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By Joanne Murphy

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Mick Clohisey is a household name in sport in Ireland, especially in running circles and in more recent times in marathon running circles. The Raheny Shamrocks Olympian has represented Ireland on the International stage for many years including representing Ireland at major cross country championships 14 times. His best international performance saw him finish 22nd in The 2017 World Championships in London. Taking up running at a young age he has never strayed too far from lacing up his spikes and his runners despite a break away from the sport in his mid 20’s.

A two time National Marathon Champion, taking the 2018 title at the Dublin Marathon and the 2021 title at the Belfast Marathon, whilst also winning this race outright, he is no stranger to being crowned a National Champion.  He has 11 national titles to his name, the most recent of these, his second at the 10k distance at the Great Ireland Run in March 2022.

Hampered by a niggling injury over the past few years, the pandemic brought about an opportunity for Mick to step back and take time out to get the strains and at the time an unknown stress fracture healed. He is now getting back into his stride and is on track to being back at full tilt in time for this year’s Dublin Marathon in October where he will aim to defend his National Marathon Championship title and go faster than his marathon PB of  2:13:19 set in Dublin in 2019.

With a young son at home and new arrival due in July, Mick loves spending time outdoors with his family, with his running clients for whom he is a coach, or with his club mates on a run, or more likely competing against them in a race.  The key to his success? Consistency in training, getting the balance right in terms of training, racing, lifestyle and having fun. Mick alongside his coach Dick Hooper work in partnership to deliver the results we consistently see Mick achieve and although not every race has gone his way, when Mick Clohisey is on the start line of  a race you know you are going to see some superb running and a great result.

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Oliver Harkin of Primed Coaching is a keen age group triathlete who races at all distances of the sport of triathlon from sprint to IRONMAN and everything in between. Following his passion for sport saw him change career and take a leap of faith into sport full time as a coach when he decided to ditch the 9 – 5 Monday to Friday job as  a computer programmer to dive into triathlon as a coach. His interest and background in numbers still to the forefront as he delved into this whole new world of sport and loves it.

Embracing the tri life, sport has become a huge part of his every day. He has raced nine IRONMAN events since first dipping his toes into long distance triathlon in Mallorca in 2014, his so called ‘ one and done’ plan quickly put to the back of his head after enjoying the challenge of going long.  Catching the IRONMAN bug he has gone on to race in Lanzarote, Wales, Barcelona and raced at Kona in 2017 finishing sub 10 on the Big Island. In just a few short weeks he will race in Lanzarote before heading to Kona once again to embrace the island and the 2022 World Championship event.

He has coached multiple IRONMAN finishers, World Championship qualifiers, race winners, ITU national representatives and some of the most talented age group triathletes across the country.  Dad to 4 children he juggles  daily life with his wife Roisin in Newry where is a coach and member of Newry Triathlon Club.  He is the resident coach on the Team RWB Monday night social Zwift spins where we spin away an hour on the turbo every Monday night from 7:30pm.

In this episode Oliver shares his journey in sport, his passion for chasing goals himself and supporting his athletes to do the same.  He gives us some top tips for embracing your race, from training and race day prep, to getting your fuelling right and the importance of having fun and enjoying the process of getting not only to the race start line but most importantly the finish line.

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Irish Elite Triathlete James Edgar is a 23 year old from Lisburn who last year after completing his studies in Economics and Accounting at Queen’s University in Belfast moved to Spain to throw himself into the sport of triathlon as a full time athlete. Kickstarting his 2022 season with an impressive fifth place finish at the European Triathlon Cup in Leivin last month it was one of the best results of his career to date.

The 2018 Commonwealth Games athlete has had some superb results since taking up triathlon in 2010, including being crowned the National Sprint Distance Champion in 2016 at just 17 years of age. He finished 3rd U23 male at the 2019 ETU Aquathlon European Championships finishing in 6th place overall in the ELITE men’s race on the day.

It’s not just triathlon that James has excelled, his swimming and running results are also very impressive.  From a young age he has shown great depth and power to his performance and ability in sport.  In 2020 he was both the Ulster and Northern Ireland 5k and 10k Champion, which are both impressive in their own right, however it hasn’t been plain sailing to the podium for James. Having endured no less than eight, yes eight stress fractures in his foot in recent years it is a wonder he hasn’t thrown in the towel on sport or indeed on triathlon, but he continues to remain highly motivated, committed and determined to succeed in the sport that he has in recent years fallen in love with.

We have seen some great results from James Edgar but I believe the best is yet to come and with the amount of ‘hard graft’ as he says himself, consistency in his training, his approach to life as an athlete, coupled with his can do and will do attitude, we will see his appetite for success building to deliver many more great days and results across swim, bike and run.

 

 

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Damian Browne and Fergus Farrell are two lifelong friends who plan to row the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Galway in an extreme challenge that will test their friendship, fitness, resilience and challenge them mentally physically and emotionally.

Taking on the mammoth task in May of this year they are each no stranger to uphill battles be it in sport or in life. Damian, a former guest on the podcast is an avid extreme adventurer, and explorer whose fascination with exploring the world has seen him embark on quite a few life changing adventures. Listen to his episode (No 12) on the podcast to get a glimpse into his life of adventure and ability to push his boundaries to the extreme.

Fergus has bravely fought a battle for his life after an accident in 2018 left him with a 5% chance of ever walking again, but battle he did.  He fought hard to overcome the challenges and obstacles he faced in recovery in learning to walk again. Setting small goals along the way he achieved his primary goal of being able to walk and just one year after his accident walked from Athenry in Galway to the NRH in Dublin, a journey of 206km on foot that would see him achieve a massive goal that he had set himself only weeks after his accident had left him with little hope of ever setting two feet on the ground again.

Together Damian and Fergus are a formidable force, focused and determined, they have left no stone unturned in their quest to row home from America.  With one eye on the successful crossing of the ocean the other eye is on a World Record that although hasn’t been broken for over 100 years could just be within their reach. Regardless of the record, with a little luck and some kind weather from mother nature, a successful row across the 4937.47km of the North Atlantic will see them enter the ocean rowing history books and they will be the talk of their home town of Galway for many years to come, leaving a lasting legacy for others to follow and be inspired by.

 

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Alice Sharpe and Mia Griffin are Irish professional cyclists who represent Ireland on the track and race with a Belgian based Irish Continental Team IBCT.  They have both embraced a life in cycling that has seen them excel in a sport that only a few years ago wasn’t even on their radar.

Mia, a former Kilkenny Camogie player came to cycling through the Cycling Ireland Talent Transfer programme and swapped her hurley and sliotar on the GAA pitch for a bike, fast racing, an indoor track just five years ago and has never looked back. Alice is a swimmer, turned triathlete, who took to crit racing before trying her hand at track racing. Both cyclists now race as part of the Irish Track cycling team and as part of team IBCT on both the road and the track.

Alice a former National Irish Road Champion in 2019 and Mia who won Bronze in the Individual pursuit in the U23 European Track Championships in 2020 are part of the Irish Team who claimed a bronze medal in the 4km Women’s Team Pursuit at the European Track Cycling Championships in Switzerland last year setting a new National Record in the process along with team mates Kelly Murphy and Emily Kay.

Currently based in Belgium, Mia and Alice are living, training and racing together as they pursue their passion for cycling and focus on getting to Paris in 2024. The team mates have a friendship and camaraderie that sees them encourage, inspire and support each other to be the best that they can be in sport and in life.  Watch this space! The Irish girls are powering up the pedals to go full gas pursuit of their goals and dreams.

 

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Irish Elite Triathlete Erin McConnell is a multiple National Champion and Junior triathlete of the year who has been embracing a life in sport from an early age. Swimming from the age of four, she joined the Triathlon Ireland Youth Squad at fifteen and hasn’t looked back since, racing at home and abroad with some impressive results she continues to pursue her dreams and life in sport.

In June of last year she raced in the Europe Triathlon Aquathlon Championships where she took home a bronze medal in the Elite Women’s race and a silver medal in the U23 Women’s race,  an important result for the then 20 year old Newtownards athlete who is hoping to secure a start at the Commonwealth Games later this year and has her eyes firmly set on Olympic qualification for Paris 2024.

Other impressive results include Sprint Triathlon National Champion Elite and Junior Women in 2019, she finished 3rd in the Triathlon Ireland Aquathlon National Championships in the same year.  In 2018 she took home the silver medal in the Triathlon Ireland Elite Women’s  Sprint Triathlon National Championships and claimed the bronze medal in Bucharest in the ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup.

Balancing her training, college life and working to support the pursuit  of her ambitious sporting goals is almost a full time job itself, but she has fully committed to chasing her goals and living the lifestyle to support them.  Erin Mc Connell is a dedicated and determined athlete, behind her steely determination is also a desire to have fun and enjoy the process, embracing the opportunity to follow a passion for a sport that she enjoys to the full. Watch this space, Erin, has the world at her feet and is ready to soar and fly the flag for her club and country on the International stage.

 

 

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Eoin Keith is one of Ireland’s most successful and decorated endurance runners, he recently won the Winter edition of the Montane Spine Race in the UK for the third time. The 53 year old crossed the finish line after a superb battle across the 268 mile race on the Pennine Way in a time of 92:40:30  – 3 days, 20 hours, 40.5 minutes –  No stranger to winning at this event he also holds the course record for the Summer edition of the Spine Race which is 77:34:52.

Other accolades held by Eoin include being crowned the 24 hour and six day Irish running champion.  As well as placing fifth in the World 24 Hour Running Championships, he has also finished fourth in the European Championships.  In May 2017 he set a world record by running the entire length of Ireland, 555km from Mizen Head to Malin Head, in three days, three hours and 47 minutes, taking 12 hours off the previous record held for this feat.

From mountain running to adventure racing, marathons to multi-day endurance running events, Eoin Keith has firmly placed himself as a name synonymous with success in endurance sport and a name to be reckoned with.  When you stand on the start line up against Eoin it’s not just his fitness, running and endurance ability that you are battling, you are racing against an athlete who tactically and strategically is one of the sharpest on the circuit. His mental resilience, preparation and attention to detail, coupled with his ability to suffer make him the strong and successful athlete he is today.

This is another great episode of the podcast packed full of insight with a glimpse into what it takes to go to battle on some of the toughest running races in the world and come out on top!

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On the 14th of January six Irish swimmers made history when they successfully swam from Ireland to Scotland making the North Channel Crossing in just under 13 hours. The six swimmers led by Ger Kennedy are the first team to swim the North Channel in the depths of winter making it an extreme swim in what is widely regarded as the toughest of all channel crossings.

The team of Ger Kennedy, Dave Berry, Declan Bradshaw, Vincent Donegan, Colm Morris and Niamh McCarthy share their tales from the epic expedition in this episode of the podcast.  With insights on the intensity of their training and preparation for the event as well as sharing stories from the swim and the adventure that unfolded as they made the crossing.

Starting in the dark at 06:56 on the morning of the 14th January, they made land in Scotland as the Flower of Scotland boomed from the boat after 12:51:35 of swimming. A poignant, emotional and historic moment not only for the swimmers but for their crew on board, on land, their families at home and the many supporters powering every swim stroke with their well wishes and generous donations to the Gavin Glynn Foundation who as of today have generated over €45,000 from the swim which in itself is an incredible achievement.

This episode is both insightful and entertaining, the positivity, camaraderie and can do attitude of the six swimmers, make it no surprise that they successfully crossed the North Channel in Winter,  becoming the first team ever to do so.

If you would like to donate to the Gavin Glynn Foundation in support of the channel crossing you can do so HERE

To tune into the episode with Ger Kennedy and learn more about his swimming adventures and expeditions click HERE 

 

 

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Mark Coady is a 27 year primary school teacher from Youghal in Co. Cork who took on an epic challenge on January 2nd to kick start his new Year by completing a 24 hour triathlon in support of the Irish Cancer Society.

Whilst most of the rest of us were wondering if it was still ok to eat a selection box before lunch or if it was too early in the morning at 11am to have a Baileys coffee, Mark was embarking on personal challenge to complete 3 hours of swimming, 12 hours of cycling and 9 hours of running to give him a total of 24 hours moving time in 27 hours across swim, bike and run.

Following the disappointment of the cancellation of IRONMAN Cork in 2021 due to Covid19 and on the back of a cancer diagnosis received by his dad last year,  Mark turned his disappointment of the race cancellation to dedication and spurred on by the opportunity to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society, he set about training for his biggest and most difficult endurance event to date.

A multiple Dublin Marathon finisher he stepped into the world of triathlon and long distance triathlon when the inaugural IRONMAN Ireland took place in Youghal in 2019.  Bitten by the triathlon bug he had big plans to race the event again along with his fellow tri club members at South Coast Triathlon the following year, but alas it was not meant to be.

As we all know Youghal and its people embraced IRONMAN in 2019, the spectator support at the event was incredible.  Despite the weather with athletes battling the conditions capturing the hearts of the gathered crowds, the people of Youghal provided the warmest of welcomes on a day where you would have been drier and warmer had you stood in the sea for an hour!

This New Year it was Mark Coady who captured the hearts of the local community with his 24 hour triathlon as people came out to support his efforts.  Battling horrendously wet and cold weather conditions his mind and body, although tired, were strong to the end.  Supported by a wonderful crew of family, friends, fellow tri club members and the wider community he completed his challenge with a smile on his face despite what he had just achieved.

In this episode we catch a glimpse of those 24 hours of swim, bike and run, getting the inside track on the training and preparation required to embark on the challenge with details on how the day unfolded as Mark went all in to deliver a very special day not only for himself and his family but for the people of Youghal.