Next up another of Pam & Ben’s group. An athlete who loves clocking up the miles and as the miles go up the times are going down. Also this athlete when she joined the club also brought along a second Harrier, daughter Cara. This is going to be a popular 60 seconds, it’s Mel “More Miles me” Curran!
Bio: Melissa Curran aka More Miles Mel Age 39
When and why did you take up athletics? Prior to joining Clonliffe, the only other time I was on the track was for primary school relays. I always made the team but with not much training, it was just a case of showing up on the day and running as fast as you could. Growing up with five brothers, they were naturally sports mad and we loved supporting two of them in their sport – boxing. The lads would compete in all sports and come home with medals and trophies. So I was always happy with my school medals. As a family we loved watching all sport on tv, but I thoroughly enjoyed athletics.
When and why did you join Clonliffe? I ran two marathons prior to joining Clonliffe in 2016. The initial intention was to get my marathon times down. Well little did I know when joining Clonliffe – a club steeped in history and home to seriously talented athletes, that it would awaken an entirely new passion for running. My daughter Cara also joined a few weeks after me and I really enjoyed attending her races and supporting the club. I have met some really great people who have now become clubmates and friends and like everything what you put in, you get back. Helping out or volunteering opens you up to meet more people outside of your training group. I have been introduced to XC through Pam and Ben’s sessions in Trinity grounds, meet and train competitions, Grand Prix and BHAA races. I found my tribe with so many clubmates interested in different distances and races. The club really becomes a second family.
What is your favourite training session? I really enjoy all the sessions but XC in Trinity tops it for me. Always good craic with the gang. It’s always funnier in sessions when Pam is extra strict and throws in an extra rep or when Ben is leading the group and delivers a whopper session and we all cry for Pam’s return. There is always a great sense of accomplishment when you complete one of Eugene’s marathon mission sessions also.
What is your most cherished moment in athletes to date? There have been many and a few that come to mind regarding Cara’s time in the club. If I answer about myself, I would say my comeback year last year. Finally, getting a new marathon PB and becoming a wiser athlete and listening to our coaches Pam and Ben’s sound advice.
As you’ve been a proud member of the “Clonliffe on tour” brigade you must have a story or two you can share? Well there was this one time in Berlin when clubmates Katie and Fergal took on a bicycle thief. They were two of the least likely to square up to someone. I suppose one worth sharing also is the time Darren and Anthony decided to get us lost in Malahide and Maurice punctually started the 5 mile, leaving us to start 8mins after everyone. The joke really was on me as I was actually the first person to arrive for the warmup. The lads like to tell everyone I’m the one with a poor sense of direction.
What are your favourites? Book: Let the mind run (Deena Kastor) and A life without limits (Chrissy Wellington)
Who is your favourite Irish athlete – Sonia O’Sullivan International athlete – Laura Muir and Deena Kastor
Outside of athletics if you’ve time what else do you do? Swimming, biking, baking, singing and taking photographs
Have you had any injuries and how did you get over them? There have been a few. Coming back after plantar fasciitis is no fun but I think I’m managing it well. I ran 3 marathons last year and am enjoying the speed work again. I like to think setbacks are an opportunity to do things differently and so I now cross train with swimming and biking. Having other disciplines is giving me the freedom to ease off if I feel a niggle whilst keeping my fitness.
Have you any goals in mind for when normality eventually returns Working on getting my 5k and 10k times down. I have a spot for Chicago marathon in October and if it goes ahead, I’ll have 3 more of the World Majors to complete. I suppose I will try the half distance in triathlon at some point too.
How are you staying motivated during these times? I’m fortunate to be able to work from home during this strange time. Work creates structure each day and I aim to run or bike most days either pre work, lunchtime or evening. I’m currently signed up to the Jog for a dog virtual 5K so I’ve been working on short sharp workouts aiming to get a new PB. Now I’ve said it here, I’m accountable!