No. 32: 60 Seconds with Harrier Flynner.

Today we feature the former wild man, now, apparently taimed, the one and, thankfully, only Flynner.

Bio: Professional Athlete and Coach Member of Clonliffe Harriers for 15 years

What age did you take up the sport of athletics and why? When and why did you join Clonliffe Harriers? I had quite a few Clubs recruiting me at the time but when Joe Cooper approached me At the community schools in Santry I bought into the Clonliffe Dream . In fairness they had some of the best under age athletes at the time .

What is your favourite training workout? My favourite workout is a trademark University of Arkansas workout called mile down which involved a Mile , 1200 , 1000, 800, 600, 400, 300, 200 the only thing was you were running a Personal best for the mile then everything was a blur . I have a best of 4.08 handtimed in the workout .

A very young David Flynn on the country for Arkansas

And your least favourite? One time after SEC conference at LSU University I went on ESPN after coming 3rd at the meet and complained we didn’t do enough track workout . Well I got an earful in the car back to the hotel by the coach and then the week after we were told we were doing 5 by 800 recovery was decent we hit 2.06 , 2.04 , 2.02 , 1.59 and 1.56 . I got sick everywhere after and never spoke to ESPN again . What’s your favourite race / athletics meet?

Over the barriers with Arkansas

My favourite race was the Stanford invitational in California no wind Palm trees everywhere and fast races . My favourite athletics meet is the Clonliffe club championship’s back in the day we had some fun during it with Joe’s favourite faithless song on repeat .

What is your most cherished or proudest moment in athletics? (as athlete and/or coach) My most cherished moments were always with the harriers I remember I had been out with sickness for a year and hadn’t raced at all I had just joined Mammoth track club and come back from altitude there to the national Xc ended up coming 7th overall after tearing off like a man possessed the first lap. ( I remember Noel looking at me the first lap thinking “Jesus this fella has lost the plot”) but we ended up beating Raheny by 1 point and Gladys had to drive down to drag Joe out of the Clonliffe bar at the early hours of the Morning .

What was your worst injury – and how did you get over it? My worst injury was a few months ago I tore my quad in the Dublin half in September and only got in diagnosed in January luckily enough it has recovered fully and I’m training away .

Flynner with clubmate Stephen Scullion Dublin 2019

(For a coach or seasoned athlete) What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete? My advice would be enjoy the process ! As long as you put the head down listen to your coaches and try be the best athlete and version of yourself the results will come . I think the most important thing is to be positive and influence your team mates around you, believe in each other and when you do that you’re willing to fight that much bit more come race day.

Do you have any memorable or funny story from Clonliffe Harriers that you could share? (the censorship board may review!) I only think about now so many years after it’s okay to tell this story as the coaches might still be traumatized. We were all on a Clonliffe junior warm weather camp in Monte Gordo training . A fairly big group of boys and girls went out (you all know who you are ) . There was a Irish bar at the end of the strip which we used to take over and play pool (I still think to this day it closed down because of us ) For some reason that night the locals wanted to kill us so most of us ended up going back to the hotel in a big police van . Next thing is we are all back in the hotel and someone ALLEGEDLY took off the fire extinguisher and chased their fellow Clonliffe team mates around the corridors spraying foam and shouting qoutes from the Movie Borat . We all ended up evacuating the hotel as the alarm went off and we were on similar lockdown rules to where we are now .

What’s your favourite meal? A. For competition B. Outside competition For Competition aload of pasta Outside of Competition : Domino’s pizza

Who is your sporting ‘hero’? (athletics or other) A. Irish B. International I don’t really have a sporting Hero but I really admired Ezekiel Kemboi I just thought for his size in an event like the steeple he was tough as nails and had a ridiculous finish . In Ireland Darren McBrearty would the closest thing to my sporting hero .

What’s your favourite…? A. Film B. Song or Album C. Book My favourite movie is called Hidalgo very inspirational a must watch . My favourite song and most Clonliffe that have been away with me would know is (We speak no Americano) My Favourite book is Deena Kastors book really good for any athlete of any sport .

What’s your favourite holiday destination? I’ve never really been on many holidays but I suppose Monte Gordo was the closest one .

What’s your favourite hobby / activity outside athletics? I enjoy watching following and watching Horse racing

If you were Seb Coe what changes would you implement to improve our sport? I think putting the distance events back into the Diamond league is a must especially the steeples both men and women and improving sponsorship in the sport for each individual country that everyone gets the opportunity of help .

How would your non-athlete friends describe you? (in 3 words) Out of control

What is your next running / athletics goal? (whenever normality returns!) The World half marathon championships in October. Hopefully the European championships and the Dublin marathon .

How are you motivating yourself to continue training at these difficult times? A lot of people are out running so I’ve plenty of targets to chase down during my runs everyday is like a session.

Rock ‘n’Roll Half win