force from the Club. That year I got to put on the Irish vest for the first time which is something every athlete wants. I got selected to run on the Irish Schools team and for Ireland. Winning team gold with my teammates in the Senior Girls race for Ireland in Wales is a medal that means a lot. Another race to remember is me getting to race against and share a lane with Sonia O’ Sullivan. Finally, before I hung up my spikes I ran one last XC, winning team gold at the National Novice in 2005. It was yet another great day out with the club.

What was your worst injury-and how did you get over it? I suffered on and off with shin splints and knee pain. Building my legs up with specific exercises helped the knee pain and unfortunately rest was the only cure for the shin splints which resulted in blocks of missed training.

What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete? Have fun with it, think less and train hard. Everything else will follow.

Do you have any memorable or funny story from Clonliffe Harriers that you could share? Joe had organised to bring our junior team over to Hannut in Belgium. We had been shown pictures of our accommodation and it was this amazing stone building which resembled a castle. Unfortunately for us when we got to Belgium our accommodation was quickly christened ‘Chateuax le Shit’ and everything else that followed was nothing short of Fawlty Towers. We did win first International Women’s Team and there was a marriage proposal so it was a memorable trip lets just say😉.

What is your favourite meal? Italian when I was competing, no change now

Who is your sporting hero? Sonia O Sullivan, watching her run and her success growing up was always an inspiration. Also, Brian O’Driscoll. He is a rugby player, Joe Cooper.

Nicola shares the lane with her sporting hero Sonia O’Sullivan

Favourite film? World War Z. Favourite Music? Like all types but will always be found in a dance tent at a festival. Favourite Book? The Book Thief, Gone Girl and any kind of thriller.

Holiday Destination? Alcudia, Majorca.

What is your favourite activity outside athletics? I play tag rugby and being an ex-athlete, I am a speedy winger.

How would your non-athlete friends describe you? Talkative, Funny and Friendly.

What is your next running/ athletics goal? I have started back running more since the lockdown, so my aim is to run a quick 5k by my next birthday.

No.53: 60 Seconds with Harrier Niall Counihan

An extremely valuable addition to the Clonliffe track & field team ranks in recent years and who “integrated” well despite being hampered by a Munster accent! A top points scorer in National league campaigns and a top pints man in Europe! Triple jumper Niall Counihan.

What age did you take up the sport of athletics and why? 12yrs old in 1st year in secondary school. My favourite sport at the time was basketball and I was fast and well able to jump, but a teacher by the name of Phil Roche tried to transform me in to a track and field athlete.

When and why did you join Clonliffe Harriers? At the end of the 2017 season. I was always an admirer of the club and when I had the conversation with Timmy Crowe, he gave me Joe Cooper’s number and that was that.

What is your favourite training workout? Plyos in the pit, I love taking drills and getting competitive with myself about how far I can go with them.

And your least favourite? 400’s are disgusting. I don’t know how 400m runners do it and have fun.

What’s your favourite race / athletics meet? I love indoors because you don’t have to worry about wind and rain, so national indoors are my favourite.

What is your most cherished or proudest moment in athletics? (as athlete and/or coach) As an athlete it was when I won national indoors in 2015. I had only really come back to the sport a year or two earlier from a long term injury that I thought I’d never recover from.

What was your worst injury – and how did you get over it? Dislocated ankle in 2008 during a jump in training. I tried to keep coming back months later and it kept giving me trouble so I eventually put the idea of jumping to bed. After years of playing rugby and running on grass, my ankle got stronger so I started doing workouts with some athletes I was coaching and started seeing progress. The rest is history really.

(For a coach or seasoned athlete) What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete? Surround yourself with good people and never EVER forget about them. Nobody does it alone and the good people around you will help you along.

Do you have any memorable or funny story from Clonliffe Harriers that you could share? (the censorship board may review!) Probably when Keith Marks was in Portugal for Euro clubs and went up against some really good long jumpers. They were big strong looking guys and Keith looked about 12. He was dancing like a lunatic before one of his jumps and absolutely smashed it. 7.48m I think and beat a professional athlete in the process. None of the Clonliffe guys were surprised because we know what Keith can do but the look on everyone else’s faces were priceless.

What’s your favourite meal? A. For competition – I eat a lot of fruit on competition days B. Outside competition – pizza

Who is your sporting ‘hero’? (athletics or other) A. Irish – Keith Earls B. International – Doug Howlett

What’s your favourite…? A. Film – Saving private Ryan B. Song or Album – Sam’s town by the killers C. Book – any match day program from Thomond park

What’s your favourite holiday destination? Lanzarote

What’s your favourite hobby / activity outside athletics? I own a gym which keeps me busy, I like to keep fit and strong. If I’m not in the gym I’m at home chilling with my dogs. I’m a massive Munster rugby fan so I go to a lot of rugby matches both here and overseas.

If you were Seb Coe what changes would you implement to improve our sport? I’d like to see zero tolerance when it comes to drug cheats. Lifetime bans. They destroy the integrity of our sport.

How would your non-athlete friends describe you? (in 3 words) Competitive, confrontational, obsessive

What is your next running / athletics goal? (whenever normality returns!) I’m Looking at a future in coaching. I feel like I’d have a lot to offer from that side of things, and with my strength and conditioning coaching background and resources, I think I could help produce some serious talent.

How are you motivating yourself to continue training at these difficult times? I’m focusing a lot on my business for now and training when I can. I’m not finding it easy because after I had to close the gym I struggled mentally for a while. But I’m getting there now. I find that being productive in any kind of way helps.

Hands up who thinks Niall is the club’s best triple jumper!
Yet another Track & Field League Title
Favourite Meet: Indoors

Clonliffe and the return to Morton Stadium

We have now completed our body of work on the return to training Phase 1. Below you will find a comprehensive “Clonliffe manual”. We appreciate that there is a lot to read (there was equally a lot to write!), however the Committee appeals to all our members to read this and follow the guidelines fully. Please also read the Guidance from Athletics Ireland. (All the below is posted with the documents on the Covid-19 page – see menu above, of this web site)

The Government has laid out specific guidelines and criteria which must be met for public health reasons as part of phase 1. This phase commences on Monday, May 18th and provides that groups of four can meet up to engage in sport and training activities however the following must be observed.

You must be within a 5KM radius of where you are training).

You must be within the age categories directed (U/13’s and O/70s are excluded under the current government guidelines)

There can be no physical contact whatsoever between the members of the small training group.

Social distancing of 2M must be strictly observed at all times between members of the training group and the general public.

Please be mindful of other users of the park where you may be training (we are all aware that at present there is an anti-runner bias out there)

Train in a quiet park at a quiet time, we would strongly advise first thing in the morning or late in the evening (please ensure to avoid the hours of 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM)

Please observe coughing and sneezing etiquette.

Please refrain entirely from spitting.

Wash your hands before you leave home to go running, bring a hand sanitiser with you, do not press any pedestrian crossing buttons and if you are stretching do not use a railings or park bench or similar to support you while you stretch.

Do not share drinks, be absolutely careful that your drink bottle does not touch against another athletes drink bottle, do not handle another athletes drink bottle, it is vitally important that cross contamination is avoided.

If you have any symptoms of Covid-19 do not train, self isolate and contact your GP.

Morton Stadium will be avail for the return of Clonliffe Harriers on Tuesday May 26th.

Athletes and coaches must read the documents here carefully:

Clonliffe Return to training Phase 1 Download

Athletics Ireland Guidance for AthletesDownload

Athletics Ireland Guidance for Coaches Download

Click also for info from Sport Ireland: 

No. 52: 60 Seconds with Harrier Shane Rooney.

Clonliffe really is a club that has equality at it’s core, sure we even have a Cavan man as a member! That very man steps up to the plate for 60 seconds this morning.

Bio: I’m Shane and I’m originally from Cavan but having been living in Dublin for about 27 years….you can take the man out of Cavan but you can’t take Cavan out of the man.

What age did you take up the sport of athletics and why? I was not remotely sporty as a kid and only took up running in my mid-30s. I decided to give running a go as my housemate kept telling me how great it was to get out and clear your head. My first ‘race’ was in aid of AWARE and I was bitten by the bug the moment I crossed the finish line (panting and red faced). I’ll never be the fastest, but I run because it’s a great release, great for my mental health, and a great way to meet people.

When and why did you join Clonliffe Harriers? After I completed my first Dublin marathon (back in 2010…I think) I knew I had to join a club if I was to keep at it, however I waited for a few years to build up the courage. In 2015/16 I was at a training session hosted by Gary O’Hanlon and met Stephen Doyle. Stephen has a great way of convincing people to do things and he persuaded me to join CH after we completed a ‘Donut run”. I had planned to meet Stephen at the club but I couldn’t see him when I arrived and was going to get back into my car. I bumped into Declan Grant and Mick Gleeson who were also looking to join the Club, so I immediately had something in common with two people. I also owe a lot to the twins, Karen & Laura (I still can’t tell them apart), as they took me under their wing on the first night.

What is your favourite training workout? While not a formal training workout, I love the group long runs we do before the Dublin marathon. You get to spend time with some really great people and hear some great stories.

And your least favourite? I’m not a huge fan of getting my feet wet, so I’ll have to say the sessions in Trinity grounds.

What’s your favourite race / athletics meet? I love the Dublin Race Series, it’s well organised, always a challenge and you get a free banana. One of my favourite club races was the 2018 Grand Prix 10 Mile in Malahide when myself and Aideen O’Connor had to keep repeating “I am a warrior, I am a champion, I can do this….”

What is your most cherished or proudest moment in athletics? (as athlete and/or coach) Building the courage to join the club was huge turning point for me and I’m proud of myself for getting out of the car that Tuesday night. From a race point of view I have two: (1) Running alongside Aisling Andrews to get a sub 20 min 5k (while being shouted at by Mark Dowling and Stephen Tracey) (2) During the 2018 Dublin marathon I got chatting to a girl who was really struggling at mile 18, I persuaded her to run with me for a mile and she ended up getting a PB. After the race her boyfriend sent me a message on Facebook to say that she was going to drop out just before she met me. My race wasn’t great (let’s just say Pam started calling me Tiny Tears) but I was chuffed to hear I helped someone dig in and keep going.

Shane and Aisling Andrews

What was your worst injury – and how did you get over it? I’m touching wood as I type this, as any injury I’ve had has been very short term and nothing too serious.

(For a coach or seasoned athlete) What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete? Repeat the mantra “I can, I will” For people at my level, I suggest signing up for a race, set yourself a goal and focus on achieving it…the feeling you get from crossing the finish line makes everything worthwhile. Surround yourself with believers and positive people.

Do you have any memorable or funny story from Clonliffe Harriers that you could share? (the censorship board may review!) The club has become a huge part of my life and I have made many great friends and there have been some great stories along the way. From me crying through the entire 2018 marathon, the Cologne 3 missing their flights, post marathon parties, Evelyn and her yoyo, Pam attempting to kick me out of the WhatsApp group for sharing one too many holiday photos, the Clonolympics, to scaring the bejaysus out of Aisling as she was hiding between some bins!!!! We have had so many laughs; they keep me coming back each week.

What’s your favourite meal? A. For competition – Pasta the night before and porridge in the morning. B. Outside competition – For starters it would be the chicken wings from the Elephant & Castle, for mains it’s an Indian from Kajjal in Malahide, and for dessert it’s an icecream from Storm in a Teacup

Who is your sporting ‘hero’? (athletics or other) A. Irish – As I’m from Cavan I have to say Catherina McKiernan (athletics) who I love seeing at the Malahide parkrun and Alan O’Mara (a Cavan GAA player) who has spoken so bravely about experiencing depression. Outside of Cavan I think the O’Donovan Brothers are fantastic ambassadors for Irish sport. B. International – Jana Novotna, I just loved her passion and willingness to show her emotions, I will never forget how upset she was after losing the Wimbledon final in 1993, but she didn’t give up and came back to win it in 1998. I got to see her playing a maters match at the US Open and she laughed when I shouted “I love you Jana”.

What’s your favourite…? A. Film – Far from Heaven B. Song or Album – Mr Misunderstood by Eric Church C. Book – The Tales of the City series by Armistead Maupin

What’s your favourite holiday destination? Japan is amazing and Iceland is beautiful, I’d go back to both places tomorrow (if it wasn’t for the 2km restrictions)

What’s your favourite hobby / activity outside athletics? I’m a bit of a crafting nerd and I make family frames using scrabble pieces. I also love going to the cinema….just for the butter popcorn.

If you were Seb Coe what changes would you implement to improve our sport? Aside from attempting to combat the drugs in sports problem, I really liked the post London Olympic initiative in the UK were people were encouraged to try out all sports. I’d love to see people being encouraged to club open days and getting to try out a session and meet other members.

How would your non-athlete friends describe you? (in 3 words) ‘Please stop talking’

What is your next running / athletics goal? (whenever normality returns!) I’ve promised Anne Lyons that I’ll give mountain running a go….she’ll hunt me down and drag me up a mountain if I don’t join her at some stage.

How are you motivating yourself to continue training at these difficult times? Some weeks are easier than others, and Pam is great for posting weekly sessions. I’m grateful to Laura Kiernan, Marie Howard and Declan Grant who keep me in check and set weekly challenges.

Dublin Marathon job done!

Back in the Game!

Tonight saw the return to group (small!) training for Clonliffe athletes. It was great to see athletes back training “together” after two months of solo work. With the club not using Morton Stadium until next Tuesday there were a couple of groups training on the walled garden loop in Santry Demesne, split further into 3 plus 2 doing 500s, whilst in downtown Whitehall another two groups, again 3 plus 2 went through their paces on a 600 loop. All ran to and from the venues for their warm up and fully observed social distancing throughout the sessions. Well done all. (We will publish our protocol on the return to Morton Stadium on Thursday).

Sarah, Alannah & Laura in Downtown Whitehall
Brian being put through his paces by Alana & Aoife!
Callum & Niall it’s good to be back in Santry Demesne
Later group, in Santry: Ian & Daniel
Ben, Lacey and Stephen raring to go!


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