Olympic send off

I had a few easy days running while I travelled back from the Europeans Championships in Amsterdam, I hadn’t been home since April (now July) and I was looking forward to seeing my family and friends before packing to head to Brazil.

Richard and I and the two whippets (who had come to the Euro Champs also but stayed with a pet sitter) arrived back in Dublin and headed straight to the OCI (Olympic Council of Ireland) to collect my Olympic Irish kit. It was like Christmas had come early and it finally hit – I’m going to the Olympics! We just about managed to get the extra cases into the already overloaded car and headed for home. read more

Making the European final in my Championship debut

With 12 weeks of hard work at Altitude in the Pyrenees under my belt it was time to head to Amsterdam to meet my Irish team mates for the European Championships. I landed in Amsterdam after a quick 90 minute flight from Toulouse. It was great to see everyone again and I was excited to get a competitive race in before the Olympics in Rio.

Race day arrived for me, my first European Championships on the track and I was very nervous. On season’s bests I was ranked 28th out of the 28 girls competing. I guess I was a bit apprehensive but I tried to tell myself that my legs would be fresher than the others who had started racing in April/May. read more

Font Romeu 2006-2016

I just can’t quite believe that Ive been coming out to train in Font Romeu for the past 10 years. It seems like only yesterday that I was reading about this amazing place with its endless trails in Paula Radcliffe’s autobiography.

From that first account by Paula, I was determined that I would come out here to run on the trails myself and experience what it was like to breathe in the skinny air (or gasp for breath in my case).

Paula R

When I first came out in 2006 competing at the Olympics had not quite crossed my mind. It was something that the ‘big guns’, like Paula, did and not a little club runner like me who had effectively stopped running for 5 years while studying at university and then taken to the racing in the mountains. However, like many others I was keen to give altitude training a go and see how far my running could actually take me. Gaining international vests was the first goal, followed then by making the Commonwealths and then once I had achieved that making an Olympics was in my sight. read more

Not all Running

The life of a runner isn’t always roads, trails, sweat and tears. We often get the chance to do lots of other exciting and interesting challenges. 2016 has been jammed packed so far and I’ve met some lovely new people and hopefully encouraged and inspired people along the way.

In February I had the chance to visit the staff at Phoenix Natural Gas and challenge them all to a Park Run a month from that initial meeting with them. It was great to be able to tell people my story of where I started and how I caught the “Running Bug”. A few weeks later I was delighted to meet around 70 staff at Victoria Park in Belfast for what was the first ‘Park Run’ for many of them. It wasn’t the most pleasant of days with a few showers but I was delighted with the turn out and it was great that they had also been raising money for their charity, Energy for Children’s Trust. I was really happy to see that many of the staff had also brought their families and many kids were challenging their parents to a great battle of endurance around the course. Thank you so much to the Victoria Park Run organisers for having us and I hope to see the Phoenix Natural Gas workforce out again for the next challenge. read more


Indoor racing is always an exciting time, especially for Irish athletes, as its time to get a break from the outdoor elements and boy did we have a tough winter of wind and rain.

Coach Rodgers and I planned a short indoor season as the main focus is getting to that start line in Rio come August, and well it’s still a long way away. Three races were planned, two 3000m and one 1500m, but if I had my way it would be 1500m all the way, I just love it. But the focus this winter had been to further develop my endurance and being a bit of a lactic animal the more 1500s I do the more my anaerobic system likes to dominate and the focus is to protect and build my aerobic capacity for that last km in the steeplechase. read more

Wintered Well

2015 ended on a high, I drove back from my altitude training camp in Font Romeu and ran a strong race at the National Cross-Country champions in Santry. At one stage I was back in 16th place and was thinking ‘a top 10 today would be good as this year had one of the strongest fields in history’. My final lap was my strongest ever, the mud had sucked a lot out of some people’s legs and I could feel many coming back to me so I dug deep and was able to keep the tempo going. I was delighted to finish 4th and secure a place on the Irish team for the European Cross-Country Championships. The icing on the cake was coming home from France with the team bronze medals to top off the most successful year of my running career so far. read more

From a BumpyStart to a TrueStart

So after a bumpy (travel) start (when our car broke down in Central France and was beyond economical repair) to my altitude training camp we arrived in Font Romeu and the sun was shining, the altitude air was fresh and the forests were just as I had left them in the spring. My first run was on one of my favourite trails and Lola the Whippet remembered it well and little Ella, her new sister, was in her element scamping about through the trees.

Font Romeu is a beautiful place to visit, I just love running here, there is something about waking up to that spectacular view of the Pyrenees mountains (usually capped with white snow like a dusting of icing sugar), heading out and feeling the sunshine on your back and the smell of the pine trees wafting through the fresh thin air as you zip through the extensive trails this place has to offer. read more

Sending out an SOSrehydrate.com

So with three weeks of steady running under the belt it was time to head off to my Altitude Training spot in Font Romeu. Car packed, puppy passports in hand and my designated driver, coach Rodgers, we were ready to hit the road.

Puppy Passports
Puppy Passports

Earlier in the week SOSrehydrate.com had sent me a great supply of hydration sachets for the training camp. I was lucky enough to get in touch with SOS just before heading out to Beijing and they had supported my hydration out there. The SOSrehydrate was a very essential addition to my training and kept me hydrated well throughout in the intense heat and humidity in China. read more

Making Club History

So two weeks off running at the end of the track season was reduced to 9 days when I found out that the Northern Ireland Road Relay Championships were to be held on 3rd October. With Newcastle AC female members growing we would have enough to put out two teams and also be in with a shout of medals!


Starting back running after time off isn’t an easy thing. This is when injuries and niggles tend to happen as the body has gone into shut down mode, and when you start to spring runs on the legs again they tend to kick off with, “what on earth are we doing here, I’m still on my holidays!” read more

Chasing, Racing, Pacing

This summer’s track season is definitely one I will remember for a long time. I began it chasing the Olympic Qualifying Time of 9:45. Once I relaxed into racing mode I achieved this and slightly better by running 9:42.6 in Letterkenny in July, which qualified me for the World Championships in Beijing and next summer’s Olympic Games in Rio.


I am a born racer and really enjoyed getting back to some 1500m running especially at the European Team Championships in Crete, where I finished 3rd picking up good points for Ireland. Beijing was a fantastic experience and I have learned many things for my preparation on the Road to Rio. It gave me the opportunity to race against the best female chasers in the World, who only a few weeks later looked to me to pace them through to run one of the fastest times in history over the event. read more

International Athlete