No. 11: 60 Seconds with Harrier Ben Guiden

The first of the Clonliffe juniors to put his head above the parapet and join the “60 seconds with” series is Ben Guiden.

Bio: I’m 19 years old. I study at DCU. My favourite track race is 3k or 5k, but I prefer cross country.

What age did you take up the sport of athletics and why? I started around the age of 8. I grew up in a house where one of my brothers competed and my dad was (and still is) a coach, it wasn’t really my choice!

When and why did you join Clonliffe Harriers? Clonliffe was the first club that I joined. Clonliffe are the best athletics club in the country and my dad is the club secretary, what other club could I join?!

What is your favourite training workout? 1 mile reps in Santry Demesne.

And your least favourite? Pyramid sessions

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) Retaining the Junior cross country national team title in 2019 while missing our strongest athlete, Efrem Gidey who had moved up to lead the seniors to the senior title.

What was your worst injury – and how did you get over it? So far, I’ve been fortunate and not suffered any bad injuries. Although, last year I had an Achilles tendon injury. I had to end my season earlier than expected and stop running for a few months. Unfortunately, this was around the time of a family holiday to America which involved a lot of hiking. The hikes didn’t feel too good!

(For a coach or seasoned athlete) What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete? Always enjoy it. There is no point in doing it if you don’t.

Do you have any memorable or funny story from Clonliffe Harriers that you could share? (the censorship board may review!) Being accidentally called Ian (my brother) by my coach Joe Cooper for years. When I started training with Peter’s group, Peter carried this tradition on as he keeps calling me Ian!

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

Who is your sporting ‘hero’? (athletics or other) A. Irish: Roy Keane B. International: Sebastian Vettel

What’s your favourite…? A. Film: Back to the Future B. Song or Album: My favourite album is Like Clockwork by Queens of the Stone Age, but my favourite song is 4th of July by Soundgarden C. Book: 11.22.63 by Stephen King

What’s your favourite holiday destination? Washington DC

What’s your favourite hobby / activity outside athletics? Watching football or F1

If you were Seb Coe what changes would you implement to improve our sport? Get cross country in the Winter Olympics. Stricker suspensions for failed drugs tests, one failure and you’re done.

How would your non-athlete friends describe you? (in 3 words) Friendly, sporty, helpful

What is your next running / athletics goal? (whenever normality returns!) Retain the Junior national cross country team title again.

How are you motivating yourself to continue training at these difficult times? It is difficult to stay motivated when racing season seems so far away. It is important to take each day at a time and just get the runs/tempos/sessions done

National Cross Country Abbotstown 2019