Well they don’t come much bigger than this! Olympic 1500 semi finalised, Wannamaker Mile Winner and Clonliffe Harrier Niall Bruton.
Bio: Former Irish 1500m athlete with PB of 3.35 for 1500m and 3.53 for 1 Mile. Attended University of Arkansas in the US and competed at the 1996 Olympics. World Student Games champion. Currently sports marketing manager for Under Armour, formerly with Nike.
What age did you take up the sport of athletics and why? I played various sports but ran from as long as I can remember. While I raced from the age of 12 it was probably not until 15 that I really got more serious. I loved the feeling of running, the control and the idea of setting a goal and working towards it. This approach has been a valuable lesson to me in whatever I do now.
When and why did you join Clonliffe Harriers? I joined because of the strong tradition and due to my connection to Peter McDermott. But certainly the interaction with people like Lar Byrne, Paddy Marley etc was valuable to me on and off the track. It felt very much a home.
What is your favourite training workout? As much as I loved racing on the track, to be honest my favourite session would be fartlek which is a Swedish term for speed play. Effectively you do different speeds, distances, vary recoveries etc. Ideally you do it in a good setting like woods, trails, Malahide Castle etc. I would encourage all athletes to do this type of training regardless of age or level. I would even do this during track season as well.
And your least favourite? I liked all training to be honest as the goal was to get ready for a race
What’s your favourite race / athletics meet? The Wanamaker Mile, Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden, New York City, USA.
What is your most cherished or proudest moment in athletics? (as athlete and/or coach) Would be breaking four minute mile first time, winning Millrose Games or running in the Olympics
What was your worst injury – and how did you get over it? My worst injury is one of my only injuries sadly. I was very lucky with injuries but unfortunately developed an issue with my hip that forced me to eventually stop running
(For a coach or seasoned athlete) What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete? I think patience is key for both the coach and the athlete. There are no quick fixes in athletics and like putting money in the bank you need to put in the work whether it is miles, gym, speed etc. I would say that now in modern sport that I would look at additional areas now to compliment training. Examples would be yoga, sleep optimisation and recovery. As an Irish athlete I would also have faith in yourself, your coaches and your surroundings. Many have gone before you and have competed on the world stage.
Do you have any memorable or funny story from Clonliffe Harriers that you could share? (the censorship board may review!) I cant think of one but any interaction with Lar Byrne was special
What’s your favourite meal? A. For competition Scrambled eggs with Salmon B. Outside competition Pizza with Red Wine
Who is your sporting ‘hero’? (athletics or other) A. Irish Frank O’Mara B. International Muhammad Ali
What’s your favourite…? A. Film Any of the Bourne Films B. Song or Album Titanium C. Book The Chimp Paradox (good one for athletes)
What’s your favourite holiday destination? Cala D’Or, Majorca but as I live in Manchester I do like to get back to Dublin when I can
What’s your favourite hobby / activity outside athletics? Movies as they allow me to switch off
If you were Seb Coe what changes would you implement to improve our sport? Continue to invest in youth, facilities and inspiring the athletes of tomorrow
How would your non-athlete friends describe you? (in 3 words) Loyal, committed, focused
What is your next running / athletics goal? (whenever normality returns!) I currently don’t run so I would have to say sign my next running athlete for work
How are you motivating yourself to continue training at these difficult times? I continue to train at home and bike. I also focus on my diet and recovery.