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  • Writer's pictureBarra Oconnell

Eagle AC Member Profile:

Name: Ian O’Brien

Member of Eagle AC since:

Dec 2021. Siobhan Holland was on one of her recruitment drives.

How long have you been running what made you take it up:

Since 2010. Just started doing 5k’s to keep fit as I headed into my late 30’s. Never ran more than 4 miles until 2016. Favourite thing about running:

The head space when running solo, but more importantly the people when meeting up for weekend runs and races and coffee. Favourite race distance to run:

10k to 10 miles. None of the pressure of an all-out fast 5k, and not too long to get too sore. What is your main goal for this year:

I have 3 half marathons lined up for March, April and June. Got the all clear recently from my cardiologist to return to that distance following a little trip to A&E in an ambulance after my last one in 2017 (diagnosed with bicuspid valve / heart arrythmia in 2009). All good for now thankfully. Your best race/most memorable racing moment to date:

Great Manchester Run 10k last year. Huge event on an out and back course around Old Trafford & back into city centre – the elites pass by on the way back so it’s amazing to see them. I did it with my wife Siobhan last year and enjoyed it so much that around 15 of us from Eagle / Ballincollig parkrun gang are all going back this year. The Eagle Insta page will be busy that weekend.

Tell us something most people might not know about you:

I’m a third degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and still run a club with a friend twice a week, training kids from aged 7 up to 60. Hence I can’t do Eagle track sessions on a Tuesday night as it clashes. Biggest heroes (sporting or non-sporting):

Roy Keane & Aoife Cooke (she’s my coach so I have to be nice to her…) One bit of advice you would give to someone thinking of taking up running:

Get good shoes & join a group or club. The social aspect makes a huge difference to your progress. I spent years slogging away at 5k at the same speed all the time and it got very boring. The club, parkrun gang and a good coach make the world of difference to motivation, enjoyment and race times. I absolutely love my running these days…much to the boredom of my family when I start to talk about it over diner. Again. 3 things you would take with you onto a desert island:

  1. My phone

  2. My Garmin

  3. A boat for when the battery goes on 1 & 2

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