Firstly- I am now a running coach. This is crazy but I am so delighted to be Best Athletics first female coach!
26, Music teacher, running coach and part-time runner (this takes up as many hours as the rest though, just waiting to be paid for it!)
I was never a runner, or the kid winning races at school. In fact, I did everything in my power to get out of PE, games and anything that remotely involved running. I was Music in the brain and obsessed with my cornet (I know you won’t know what that is, google it).
If you’d have told me 5 years ago I would be running 50 mile weeks with a career in run-coaching I probably would have laughed in your face, but here we are. In 2015 University performance became top priority which meant endless hours of practicing my precious cornet if I wanted to get a degree. This took its’ toll on just about everything, so I needed some sort of release or something to exhale good endorphins. Off to the gym I went. This is where it started. Signed up 30 minutes on the treadmill every day. This became, 30 minutes on the treadmill and 20 minutes rowing. Which became 30 minutes treadmill, 20 minutes rowing and a body pump class…. And so on. You get the jist.
In 2017 my best friend’s mental health really declined and she hit one of the darkest places in her life. Being a girl from the countryside (middle of nowhere) in Northern Ireland, Mental Health wasn’t even talked about so this was a mammoth situation and nothing in my power could make it any better. So as you do, lying awake at night, I signed up to run Belfast Marathon and raise money for Mind Charity. I’d never even run on the roads before. I didn’t follow a plan, I ran a bit some days, and a bit more some other days. I pretended to do long runs (probably about an hour and called it a day) next thing I know I was lined up on the start line, knees covered in KT tape holding me together. If you have ran Belfast Marathon old course, you’ll know it’s lonely. Without waffling on the details, it was the most horrific experience of my life- and obviously I vowed to never run again. There have been many years between then and now, including living in Dubai but it was the move to London that really drove this passion.
Fast forward to now and I’m enjoying running more than ever. I hunt big challenges, set huge goals and I train HARD. This is the most rewarding journey I have ever been on. I signed up to Amsterdam Marathon 2019 with a sub 4 goal. The goal changed along the way to a sub 3:45. 5 days before the event my world was shattered when my Dad suddenly passed away. I turned up to the race with no ambition, no desire and certainly no expectation of being able to race. I ran a 3:41 and I think despite possibly running faster someday, this will forever be my biggest accomplishment.
Running releases a fire inside of me unlike anything else. I turn up. I work hard, week in, week out. Are you ready to put the work in?