Name: Gary Wilmott
Years Involved in Athletics:
20 years (took a 10 year break)
Any other sports played: Tag rugby and soccer.
1. What is your earliest running memory? At the age of 7, I was running in the Limerick Community Games Semi Final. Coming towards the finish line, I thought I had it won so slowed down to conserve my energy and ended up coming second. One of my most vivid memories is of my coach giving me some “constructive criticism” on not slowing down until after the finish line. A valuable lesson I’ve never forgotten.
2. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Seeing the children I have helped coach in the club over the past few years’ progress and become strong athletes with a love of running has inspired me to keep running. Being able to pass my passion for running on to younger athletes is extremely inspiring and has been one of the highlights of my years with West Limerick.
3. What do you consider your biggest accomplishment in athletics ?
It would be a throw up between winning a Gold Medal in the Community Games Cross Country in Mosney and running my first marathon in 2010. The Gold medal was a huge moment for me as a child, and now being so heavily involved in Community Games, it means even more. When I ran my first marathon, it was solely to tick it off the bucket list. I had never planned to get back into running or for it to become such a big part of my life again but look at me now.
4. What do you currently do in your training that are keys to your success?
Having the ability to stick to targets/ training plans – creating the proper balance between not pushing too hard on easy training days and giving my all at speed trainings.
5. How many miles on average did you run per week? 40 miles approx.
6. Do you prefer road racing, track or cross country? As a juvenile I preferred track sprints and didn’t like any long distance. However, now I prefer road racing.
7. Favourite race distance? Even though I haven’t done a huge amount of them, I like half marathons.
8. Favourite race location/ race event to take part in?
The Waterford half marathon is a great race.
9. What is your diet like?
Leaves a lot to be desired!! Trying to improve.
10. Who is your training partner or do you train solo?
I’ve recently moved away so I currently do most of my training on my own, but I do miss speed training in the Demesne and group long runs on a Saturday morning with the lads.
11. What is the best advice that you were given? Apart from the lecture I got when I was 7!! Never give up, you can always go further and faster than you think.
12. Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?
Work hard at whatever you choose to do, you get out of it what you put into it.
13. If you could run with any person, past or present, who would it be?
14. Anything else you’d like to share?
Taking Ger Guina’s advise to get back running and joining West Limerick AC was the best decision I’ve made.