No. 43: 60 Seconds with Harrier Hoss

A great asset to Clonliffe, a young man who has already made an enormous contribution to the club, he is an 800 man (specializing in the opening 600!), cross country athlete and a race walker, who has gathered in several senior national team gold medals as a vital member of the track & field team, it’s Greg “The Hoss” Hossenny.

Bio: I’m Gregory but most people know me as Greg or “The Hoss”. I’m 21 and currently studying French and Politics in DCU. Originally from Mauritius and I’ve been living in Dublin since I was 10.

What age did you take up the sport of athletics and why?- My older brother is a sprinter, so when I was like 7 or 8 I did a few sprint races in Mauritius but I consider myself starting athletics in St. Aidan’s in 2011. There wasn’t a football team in Aidan’s then, I gave the running team a go and just made the first year team by 4 places.

The Young Hoss, Leinster Schools XC, 2012

When and why did you join Clonliffe Harriers?- I joined Clonliffe in January 2012. Alan O’Neill brought a few of the Aidan’s lads up after the DCU Invitational for anyone who wanted to join a club. Clonliffe is only down the road from me so it was an easy choice to join the Harriers.

What is your favourite training workout?- 10×400 @ 61-63 w/75 secs recovery. We usually do that session around two weeks before a race to see what shape we are in and what time we should be running for the race. I also like the hill session in Howth, a serious grind with the lads.

And your least favourite?- Most sessions are an absolute grind but there are two; a long tempo or a speed session on the track.

What’s your favourite race / athletics meet?- Easy answer would be the Morton Games but I like the school cross country races, especially the Leinster Schools, it brings back the memories of when I first started running in Aidan’s.

What is your most cherished or proudest moment in athletics? (as athlete and/or coach)- On an individual point, the first time I ran under 4 minutes in 2018. I didn’t consider myself to be a great athlete, quite mediocre at times, and I surprised myself on how well I was training and that was the day that my coach, Peter McDermott, told me I have good potential when I put my mind to it. Team wise; our first senior schools XC title in Clongowes, 2015.

Greg under the watchful eye of coach Peter McDermott

What was your worst injury – and how did you get over it?- I’ve been lucky enough with injuries, I’ve had a niggle in my right foot and missed 6 weeks of running.

(For a coach or seasoned athlete) What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete?- Try to enjoy it, it’s a demanding sport and if you can’t, take a few weeks off and return to it later. I felt like I wasn’t enjoying it as much this year and that’s what I did, took a few weeks off and now I enjoy the grind again.

Do you have any memorable or funny story from Clonliffe Harriers that you could share? (the censorship board may review!)- Too many stories to tell but any mischief myself, Carrigg and Shaneee were part of when we first joined. Once we were on a road run and Carrigg pushed me into a bush at the Crowne Plaza and Fogo nearly roundhouse kicked Carrigg.

What’s your favourite meal? For competition- Rice or pasta with a protein side. Outside competition- Anything that i can get my hands onto. O’Leary and I usually have pizza and ice cream in the Clonliffe bar after a race with Fogo and Cooper.

Who is your sporting ‘hero’? (athletics or other) Irish- Alan O’Neill, he got me into the sport and I owe everything to him. He’s like big brother and friend to me first before a teacher or running coach. International- Thierry Henry. Sorry Karl Nolan, I know you’re still upset about the handball but as an Arsenal fan you know how good he was.

Brothers in Arms: Alan O’Neill and the Hoss

What’s your favourite…? Film- I don’t have one but my favourite French movie is Les Intouchables. Song or Album- For a run; Oasis- Definitely Maybe or LINKIN Park- Meteora. To chill out, any Kanye West album Book- Barack Obama- Dreams from my Father

What’s your favourite holiday destination? – Going back home to see the family in Mauritius is always good and the Euro trips with Carrigg in January after college exams.

What’s your favourite hobby / activity outside athletics?- I play the trumpet and learning the piano by myself so that keeps me busy when I’m not running or working.

If you were Seb Coe what changes would you implement to improve our sport?- Drug taking is the biggest issue and apart from that most of it is okay. He should keep the distance races in the Diamond League.

How would your non-athlete friends describe you? (in 3 words) – Has Malteser Head

What is your next running / athletics goal? (whenever normality returns!)- Get back to training properly again and being around the lads in Clonliffe. My next goal would be to run sub 3:55 for 1500m. Peter said I should’ve ran under 3:55 last season and I’m a bit behind so that should be my next goal.

How are you motivating yourself to continue training at these difficult times?- It’s tough to keep motivated. Since there’s no college, I’ve had a backlog of assignments and I’ve been working non-stop in the shop since the lockdown started, sometimes 6 days a week. I get out for a run when I can, I want to love running again and not just do it since there’s free time. Running is a passion but not my entire life, but I cannot wait when everything is back to normal again I enjoy the grind again.

Clonliffe club bar: Nil desperandum!