Q1. When and why did you first take up running?
After my sister, Joanne had her second baby, she decided she wanted to get fit and do C25K…..and of course I got dragged into it too!! We could barely run for a minute when we first started. After a few weeks we ended up doing our own thing as it was difficult finding a day/time that suited us both. I then ditched the C25K app and started going to Sandyknowes Park by myself and walked a lap then ran a lap, gradually reducing my walking time. I still remember the first time I ran 8 laps without stopping. It was snowing, my ankles were bleeding (I didn’t even have proper running socks at this stage), but I was SO happy 😄 Eventually I got the confidence to run on the road and that was it!
Q2. What running-related achievement are you most proud of and why?
It definitely has to be Belfast Half Marathon 2018. I ran with Suzanne Brennan and we were both trying to get a PB, but didn’t really know if we could do it. I’d set my watch to pace us and the whole time it kept beeping ‘ahead of pace’. We both felt great though and kept pushing each other…. we both ended up getting a massive PB and knocked a few minutes off the time we had been aiming for. We were both absolutely delighted. It was a brilliant run and I have great memories from it. Our faces in the picture/video at the finishing line says it all, we were both so happy.
Q3. What is your favourite race and why?
It would have to be Dublin Marathon, for me, the crowds made it. The encouragement from people was unbelievable and I honestly wouldn’t have finished without them!
Q4. After we get through these uncertain times, what is your next big running goal?
Unfortunately I’ve managed to hurt my foot and haven’t been able to run for about a month now, so I just want to get back to enjoying running again. No big goals planned, just can’t wait for the small things like Parkrun, Tuesday night training and seeing everyone again.
Q5. What is your favourite workout and why?
It would have to be between Tuesday night intervals and hill reps. I love that feeling of pushing yourself hard for a short amount of time. They are really tough, but I always feel like I get so much out of them, mainly exhaustion lol, but a good sense of achievement too.
Q6. What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you while running?
Oh flip, there’s been a few lol. I’ve had quite a few falls, but my most embarrassing was probably when I fell face first on the Ballyclare Road. A nice man and woman stopped to check I was ok, but I was completely mortified.
Q7. When and why did you join Mallusk Harriers?
I joined the Harriers in November 16. After I had gotten myself out of Sandyknowes Park and onto the roads, my friend Alastair joined me and we ran together every Tuesday night. Then Joanne joined us and we became the ‘Tuesday Night Runners’ lol 😂
We then started going to Parkrun and discovered the Harriers. Joanne got speaking to Noel and he encouraged her to come to Tuesday night training. At that time I really didn’t want to be in a running club, I thought it would only be for super fast runners, so Joanne and Alastair ditched me, went to a few Tuesday night sessions and raved about them. I then decided to give it a go and really enjoyed it. Everyone was really friendly and encouraging and that’s when I became a Harrier!
Q8. What have you learned most about yourself since you started running?
That I’m stronger than I thought! I remember during my training for Connemara there was a Saturday we had to run the marathon distance. I was in a bit of a rubbish place at the time and it took me until after 12pm to get myself to the pitches to start my run. I sat in my car at the pitches for about half an hour and just thought, I can’t do this. I then drove home, sat in my house for another 30 mins or so and then said to myself, you have to do this. I then drove back to the pitches sat in my car for ages again and then forced myself to get out and run 26 miles. I was by myself, it was freezing and it was tough, but I did it! For me that was one of my strongest moments.
Q9. Outside of running, what is your favourite activity or hobby?
Apart from drinking prosecco…. Lol I enjoy walking and reading. I love pottering around my garden too.
Q10. Name one club member that inspires you and why?
Oh this is so tough, I could list so many people! I’m going to say Lee O’Boyle. His commitment, discipline and dedication to training is unbelievable. I wish I could be more like him!