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Irish Runner introduces you to the Get Ireland Running ambassadors who are determined to get you up, out and active

Mary Walsh

Aged 45. I am a restauranteur and runner.

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How and why did you get into running?
My brother introduced me to my local athletics club when I expressed an interest in running a marathon after having my kids. I fell in love with it and have been running ever since.

How often do you run?
I run five to six times per week. I started running for the health benefits, but it quickly became the hobby I love, so I like to get out as often as I can. I don’t worry too much if I miss a few days. Some of the runs would be short, but I still feel the benefits when I’m done.

Where’s your favourite running spot?
Along Clontarf seafront or in my hometown of Waterford on the rolling hills of Passage East.
What keeps you motivated? Running goals or targets, may it be a marathon or trying for a personal best in my local parkrun.

What’s your favourite post-run treat?
I love a coffee and gluten-free flapjack.
What can you not run without? I was told when I started on my running journey to make sure to invest in a good pair of running shoes and they weren’t wrong. I currently run in Brooks Ghost 11 and can’t be without out them!

What advice can you offer someone just starting out?
Just lace up your shoes, go out the door run to the corner at first then a little bit further every time. Don’t put off a run because of weather or not feeling bothered – you will never regret a run once it is over. Always stretch after your run, no matter how long or short it may be.


Adrienne Atkins

Aged 53. Mom of three and special needs assistant.

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How and why did you get into running?
I ran as a child, got into coaching in my children’s athletics club and then decided to join them!

How often do you run?
I run five times a week. The beauty of running is that it’s outside your doorstep, so you don’t need much time in the day to pop out for a quick jog. I love nothing better than meeting up with a few friends and heading out for an evening jog.

Where’s your favourite running spot?
My favourite place to run is along the seafront or our local St Anne’s park.

What keeps you motivated?
Trying new distances and competing in master’s events. There’s a level for everyone and surrounding yourself in a supportive club environment will keep you motivated to achieve whatever your own running goal might be.

What’s your favourite post-run treat?
Coffee and a scone, especially after parkrun on a Saturday morning.

What can you not run without?
I can’t run without my super group of running buddies!

What advice can you offer someone just starting out?
Try to join a running club as it’s so much easier to run with someone. You get great advice and coaching. I didn’t get into running again until I was 51, so you can start at any age! Your local parkrun is another option, great support and you can improve your running very quickly.


Anthony Walsh

I am a running addict who took to the sport on the back of finishing up my GAA career!

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How and why did you get into running?
I finished playing GAA and decided I needed a new way to stay fit and healthy. The simplicity and accessibility of running made it the ideal fit for my lifestyle. It also allows me to continue to take part in sport competitively but at my own level.

How often do you run?
I started off just doing a couple of days a week but now I’m lucky enough to get out five days. It is something I really enjoy and it just becomes a habit over time.

Where’s your favourite running spot?
There are so many different routes and trails available to us as runner but my local park is somewhere that I never get tired of!

What keeps you motivated?
All the good people I train with in the club.

What’s your favourite post-run treat?
Pizza!

What can you not run without?
Comfortable running gear! You’ll find what suits you best as you go along. It’s very much trial and error. I find Brooks and Asics clothing suit me in that the fabric tends to be a bit more breathable and softer on the skin.

What advice can you offer someone just starting out?
Start slow take it day by day building up the pace and distance. There’s nothing wrong with starting out with a walk – jog, we all started somewhere. Most importunately enjoy it!


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