No.44 :60 Seconds with Harrier Emma Cooper

Now the first of the Coopers to step forward for 60 seconds, possibly 60 seconds is not enough time for the rest of them! So just like George Harrison was the quiet Beatle, Emma is the quite Cooper.

Bio: 43 ( I know I look much younger!! ) from Santry, married  with  3 kids,  working as Occupational Therapist/Team Coordinator

When did you take up athletics? I took up athletics when I was 8/9 years old??followed my older brother down to Greenfield AC in Albert College Park to train with Mr Des Holmes ( absolute gentleman) on a 300m grass track . Loved it from the get go

When did you join Clonliffe Harriers? I joined Clonliffe ( before Joe might I add!!) when Green Field AC amalgamated with Clonliffe – think I may have been 14/15?? 

What’s your favourite training workout? when I was younger we used to  a session called The Rise/Rises  which is a road off Griffith Ave  which we would tear up it  and jog back  to the start .. repeat 6/8 times. I also like track sessions  when I’m  niggle/ache free-  which is rare these days

And your least favouite session? Not a great fan of long reps e.g.  miles on grass   – but needs  must I suppose and great feeling of accomplishment when  its done.

What’s your favourite race? love watching  any of the Nationals Competitions (track and field /  cross country /road  relays)

What’s your most cherished moment in athletics? I am really proud of the fact that I am running /competing /enjoying my athletics after all these years . I am also proud of my 5km PB on the road  (17.36min).  From a team perspective,  coming 3rd in National Cross country   in  2013 was great. I was well down the field  but I had a good run.  it was great to be on the scoring team, particularly  as I am not keen on x/c

2013 National XC Bronze: Emma, Eleanor, Ailish, Sarah & Fionnula
Emma battles away in Nationals 2013

What’s the worst injury you’ve had and how did you get over it? Pregnancy (am I allowed say that!!) oh to be a man!!! (We can skip the second part of that question so!) Other than 3 of those,  I had small tear in the meniscus in my right knee which required surgery but came back from that after couple months. Lots of niggles these days (don’t say old age!!)  which can make training consistently a little challenging.

What piece of advice would you give to a young up and coming athlete?  Train consistently  and  smart , increase your training load gradually. It is great to be involved in the sport as you get older so don’t overdo it too young, listen to your body and your coach. Athletics can be a lonely sport  so try  get into  a group/be part of your club. Clonliffe makes it more fun . Also, everyone cannot be a winner or go to Olympics.  Being part of team and trying your best  is just as important. Set your own realistic goals, try achieve those and then aim higher.

Any funny Clonliffe memories or story you’d like to share?: in  recent years the  post cake race celebrations  have been great craic. Particularly remember the conga around Clonliffe bar .

What’s your favourite meal pre-race? usually have pasta/rice  nothing specific. Gladys does a mean lasagne  (haven’t tasted better).

Who’s your sporting hero?  A Irish: Finnuala McCormack  /Katie Taylor  – great role models. B  International: I really admire Laura Muir for her sheer guts.

You’re favourites? Film: Cinema Paradiso   Book: Lovely Bones   Song /Album : Big Damien Dempsey Fan – Canadian Geese..

And your favourite holiday destination? Vancouver  or Melbourne   – both great cities.

Hobby outside athletics? socialising/ a good boogie .. Netflix is that  considered a hobby!!??

If you were Seb Coe what would you do to improve our sport? Tougher  on drug cheats with longer bans . Increase profile of athletes  so the public get to know  their stories.

How would friends describe you? great at sleeping , energetic, good fun, irreverent

When it all gets back to normal what are your athletics goals? To get back training consistently and eating less chocolate !!  Hopefully  try  to run a strong  10km/5km .

How are you staying motivated to continue training during these lockdown days? I am finding it hard to get any quality sessions/runs  done, but using time to do loads of strength and conditioning  stuff  which hopefully  will set me up well for when back to harder sessions/more running.

Emma chased by Clodagh Galvin in 2019 National XC
Emma, Maura, Ailish, Clodagh, Alannah & Laura Dublin xc, Santry 2019