Great to have such interest in this series. This morning we introduce the first of our women’s senior team, an athlete who has come right through the ranks and has done some coaching and mentoring of young Clonliffe athletes into the bargain.
Bio: I’m Laura, I am 23 years old and I am in year two of three in a laboratory analyst apprenticeship in SK Biotek Swords.
What age did you take up the sport of athletics and why? Both of my parents ran so I had no choice, I was brought up to Gladys’ group when I was 8 years old.
When and why did you join Clonliffe Harriers? I was born into Clonliffe Harriers! Its my second family
What is your favourite training workout? My favourite workout is 400’s on track or any session on the wall garden loop.
And your least favourite? 800/1k intervals
What’s your favourite race / athletics meet? Has to be Morton Games! I love helping out and getting to meet the international athletes.
What is your most cherished or proudest moment in athletics? (as athlete and/or coach) I took a year long break from running in 2018. I went from watching the National Senior cross country championship from the side-lines, to running my first National seniors XC in 2019.
What was your worst injury – and how did you get over it? I’ve thankfully never had a long-term injury. I sometimes suffer with shin pain, once I feel any pain I rest for a couple of days, ice my shin and stretch! I have found great stretching & yoga videos on YouTube which I do weekly.
(For a coach or seasoned athlete) What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete? Running between sessions is so important. Only doing 2/3 sessions a week is not good enough. Make sure you are enjoying it and having fun otherwise it’s not worth the pain!
Do you have any memorable or funny story from Clonliffe Harriers that you could share? (the censorship board may review!) I will never forget the time Joe Copper with two suitcases in hand walking to the bus on our way home from a cross country race in Brussels. With the bus in sight he reached the top of the muckiest hill on the course, took one step and slipped the whole down way on his backside. I have never seen Mick Fogarty laugh so hard.
What’s your favourite meal? A. For competition B. Outside competition A) Pasta Bolognese B) Pizza and a chocolate brownie
Who is your sporting ‘hero’? (athletics or other) A. Irish B. International A) Ciara Mageean B) Allyson Felix & Kipchoge
What’s your favourite…? A. Film B. Song or Album C. Book A) Interstellar- I love space films B) The Weekend’s new album- after hours. I have it on repeat! C) The Outsiders by S.E Hinton
What’s your favourite holiday destination? Spain for a chill beach holiday or Austria to ski.
What’s your favourite hobby / activity outside athletics? I love socialising over a nice cup of coffee. I also like to read and sew.
If you were Seb Coe what changes would you implement to improve our sport? More publicity and TV time. Pay a monthly wage to our top & upcoming national athletes so they can become full time athletes. Add cross country to the Olympics.
How would your non-athlete friends describe you? (in 3 words) Athletic, determined and kind-hearted.
What is your next running / athletics goal? (whenever normality returns!) I want to make a national senior final on the track & get new PB’s!
How are you motivating yourself to continue training at these difficult times? I have worked so hard to get to the level of fitness I have now. The fear of losing it and starting from scratch is enough to motivate me to keeping running.