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No.8: 60 Seconds with Harrier John Shields

We are thrilled this morning to shine a light into the world of the Harrier Coach with the first coach into the “60 Seconds Series” sprints/jumps coach John Shields.

Bio: I’m a Level 3 AAI coach and Tutor. I have coached Athletics at St David’s CBS, Raheny Shamrocks and Clonliffe Harriers since 1972. I’m lucky to have coached some outstanding athletes in that time. Athletes who have competed at World, European and National level and many of them have won medals on these stages. I have been awarded Coach of the Year by the NCTC in 2000, European Coach of the Year in 2013 and AAI Coaching Award in 2015.

What age did you take up the sport of athletics and why? I come from Limerick where I started athletics as a young schoolboy in Crescent College. As I was a sprinter/jumper there were very few opportunities for me in that area and so I turned to rugby which I played until well into my 30’s. I returned to athletics in the early 1970’s when I started to teach in St David’s, Artane. I saw this as a challenge and was lucky to come across some outstanding young athletes. Many of them joined Clonliffe like Noel Harvey, Mat Porter, Sean McGuirk and the Wyse brothers to name but a few.

When and why did you join Clonliffe Harriers? I joined Clonliffe in 2000 after spending 27 years in Raheny Shamrocks. I saw this move as a challenge that I have quite enjoyed. Winning the National Track & Field League 10 times in the last 12 years has been particularly enjoyable.

What is your favourite training workout? I like to see the athletes progress at Speed Endurance and therefore my favourite workout is 2 x 2 x 150m at 95% with 8 and 15 mins. This would be done in our SPP just before competing. For the men I want them in the low 15’s.

And your least favourite? It’s not pleasant to see athletes recovering from a specific endurance session, although some say I’m a sadist, I really don’t like to see it. The main thing for a coach is not to go near them for a while after this session. 350 at 95% with 15 mins and 250 at 95%. Or 2 x 300m at 95% with 10-15 mins between. For the men the men I’m looking for 35-38” range. Again, this would be done before racing in the SPP.

What’s your favourite race / athletics meet? Of course, it is the Morton Games – the premier athletics meet in Ireland! I won’t forget the 2017 edition and seeing Brian Gregan run the perfect race. Start fast for 50m and then fast and relaxed to 200m. He was in 4th place at the 200m mark and then the race began. Working his way through the field to enter the home straight in 1st place and then the “Morton Roar” to bring him home in less than 12” for the last 100m. Perfect!!

What is your most cherished or proudest moment in athletics? My proudest moments have always been athlete centered – to see them perform to their best ability is where I get my satisfaction from. It’s always about performance and the rest, the time/distance and the placing, is the bonus. Coaching is not easy, but it is rewarding. A coach does not need awards or kudos. You just take satisfaction from seeing people perform the way you want them to perform. They’re all different and they all have different personalities, their own little idiosyncrasies. It’s a question of knowing your athletes and what helps them.

What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete? Never look at outcomes, always look at the process. The key is for you as an athlete to be still competing into your 20s. If you cannot do that, the coaching philosophy is not working. The process is the important thing. The outcome is the bonus. Truth is, it’s never really been about the destination, great as it may be. My mind is fixed on the athlete’s journey, keeping them in the sport, progressing, enjoying it every bit as much as I do.

What’s your favourite meal? Veau a la Crème avec frites with a nice glass of Rose in the sun.

Who is your sporting ‘hero’? A. Irish: Ronnie Delany B. International: Usain Bolt

What’s your favourite…? A. Film The Godfather B. Song or Album JS Bach: The Goldberg Variations C. Book To Kill a Mocking Bird

What’s your favourite holiday destination? I like to go to the South of France and chill out with a nice glass of Rose.

What’s your favourite hobby / activity outside athletics? I like to listen to music and just get immersed in it and forget about everything that’s going on around me.

If you were Seb Coe what changes would you implement to improve our sport? I would make it more spectator friendly. There is too much time between races/field events – tighten up the timetables like the Penn Relays where one race starts as the other finishes. There is, also, a need to improve communication at all meets – spectators should be kept informed of what is going on. World Athletics need to tackle the doping problem. They should not be depending on NGB’s to police their own jurisdictions as many countries do not have an Anti-Doping agency which is fit for purpose. They should target the top athletes in all events and make sure that there is a level playing field. I would tackle the issue of juvenile competition. There should not be World, European, etc championships for juveniles. The most successful countries often do not encourage major juvenile competition like Norway. There are many more issues that I would tackle but I don’t want to bore you all!

What is your next running / athletics goal? It’s literally getting back to competition as soon as possible. The key here is to be ready for when that happens.

How are you motivating yourself to continue coaching at these difficult times? These are not normal times. In 48 years coaching I have never experienced anything like this. But one of the most important things in any sport is being positive. This will end and we will return to competition – the sooner the better. It is those athletes who have remained positive and kept up their training who will benefit most. It’s not easy training within 2 kms of your house but it can be done. It is not easy training for S&C without a gym but once again it can be done. Stay motivated and positive – things will go back to normal.

2017 Athletics Ireland awards: John Shields with Brian Gregan

No. 7: 60 Seconds with Harrier Emma Mitchell

This morning an athlete who although only six months a Harrier has promoted the Clonliffe name racing in the club colours and is already rewriting the club record books it’s International athlete Emma Mitchell.

Bio: 26 Years Old Long Distance Runner

What age did you take up the sport of athletics and why? 14/15 Years Old I always loved running, but up until aged 14/15 I played a lot of different sports. Focusing on running from then on wasn’t a difficult decision as I loved the fact that the training I done, would be reflected in my performances. So the harder I trained, the better I got. I guess with team sports its not just about your performance it’s the whole teams – so probably the fact athletics is quite an individual sport played a big factor.

When and why did you join Clonliffe Harriers? September 2019 And I am so glad I joined! I have been made very welcome by everyone!

What is your favourite training workout? 20x400m or Lots and Lots of 1000m Reps on the Track!

And your least favourite? Can’t say I have a least favourite – There’s certainly some hurt more than others!

What’s your favourite race / athletics meet? Highgate Harriers Night of 10,000m in London, National Championships, Armagh International 3k Road Race

What is your most cherished or proudest moment in athletics? (as athlete and/or coach) May 2017 – Highgate Harriers Night of 10,000m PB’s. It was my first 10,000m track race and I had no idea what to expect! It was probably the first time I’d ever really achieved my coach’s expectations in that we wanted the 2018 Commonwealth Games Qualifying time and that one race would probably be the only opportunity we would have to achieve the standard. The fact that the atmosphere is like no other track meet – with the crowd drinking beer in lane three the whole way round the track – it was the perfect debut 10,000m track race! It was lovely to have my coach there, my mum, Ronnie O’Sullivan and a host of other Irish over supporting – definitely made it even more special!

What was your worst injury – and how did you get over it? I think any injury you get always seems to be the worst at the time – but definitely having a string of injuries at the end of 2018 and into 2019 was difficult to deal, especially one after another. Patience is Key! And believing that you will train again and you will race again – often when injured you can’t imagine being able to train or compete like before.

(For a coach or seasoned athlete) What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete? Always find at least one positive to take from every performance or even a training session. Sometimes you will not always achieve the outcome you hoped for – but finding a positive and bringing that forward into your training and next competition helps you progress with a positive attitude. Do you have any memorable or funny story from

Clonliffe Harriers that you could share? (the censorship board may review!) Not as yet! I’m still a newbie but I will be sure to tell if I encounter any funny stories!!

What’s your favourite meal? A. For competition B. Outside competition A. Porridge or Pasta B. Pizza

Who is your sporting ‘hero’? (athletics or other) Sonia O’Sullivan

What’s your favourite…? A. Film B. Song or Album C. Book C. Hard to Choose – Last book I read was The Way of the Runner by Adharanand Finn which was good!

What’s your favourite holiday destination? Anywhere Hot and Sunny!

What’s your favourite hobby / activity outside athletics? Reading. And Drinking Coffee!

How would your non-athlete friends describe you? (in 3 words) Runner Successful Hard working

What is your next running / athletics goal? (whenever normality returns!) World Half Marathon Championships in October Autumn Marathon

How are you motivating yourself to continue training at these difficult times? Keeping my normal routine to the best I can. And having a positive attitude, in that it’s an opportunity to get a block of training in before competing again and also having extra time to focus on rest, recovery and all the little things!

Emma Mitchell wins the North Ireland 10k Road Championships in Bangor

No. 6: 60 Seconds with Harrier Killian Lonergan

In a Sunday “60 Seconds with” double header, one of the greats of Clonliffe Harriers, a noted athlete, administrator and committee member, statistician, coach, vital Morton Games LOC member and all round good guy: Killian Lonergan.

Bio: Clonliffe member for over 30 years. Moved through the ranks of juvenile, junior, senior and masters, with some coaching and administration work thrown in for good measure. Presently living in Switzerland.

What age did you take up the sport of athletics and why? When: I joined Greenfield Athletics club just after I turned 9 in 1983. Why: It was probably a combination of seeing my father going running in preparation for the Dublin marathon in preceding years, and of course getting to watch athletics on TV often helped make it cool and something many children, and especially my friends, wanted to be good at. I remember being devasted when Coe lost the 1982 European championship 800m and staying up all hours of the day and night watching the ’82 commonwealth games from Australia a few months later. Of course Coghlan’s win in the ’83 world championships was probably the final push towards joining a club, as it I started with Greenfield a couple of weeks after that great day.

When and why did you join Clonliffe Harriers? Interestingly, my first attempt to join Clonliffe was unsuccessful, as I was refused! As a 9 year old I was too young for Clonliffe at the time, as 12 was the youngest age being accepted by the club at the time. As a result of this, I had to go looking elsewhere, and started with Greenfield, based in Albert College Park. After 5 or 6 years with Greenfield the entire club, which only had juvenile athletes, amalgamated with Clonliffe Harriers. I had just served a one month ban from training (to this day I believe it was a harsh punishment!) at Greenfield for some play acting around Morton stadium and as such I was being told I mightn’t be welcome by Clonliffe as part of the amalgamation. Luckily that wasn’t the case as I was allowed to join.

What is your favourite training workout? Progression run of any distance.

And your least favourite? Fartlek.

What’s your favourite race / athletics meet? National Cross Country.

What is your most cherished or proudest moment in athletics? (as athlete and/or coach) For many years it was making the Dublin under 13 cross country team chosen to race the visiting Merseyside team. I’d been injured and had been told not long before the trials race by a physiotherapist to give up running as I wasn’t built for it, so to get back in training and make the team was a great moment for me. Apart from that childhood event, running 28.37 for 10,000m on the track is definitely up there. It wasn’t necessarily the running of the time itself but calling my coach Peter McDermott afterwards to tell him the result was a proud moment. It came after many years of stop/start training due to injuries and it felt like a job done by both of us that night.

What was your worst injury – and how did you get over it? A torn hamstring, not from speed work, but during a cross country race in Belgium. Unfortunately it took many years to resolve and in essence stopped me competing at a serious level.

(For a coach or seasoned athlete) What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete? Train smart and hard and listen to your coaches.

Do you have any memorable or funny story from Clonliffe Harriers that you could share? (the censorship board may review!) Joe Cooper will often tell the story of how on the morning of a flight to the European Clubs Cross country championships I couldn’t find my passport. It’s loss was official by 9.30am, but via various adventures and connections, by 12.30 I had a new passport handed to me at the passport office and made the 1.30pm flight to Portugal with the rest of the team.

What’s your favourite meal? A. For competition None B. Outside competition Chinese

Who is your sporting ‘hero’? (athletics or other) A. Irish Don’t have any. B. International Don’t have any. Was Sebastian Coe when I was a juvenile.

What’s your favourite…? A. Film No idea B. Song or Album No idea C. Book No idea

What’s your favourite holiday destination? Holiday destination – Thun, Switzerland where I live now. For a running destination, Dublin’s Phoenix Park.

What’s your favourite hobby / activity outside athletics? I’ve taken to cycling over the past 5 years, coinciding with my move to Switzerland. With great roads and climbing for all levels it was always likely to happen. I do enjoy a round of golf whenever I can slip it in when back in Dublin visiting.

How would your non-athlete friends describe you? (in 3 words) The runner man.

What is your next running / athletics goal? (whenever normality returns!) Berlin marathon 2020.

How are you motivating yourself to continue training at these difficult times? Due to having a lot of injuries over the years, when physically able to run, motivation to train has never been an issue, so fortunately, these difficult times are proving to be beneficial for training (no 2km rule here).

No. 5: 60 Seconds with Harrier Stephen Rice!

Keeping them coming folks. Next up here comes the first of the Clonliffe field eventers Javelin man Stephen Rice:

Bio: My name is Stephen Rice, I am the 3 x national champion in the javelin throw, I hold the National U/23 record of 75.89m

What age did you take up the sport of athletics and why? Originally I took up javelin when I was 14 in school and came third in the east leinsters, but lost to another guy in my year who ended up winning the east leinsters. The following year I was not selected to compete for my school, I was disappointed after focusing on it for a little bit that year. I came back in 4th year and won the all irelands. In 6th year due to some bad coaching did not have a good relationship with the sport and ended up tearing the ligaments in my elbow in the all Ireland final. At this point I gave up the sport for almost 3 years and only started again at the age of 22.

When and why did you join Clonliffe Harriers? I moved to Clonliffe when I came back to athletics, I knew they had some of the best athletes in the country training with them and I wanted to be a part of that environment

What is your favourite training workout? I am a huge fan of physical challenges, if I can incorporate backflips and handstands in to a workout I will. The reason I was pushed away from the sport was due to slow monotonous training. I can thank Ciaran Donohoe for getting me out of that type of training.

And your least favourite? Anything aerobic, running, cycling, rowing

What’s your favourite race / athletics meet? The Morton Games, great atmosphere, very well run event and where I threw my current pb

What is your most cherished or proudest moment in athletics? I would say my most cherished moment Is throwing my pb at the Morton Games, it was years of knowing I could throw it but nothing ever coming together at the right time, it was a pb by 7 meters which is a rare occurrence in the sport.

What was your worst injury – and how did you get over it? Outside of athletics I practice a lot of extreme sports and therefore have had many bad injuries in the past. The one that affected me the most was tearing my ligaments in the European club event competing for Clonliffe where I tore my ankle ligaments at the start of my season. It was my first year properly back in to athletics and I had given it everything so at first I saw it as a massive set back. Over the following weeks I noticed how it had actually helped focus my mind and with a month of intensive rehab I came back and threw my 7meter pb.

What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete? Never chase results, create memories with your friends and enjoy the process. The results will come.

What’s your favourite meal? For competition- I guess I would have to say the meal I had before my PB, two chicken breast, a tomato, goats cheese, walnuts and beetroot Outside competition- I have been known to eat a lot of yogurt, about 2000 grams a day which is about 4 large pots so I would have to say yogurt and granola

Who is your sporting ‘hero’? (athletics or other) Irish- Katie Taylor International – Lebron James

What’s your favourite…? Film- Lord of the rings- no question

Song- Bones – Ben Howard- listen to it almost every day

Book- Relentless- Tim S Grover

What’s your favourite holiday destination? Gran Canaria

What’s your favourite hobby / activity outside athletics? Surfing/ mountain biking

How would your non-athlete friends describe you? (in 3 words) I sent this question in to my friends WhatsApp group, and the replies were..inappropriate

What is your next running / athletics goal? (whenever normality returns!) My next goal is to qualify and compete in the European championships.

How are you motivating yourself to continue training at these difficult times? A lot of my training is generally body weight and calisthenic movements so I am not too affected currently.

No. 4: 60 Seconds with Harrier Laura Tuite

Great to have such interest in this series. This morning we introduce the first of our women’s senior team, an athlete who has come right through the ranks and has done some coaching and mentoring of young Clonliffe athletes into the bargain.

Bio: I’m Laura, I am 23 years old and I am in year two of three in a laboratory analyst apprenticeship in SK Biotek Swords.

What age did you take up the sport of athletics and why? Both of my parents ran so I had no choice, I was brought up to Gladys’ group when I was 8 years old.

When and why did you join Clonliffe Harriers? I was born into Clonliffe Harriers! Its my second family

What is your favourite training workout? My favourite workout is 400’s on track or any session on the wall garden loop.

And your least favourite? 800/1k intervals

What’s your favourite race / athletics meet? Has to be Morton Games! I love helping out and getting to meet the international athletes.

What is your most cherished or proudest moment in athletics? (as athlete and/or coach) I took a year long break from running in 2018. I went from watching the National Senior cross country championship from the side-lines, to running my first National seniors XC in 2019.

What was your worst injury – and how did you get over it? I’ve thankfully never had a long-term injury. I sometimes suffer with shin pain, once I feel any pain I rest for a couple of days, ice my shin and stretch! I have found great stretching & yoga videos on YouTube which I do weekly.

(For a coach or seasoned athlete) What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete? Running between sessions is so important. Only doing 2/3 sessions a week is not good enough. Make sure you are enjoying it and having fun otherwise it’s not worth the pain!

Do you have any memorable or funny story from Clonliffe Harriers that you could share? (the censorship board may review!) I will never forget the time Joe Copper with two suitcases in hand walking to the bus on our way home from a cross country race in Brussels. With the bus in sight he reached the top of the muckiest hill on the course, took one step and slipped the whole down way on his backside. I have never seen Mick Fogarty laugh so hard.

What’s your favourite meal? A. For competition B. Outside competition A) Pasta Bolognese B) Pizza and a chocolate brownie

Who is your sporting ‘hero’? (athletics or other) A. Irish B. International A) Ciara Mageean B) Allyson Felix & Kipchoge

What’s your favourite…? A. Film B. Song or Album C. Book A) Interstellar- I love space films B) The Weekend’s new album- after hours. I have it on repeat! C) The Outsiders by S.E Hinton

What’s your favourite holiday destination? Spain for a chill beach holiday or Austria to ski.

What’s your favourite hobby / activity outside athletics? I love socialising over a nice cup of coffee. I also like to read and sew.

If you were Seb Coe what changes would you implement to improve our sport? More publicity and TV time. Pay a monthly wage to our top & upcoming national athletes so they can become full time athletes. Add cross country to the Olympics.

How would your non-athlete friends describe you? (in 3 words) Athletic, determined and kind-hearted.

What is your next running / athletics goal? (whenever normality returns!) I want to make a national senior final on the track & get new PB’s!

How are you motivating yourself to continue training at these difficult times? I have worked so hard to get to the level of fitness I have now. The fear of losing it and starting from scratch is enough to motivate me to keeping running.

60 Seconds with a Harrier! No. 3: Brian Gregan

Next up is the first of our sprinters to blast out of the blocks! Multi times National indoor and outdoor champion, European U/23 400 silver medalist, European 400 finalist and “Santry Roar” revivalist, Brian Gregan.

What age did you take up the sport of athletics and why? I started athletics as a 8 year old, all my friends joined the club and I didn’t want to be left out. I ran mostly cross country until I was about 15, I dabbled in the long jump before winning my first all Ireland medal in high jump. I tried 400m hurdles and won a schools silver before my coach John Shields noticed how fast I was moving between the hurdles (and how hopeless I was over the hurdles), he moved me to the flat and the rest is history.

When and why did you join Clonliffe Harriers? I joined Clonliffe in 2008 as I was moving to DCU, my coach and training partners all were part of Clonliffe. It was the best move I ever made, the support and comradery shown from every angle of the club has been amazing, it motivates me to return to my best!

What is your favourite training workout? The 400m is known as one of the toughest events and the workouts are even tougher. My favourite workout would be 6 x 200m off 3 minutes and 6 minutes between sets all in 22 seconds. If I can do that I am in shape!

And your least favourite? Winter training and in particular 1,2,3,2,1 mins x 2 sets off the same recovery. I suffer from asthma, the cold and heavy breathing make it really tough to get though that workout.

What’s your favourite race / athletics meet? The MORTON GAMES of course!!! Can you beat a hometown meet with a hometown favourite competing for the win. 2017 was a classic, the Santry roar inspired me to run a sub 12 second final 100m and smash my personal best!

(Pictured, Brian and the Santry Roar, Morton Games 2017)

What is your most cherished or proudest moment in athletics? (as athlete and/or coach) Winning a European u23 silver medal in 2011. It was a long time ago, but international medals do not come around often. The previous edition in 2010 I tore my hamstring in the opening round, some people get frustrated but I set myself a goal of winning a medal two years later. I did just that and missed the gold by 0.02! (should have benched some more)

What was your worst injury – and how did you get over it? My stress fracture in my left tibia (ankle) in 2018 was a huge blow to my career. It took two years to get back competing but I finally got there this year. The best advice I would give an athlete struggling with an injury is to take it day by day, don’t let races months or weeks down the line make you anxious. Do what your physio and coach say, take it slowly and stay as positive as possible. Seek advice from someone who had a similar injury and see could they help you.

(For a coach or seasoned athlete) What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete? Set yourself some goals, where do you see yourself in a year, two years and at the end of your career. If you really want something, then you will have to commit, be resilient and most importantly work hard. Hard work is key but smart work is even more important. Its so important to get in tune with your body, don’t do that last rep just because the group are, if you are not feeling right. Your body tends to give out warning signs prior to an injury or illness, so listen to it. Would you drive 100km/h down the road with the engine light on? Learn to say no! Fortunately for me I was strong minded and very difficult to be peer pressured into something I didn’t want to do. If you are serious, then say no to a night out, take away or whatever you face.

60 Seconds with a Harrier! no. 2 Sergiu Ciobanu

Keep it going! Great response so far. Now one of the great Clonliffe Club men: Sergiu Ciobanu:

Bio: Sergiu Ciobanu 36year old, Long distance runner, married with kids, working as a physical therapist. 

What age did you take up the sport of athletics and why? At 18-19 to get fitter for wrestling training and soccer  

When and why did you join Clonliffe Harriers? Joined in 2006 as this was the year i first came to Ireland and was looking for an athletic club to train with. 

What is your favourite training workout? Long intervals with short recovery 

And your least favourite? Hills 

What’s your favourite race / athletics meet  Dublin marathon/ National Cross 

What is your most cherished or proudest moment in athletics?  (as athlete and/or coach) When i made my first Irish cap senior team for Euro cross in 2015 as this was 10y later after i first competed at this championship with my native Moldova 

What was your worst injury – and how did you get over it? Hamstring tendinopathy which lasted for ages. Lots of strengthening and stretches helped. 

(For a coach or seasoned athlete) What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete? It takes time to get to your best, be patient and take easy days serious and not to feel sorry about yourself on those tough sessions. 

Do you have any memorable or funny story from Clonliffe Harriers that you could share? (the censorship board may review!) When first time met Gladys Cooper when i was looking to join Clonliffe days after arriving in Ireland i wrote few sentences and the last one was ‘sorry i don’t speak english’ and her answer was ‘ you have a very good english’ little she knew that i was running out of all the words i had in english  

Of course you can’t exclude Gary’s banter when traveling as a team and him always looking for his passport at the bottom of his bags at the airport.  

What’s your favourite meal? A. For competition – Pasta ( carbonara or with chicken) nice desert B. Outside competition – Fish and chips, but always plenty of vegetables. 

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

What’s your favourite…?A. Film – James Bond (all)  B. Song or Album – Follow your fire.  C. Book – The girl with the dragon tattoo 

What’s your favourite holiday destination?  Mallorca 

What’s your favourite hobby / activity outside athletics? Cars, gardening, DIY, fishing, reading. 

If you were Seb Coe what changes would you implement to improve our sport? More tv coverage, focus on more athletics stars so young generation can have good examples to follow.  XC olympic sport either winter or summer.Athletes who dedicate their time to sport to get rewarded. Life post athletics career. More random drug test at all levels for a clean sport throughout. Not sure if it’s a good idea to mention all the time about drugs in our sport as this puts people off. Just do the job and life banned drug cheats so there won’t be mentioned every time we watch athletics like such and such had a ban etc 

How would your non-athlete friends describe you? (in 3 words) Loyal, curious, friendly. 

What is your next running / athletics goal?  (whenever normality returns!) Try to achieve an olympic standard 2.11.30 Run my best Dublin marathon yet 

How are you motivating yourself to continue training at these difficult times? I have no prob with motivation. I’m used to have blocks as a full time athlete. I’m not a full time athlete now but i believe that full time athletes have 70% of their time on lockdown  train, eat and sleep. 

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

Update on cancelled events

Members please note that in addition to all Clonliffe club activities being cancelled until at least April 19th, we have been notified that Morton Stadium is closed and cannot be used.

The following events are cancelled to date:

National 10k Road Championships/Great Ireland run

National Road Relays

Dublin Juvenile Track & Field rounds April 18th & 25th

National Juvenile Indoor Championships

Clonliffe juvenile trip to Leevale Open Track & Field

The Clonliffe Grand Prix Series (to be resumed whenever possible)

The Clonliffe 2 (to be rearranged later in the season)

Clonliffe Juvenile All Medal Open Sports

Other events will also fall moving forward, we’ll keep all informed as much as possible. in the meantime continue to train solo, follow your coaches advise/schedules, keep social distance (2m), wash hands going out and coming back, DO NOT PRESS ANY TRAFFIC SIGNAL BUTTONS WITH YOUR HAND, cough/sneeze into you elbow. Run safe, be safe. Nil desperandum!

Latest update from Athletics Ireland

Clonliffe members please note the following from Athletics Ireland: Following the latest announcement from our Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar Athletics Ireland wishes to note that from midnight tonight All organised indoor and outdoor events of any size are not to take place.

The effect of this government decision means that no Athletics Ireland Provinces, County Boards, Clubs or affiliates can operate in any capacity. As such no insurance covers of Athletics Ireland for Provinces, County Boards, Clubs and individuals are operational during this period.

We stress the importance of all our members following this expert advice and hope you all stay safe in these difficult times.

Latest Guidance on Public Health Measures

Published: 24 March 2020
From: Department of the Taoiseach

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has recommended that all non-essential retail outlets close to members of the public. All other retail outlets are to implement social distancing.

Cafés and restaurants are limited to takeaways and deliveries only. All sporting events are cancelled – including those behind closed doors.

All theatres, clubs, gyms, leisure centres and hair salons are to be shut.

Places of worship are to restrict numbers visiting and no unnecessary travel should take place in the country or overseas, now or during the Easter break.

The Taoiseach said people need to stay at home and only leave to:

  • go to work
  • go to the shops for essential supplies
  • care for others
  • exercise

The Taoiseach also stated “you should only leave home to go to work if you can’t work from home and your attendance is essential. You should only go to the shops for essential supplies, out for medical or dental appointments, to care for others or to take physical exercise.

Non-essential indoor visits to other people’s homes should be avoided. Social gatherings of individuals outdoors should be of no more than 4, unless you are all from same household”.

The full statement is available HERE

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar Speech available HERE

Advice on protecting yourself and others available HERE

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