Name: Patricia McNamara
Years involved in Athletics: 12
Other sports participated in: In my younger days camogie and badminton. Currently I swim a 2 or 3 times a week and cycle once or twice – just for cross training, nothing too strenuous.
1. What is your earliest running memory? I recall running in our local community games some time during the early 80’s with my camogie pals – we just ran for fun – no training whatsoever. When I started running 12 years ago my first race was the Plassey 10k – I thought I’d never make it around but it set the seed and I went from there.
2. Where do you draw your inspiration from? I admire anyone who overcomes obstacles in life and gets on with things with a smile!
3. What do you consider your biggest accomplishment in athletics ? Any day I can tie up my laces, get out and come home safe again is an accomplishment! I get a huge sense of satisfaction crossing the finish line of a marathon.
4. What do you currently /did you do in your training that are/were keys to your success? Joining an athletic club and learning how to train properly was key – thanks to West Limerick AC and especially to coach Joe Chawke who is always so generous with his time and advice. Tuesday night track sessions transformed my running – had a break over last year or two but looking forward to making it back to regular track training again.
5. How many miles on average did you run per week? Approx 20 – 25 miles
6. Do you prefer road racing, track or cross country? I like cross country for not having to watch the clock but I enjoy road racing for the variety of distances and races.
7. Favourite race distance? Half marathon – long enough to be a challenge, not too fast and without the after-effects of full marathon exertions.
8. Favourite race location/ race event to take part in? For a race Dublin marathon is great – fantastic atmosphere and support all along the course. For location I love running along the coast in West Clare out by Loop Head with a dip in the sea afterwards for the perfect recovery.
9. What is/was your diet like? I don’t have a bad diet – I love fish and pasta, although I could do with stepping away from the home baking treats!
10. Who was/is your training partner or did/do you train solo? My running buddy, Niamh Yelverton, is my all-in-one training partner, agony aunt, advisor, etc. We sort the problems of the world on our runs!
11. What is the best advice that you were given? Keep your best run for race day. Noel Carroll used to say no one ever climbed Everest for practice – do it on the day.
12. Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by? Take every day as it comes – like Scarlett O’Hara says in Gone with the Wind ‘after all, tomorrow is another day’. (My favourite film of all time!!)
13. If you could run with any person, past or present, who would it be? I’d love to have met Grete Waitz – a role model for so many female runners. She excelled in the marathon.
14. Anything else you’d like to share? The people I’ve met in the last 12 years are some of the most entertaining and genuine people I now call my friends. Here’s to a few more years at least of plodding the tracks and roads with kindred spirits.