A man with guts in abundance who in 2019 delivered the biggest win of his career to date, the National indoor 1500 and six weeks back (although it seems like six months ago) fought brilliantly in the defence of that title coming home with bronze in the race of the championship: Piercy.
Bio: I grew up in Skerries, started out life as a chef, lived in Spain, America and then moved to London where I work in recruitment for analytics (the obvious transition).
What age did you take up the sport of athletics and why? I started when I was about 5 in Skerries AC on a Friday night. I loved sprinting (still do) and liked to have as many things on the go after school as I could.
When and why did you join Clonliffe Harriers? Coop sold me the dream of “why don’t you join the Man Utd of running” and eventually I made the move when I ran out of people to train with and my club mate Paul Boylan was already travelling up on Tuesdays and Thursdays
What is your favourite training workout? I like 400’s off a medium/short recovery and I do enjoy faster stuff in the summer but only if I’m in good nick!
And your least favourite? I’d say I’d agree with Mark, long tempos are grim and also any reps over 800m- so pretty much the entire winter. You’d never catch me moaning about running though, Peter McDermott can vouch for me there surely!
What’s your favourite race / athletics meet? Being in London for 8 years pretty much any race on home turf. I love nationals and defo the Morton Games but Noel got the weather wrong last year god bless him, you cant get everything right!
What is your most cherished or proudest moment in athletics? (as athlete and/or coach) Definitely winning national indoors last year in front of lots of friends and family (and Joe and Paddy Marley) and 2 of the most surprised commentators in sports history #bigshock
What was your worst injury – and how did you get over it? Probably plantar fasciitis, kept me out for 8 months one time.
What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete? I mean probably to be patient and remind yourself to enjoy it. Also take the small wins, if you’re a few seconds or places better than the last race, that’s a win for you. And also you can use my most famous quote, every dog has his day.
Do you have any memorable or funny story from Clonliffe Harriers that you could share? (the censorship board may review!) I probably have millions. One recent one was I was in Omni with Mark McDonald and Collie Murray (former harrier). We met Peter McD and he proceeded to say hello and then “jesus piercey you’re looking great (meaning fit)”. He then looked the other two lads up and down and said “howiye lads” Only a running coach could think a man looking like he hadn’t had a burger in years could look good!
What’s your favourite meal? A. For competition- I like salmon and roast baby spuds (Brian McDonald likes that one too) B. Outside competition- sucker for pizza, also a big fan of Risotto
Who is your sporting ‘hero’? (athletics or other) A. Irish- Sonia O’Sullivan, Ronan O’Gara B. International – Probably Haile growing up and also Mark Cavendish
What’s your favourite…? A. Film – Too many, but maybe Stand by Me B. Song or Album- Juicy by Biggie Smalls C. Book- White Heat- Marco Pierre
White’s autobiography What’s your favourite holiday destination? I’d say it’s a tie between Switzerland and Peru
What’s your favourite hobby / activity outside athletics? Cooking and eating out
If you were Seb Coe what changes would you implement to improve our sport? Everything. Stop being corrupt, make the sport more interesting and get brands involved, serve more beer at meets, get people into lane 4, put money into grass roots, get a decent marketing team etc etc etc
How would your non-athlete friends describe you? (in 3 words) A bit touched
What is your next running / athletics goal? (whenever normality returns!) Sub 4 would be nice, I’d never shut up about that haha
How are you motivating yourself to continue training at these difficult times? Well I’ve done my Achilles a bit last Saturday but aside from that it’s easy enough, there’s nothing else to be doing !