Valerie (#101) competing in the Dublin Intermediate Cross Country Championships 2015 in Tymon Park
What sports did you play in school and college?
Like most children growing up I was involved in a lot of sports. I used to do a lot of swimming, played basketball with the school teams, played Gaelic football with the local club, school and County. When I started secondary school I joined Carrick on Shannon Athletic Club.
When and why did you choose athletics as your sport?
I always enjoyed running from an early age and I was influenced by watching athletes such as Sonia O’Sullivan, Catriona McKiernan, Paula Radcliffe and Dame Kelly Holmes competing. The friendly atmosphere within Carrick AC and in particular Coach John Connolly made committing to athletics an easy decision for me.
What does a typical week consist of?
A typical week for me would consist of an hour’s run on the Curragh Plains, County Kildare most mornings before work along with 2-3 clubs sessions on a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I would normally finish the week with a long run on a Sunday.
What's your strongest distance/race?
10km – Road.
How has being a member of Rathfarnham AC added to your experience of the sport?
Since joining Rathfarnham AC in late 2011 I have had the opportunity to meet and train with likeminded people and take part in races I wouldn’t have otherwise entered.
What are your most satisfying achievements in athletics and life?
Winning the Schools Connaught Cross Country and team silver at the Community Games in Mosney was an extremely proud moment as a child; also winning the annual Defence Forces 10k Road Race on consecutive years (2012 & 2013) was a standout achievement.
What advice would you give to other busy individuals trying to balance their career, personal life and training schedules?
It always helps to plan your weeks training in advance and try to find the gaps in your schedule. The most important thing is to enjoy what you do as this makes it easier to find the time.
Who inspires you in life and sport?
I find myself inspired by those around me as there as several fantastic athletes in Rathfarnham AC at every age category and discipline.
If time, talent and money were no obstacle, what event or adventure would you most like to take part in?
Rio 2016 Heptathlon
What are your goals for 2016?
As Ladies Captain I would like see as many ladies as possible compete and medal in Championship Races in 2016.