No. 20: 60 Seconds with Harrier Maurice Ahern

One of the longest serving Clonliffe Harriers, as an athlete, coach, club officer, President of Clonliffe (1992-2005) and the Lord Mayor of Dublin 2000 Maurice Ahern.

Bio: Born and reared in Drumcondra,so with Croke Park and other grounds together with Clubs and college fields available it was inevitable that sport would play a huge part in my life. My parents interest in sport especially hurling helped

What age did you take up athletics? I was always interested in running-I first ran in the primary school sports at Croke Park in 1950/51 and many more times there in  the 50’s as my 2nd level school O’Connells held their annual sports there

When and why did you join Clonliffe Harriers? I joined Clonliffe after the 1960 Olympics-it was time to join a club and Clonliffe was the one I knew about

What is your favourite workout? Probably my favourite session would be some form of fartleg

And your least favourite? Least favourite for sure a long run on a cold winters night

What’s your favourite race/Meet? My favourite meet-of course the Clonliffe/Morton international-I have attended most over a period of 70 years at College Park, Lansdowne Rd and at Santry. As a one off race my favourite has changed with the years-a choice of so many-Liverpool the Waterloo road race, the 1st of the 1000  runner field- Tullamore and the Quinlan Cup – then Ireland’s largest at over 400.

What is your most cherished or proudest moment in athletics? (as athlete and/or coach) My competitive highlight was probably winning team gold in the National Marathon of 1968 a rare occassion when any body got ahead of the all conquering Donore teams Of the 1960’s—_as a coach I remember many  outstanding  performances from athletes I was assisting -perhaps none better than Tom Gregan winning the National junior 800m,1500m,and 5000m all in the one afternoon against  the best  of opposition  

What was your worst injury, and how did you get over it? A Plantar injury that remained with  me for about 5 months was by far my longest injury And was solved by a cortisone injection and thereafter  a new pair of orthotics.

What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete? My advice to any young athlete is to have a  connection with  your coach whereby you communicate at least weekly and preferably more frequently to discuss aspects  of your  Training schedule-   I am sceptical of long term delivered schedules

Who is your sporting hero? My sporting hero  when a young lad was Christy Ring and  when I took athletics seriously-right out of “run to the Top” the recently deceased Peter Snell .

What’s your favourite hobbie/activity outside of athletics? My favourite sport is GAA ( of course the “Dubs”) where i have attended roughly 130 All Ireland Finals between Football and Hurling but I have an  interest in many, I have attended at football  world cup -Italy 90 -Windsor Park, Hampden Park ,Old Trafford, Tennis at Wimbledon and the Olympic Games.