The first athlete to graduate from the Junior Mile at Morton Games to the Morton Mile Cathal Doyle!
Bio: I’m 22 and I am a distance runner and final year student at DCU. Sport is a big part of my life, especially athletics…probably too much at times.
What age did you take up the sport of athletics and why? I think I was about 10 when I ran my first race. I used to run all the races for my primary school and then into secondary school for another opportunity to get off school along with other sports.
When and why did you join Clonliffe Harriers? I joined Clonliffe when I was 15. I quickly realised I couldn’t really get away rocking up to races off no training. I was 32nd in a school all-Ireland and I then wanted to join the best club. My brother was also involved in Clonliffe before me.
What is your favourite training workout? 400s/300s/200s at race pace or faster
And your least favourite? Tempos around Paddys’ hill in Portmarnock
What’s your favourite race / athletics meet? Without a doubt the Morton Games. From helping years ago, to running the junior mile and recently the Morton Mile. Running in front of your club and a big crowd with world class runners makes it the best and my anticipated race every year. No better buzz than friends and teammates all shouting you on. Even better it gets better each year.
What is your most cherished or proudest moment in athletics? (as athlete and/or coach) I always remember coming 2nd in the All Ireland Schools as a junior boy and earning my first Irish vest. Having come 32nd the previous year and 4th in the Leinster’s two weeks before. At the time it was a massive run which gave me a taste for the buzz of making an Irish team. No better feeling. Also, I met Fran from the setanta tv show after my race which would later become my Irish teacher when I moved to St Aidan’s that September.
What was your worst injury – and how did you get over it? I’ve never really had any bad injuries, more so niggles from previous injuries. I have had some shin injuries that have put me out around 6 weeks years ago. Listen to the physio and rehab and cross train like a mad man. If you really want it, you’ll make the time and do it even if it tends to be long and boring. Cross training gives you a chance to work on imbalances and weaknesses making the comeback smoother and later a better runner.
(For a coach or seasoned athlete) What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete? Focus on yourself and nobody around you. Work on chipping away every year, some runners will make massive leaps and run fast as juniors, but everyone must hit every step on the ladder eventually. We all develop at different stages so hang in there and enjoy it, never let it become a chore. Joe drilled into our group years ago its all about seniors, when you become a senior you really see that. Learn how to race and don’t worry about the time. Find out what works for you to stay injury free and keep doing it. Listen to your coach, they know you could run longer or more reps but save it for races, less is more. Niggles are your body telling you to back off, err on side of caution and nip them in the bud, most of the time running won’t help so give it a chance. It’s easy to just keep running, rest takes confidence.
Do you have any memorable or funny story from Clonliffe Harriers that you could share? (the censorship board may review!) I remember Noel would presume we were all off around Santry Park getting our run in, though at the time I was one of the only boring one’s to be actually doing the run. Many especially Sean Carrigg who would use this time to do anything but that and swing over the river and even capturing someone from the group and had the poor lad in tears as he whipped him with sticks over and over again.
What’s your favourite meal? A. For competition –Spaghetti Bolognese or Chicken and Pasta B. Outside competition – Pizza
Who is your sporting ‘hero’? (athletics or other) A. Irish – Ian Guiden or Roy Keane B. International – Matthew Centrowitz
What’s your favourite…? A. Film – Happy Gilmore B. Song or Album – ABBA C. Book – The Great Gatsby
What’s your favourite holiday destination? Dubai
What’s your favourite hobby / activity outside athletics? Going out for coffee with friends If you were Seb Coe what changes would you implement to improve our sport? Create more rivalry’s like Lopez Lomong and Paul Chelimo. All meets should have loud music, the crowd as nearest to the track as possible, if not out on the track. Beer gardens and really just general entertainment, unless you love athletics, you’ll not come so events like Highgate 10k and even Morton should be copied. Not really something Seb could do but more to race organisers in general.
How would your non-athlete friends describe you? (in 3 words) Long, Lanky, Lovely
What is your next running / athletics goal? (whenever normality returns!) Sub 4 mile
How are you motivating yourself to continue training at these difficult times? I love running and slacking up good weeks so it’s nice get more weeks down and get stronger, it will pay off in the long run. Use this time to do some things you don’t do enough and work on the 1%ers. Going out running and doing sessions is the easy part, it’s the little things that keep you healthy is what should be given more time. This won’t last forever; everyone will be super fit and mad to race once racing is back so you need to ready to roll.