Running Highs & Lows of 2014

We always hear about the runners’ high but running is also a bit of a ‘roller coaster’ with highs and lows and most often there are long periods of lows which we feel will never end.

The New Year is often a time for reflection. 2014 has been one of my most successful years, I made it to my first major Championships, competed at the European Team Championships for Ireland and set a Northern Ireland Record (making it a career half dozen), but it was a road that included many bumps along the way, tears and disappointments but a determination to keep on going and keep on believing.

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Commonwealth Games Experience

So I finally made my first major Championship this year after approx 10 years of hard graft and heartache along the way. I know I don’t have another Champs to compare it too but I must say that Glasgow and Scotland really did themselves proud and it was an amazing Games.


The Athletes village was set up really well, the 24-hour canteen had a lovely selection of food and deserts, we had a salon, merchandise shop, recreational rooms with games consoles, coffee bars and chill-out areas, a gym which included ice baths and our favourite, I think, was the BBQ area were we could get yummy food and amazing freshly made smoothies. The village streets were made up of rows of houses for each country, the rooms were cosy and we had a wee living room with a tele where we could keep track of our team mates as they competed in the different arenas throughout Glasgow. My preparation into the race all went well, but it was always going to be very hard to maintain peak form into the major race after working so hard. My racing season had begun in California nearly 17 weeks earlier – I had needed to make the qualifying standard. The atmosphere in the stadium was crazy, I had never heard noise like it. My family and coaches were in the crowd on the back straight and I was able to give them a wave which settled me seeing familiar faces before the gun went.

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XX Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014

The Commonwealth Games are finally here, the build up has been exciting and preparation has gone really well.

My last race before the Games was last weekend at the National Championships in Santry. I dropped down distance to the 1500m to get some race speed into my legs. We had heats Saturday evening and all went well as I qualified through to Sunday’s final. I was very pleased to come away from Nationals with a bronze especially after running a 2:12 last 800m when my pb for 800 is 2:09 and great to know I had that turn of speed towards the end of a race. It was also great to see Ciara Mageean back racing on the track.

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At the end of the summer 2010 I was in bits when I didn’t make the team for the Commonwealth Games in India; four years on and it was starting to look like that might happen again. 2013 had been a bumpy year with a run of unlucky injuries and it was all down to an early track season for me to bag the qualifying time for Glasgow.


Leaving after more than 8 weeks in the US I must admit I felt a little deflated. I had been on a high after running 10:00 in Mt Sac and was looking forward to a faster race in Stanford. In the later stages of the race I didn’t feel myself and with two laps to go the lactic hit my legs pretty badly leaving me feeling like jelly. Crossing the line in 10:10 is not what I wanted to see. The journey home feels so long at times like these & there’s too much time to start over thinking things rather than just parking it and moving on.

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US Training & Travels, Part 2: Goodbye Albuquerque, Thank you Judy xxx

I can’t believe how fast the past 5 weeks have flown by in Albuquerque. I really do feel at home here & once again I have enjoyed training on the Rio Grand trails & doing sessions at Academy & UMN track.


After a winter of injury I packed a lot into my first 3 weeks here and with only a few track sessions under my belt I felt that my first steeplechase race in Stanford went well. In the early laps there was a lot of barging and pushing and clashes of legs and spikes which I had not been used to in a while, but I felt strong throughout and just lacked that race speed which will come over the next few weeks.

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US Training & Travels; Part 1: Albuquerque

I am currently out at Altitude in Albuquerque New Mexico with my friend and fellow steeplechaser, Sarah Benson from Scotland. My steeplechase coach Geoff Watkin has also flown out for support along with his wife Karen who is a massage therapist, so we are well looked after.


The first two weeks have flown in and we have packed so much into our training and adventures.

I am staying with the lovely Judy Anderson again at the foot of the Sandia Mountains and it’s feels like I never left the place two years ago. Judy’s place is so relaxing with magnificent views and fab food too. Judy is a goddess in the kitchen and always has a treat for us after the long run or track sessions. We have been arriving home to the sweet smell of home made waffles and also Judy’s specialty Migas which is an Albuquerque Pro’s secret recipe.

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Winter 2013 Font Romeu

So after the wobbly steeplechase barrier accident in June my 2013 track season didn’t go as planned. The impact to my leg took more out of me than we initially thought and I was unable to get the best out of myself. It was nearly three weeks before I was back in full training and a blood test in July showed most key indicators significantly lower than May levels.

On a brighter note I still managed a UK Women’s League Record over the 2k Chase (at Sport City in Manchester), a Northern Ireland title over 1500m and finished the season off with a 3k Chase Title at the UK Inter-Counties.

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Kerry N.Ire Champs 2013

1500m Champion in 15 000 000 raindrops. The weather hasn’t been too kind to us yet this track season, the wind and rain seem to be following me about.

Great to compete for the first time on the new Mary Peters Track, a fast track in beautiful surroundings, even though it poured for our race 🙂

European Team Cup Selection

Delighted & excited to get the call up to compete this weekend at the European Cup Team  Championship in Dublin over 5000m, but at the same time gutted that Fionnuala Britton has had to withdraw. Get well soon Finn & I hope to do you and team Ireland proud.

International Athlete