No. 28: 60 Seconds with Harrier Karl Nolan

Club members will be surprise to see one of the club’s quiet, shy, retiring types has put himself forward for 60 Seconds. Karl Nolan!

Bio: 35 years old, living in Artane, father of three, married & proprietor at Clontarf Driving Academy.

What age did you take up the sport of athletics and why? I ran my first Dublin Marathon in 2014. I signed up for a charity place with 3 weeks to go to prove to my Dad I could do one & eventually smash his PB of 2.52.15.

When and why did you join Clonliffe Harriers? When you can’t get a game for your local pub football team & your best mate is the manager, it was time to do something else. Luckily I met Niall Gorman at a Christening in 2016 & he got me onboard with Eugene’s group.

What is your favourite training workout? Long solo run on a Sunday morning around The Phoneix Park (HEAVEN.)

And your least favourite? A marathon tempo session, on a Thursday or Friday when you are on your own, in a rush & just tired after a week of work.

What’s your favourite race / athletics meet? I don’t race that often so any race, anywhere, it’s a chance to show off your weeks/months/ years of hard work. I love them all. Competition brings out the best performance in me.

What is your most cherished or proudest moment in athletics? My pb of 2.31.51 in Berlin last year. It was just one of those days when it felt effortless up to mile 18 & I knew I was in top shape & on for something special.

What was your worst injury – and how did you get over it? That word terrifies me & my wife.

What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete? Be patient, be consistent, fuel properly, cut out the alcohol, train hard but recover harder, listen to your coach & anyone who is faster than you, they know a lot more!! My coaches in Clonliffe were first Eugene Coppinger and now Peter McDermott both have taken me levels above I thought possible and I am forever grateful to them. Most importantly have fun, laugh & enjoy your journey. It will have its highs & lows.

Do you have any memorable or funny story from Clonliffe Harriers that you could share? When Efrem Gidey arrived back in Dublin airport from The European XC Championships 2019 with a bronze medal. Joe Copper (his coach) didn’t make the trip due to medical reasons, so it was incredible to see them celebrating together when he came through arrivals. There wasn’t enough Kleenex to go around!

What’s your favourite meal?A. For competition – banana, porridge & milk in a nutri bullet & a huge cup of coffee.B. Treat – Palak soya methi, lamb & spinach dish from Taza in Artane.

Who is your sporting ‘hero’? (athletics or other)A. Irish – Sonia O’SullivanB. International – Eliud Kipchoge.

Kipchoge fulfills ambition as he meets his Sporting Hero

What’s your favourite…?A. Film – Mary PoppinsB. Song – Chemical Brothers – Star GuitarC. Book – Hate reading but loved Meb Keflezighi book, 26 marathons on audio.

What’s your favourite holiday destination? Villamoura, Portugal.

What’s your favourite hobby / activity outside athletics? I’m a Shamrock Rovers FC season ticket holder & work in with The FAI on match days, walking my two dogs & figuring out ways to make my kids run faster.

How would your non-athlete friends describe you? (in 3 words) Loud, annoying, short.

What is your next running / athletics goal? To break into sub 2.25 marathon & get myself into the marathon mission training group.

How are you motivating yourself to continue training at these difficult times? Well I can’t work so I get an opportunity to be a full time athlete, I don’t need a finish line, it won’t last forever, so for now I’m taking these as positives.

Karl out sprinted in Dublin by his daughter!