Martin’s blog, Season 2 esp 2: Inspiration is all around

Graham, Sinead, Tamara and Martin

To anyone who went out and raced over the last weekend, I commend you. As one fellow runner put it to me on the day of the Kinsale 10 mile, it was ‘manky’. Has ever a word been so appropriate to describe the weather during the race? It was down right awful. However, that didn’t dampen the mood for the nearly one thousand runners as we descended on Kinsale Community School. I was among the brave souls that took to the start line as the heavens opened above us. The race was extremely well organised by the Riverstick Kinsale club. The amount of marshals out around the course was great to see. Running in those conditions was bad enough but it was unbelievable seeing so many out supporting.

Martin and our friend Graham


When I’m in the middle of training, I love to devour any marathon or running content I can find. That may be books, documentaries, podcasts or anything I can get my hands on. Des Lindens ‘Choosing to Run’ arrived in the post  recently and I have it lined up to read next. The Boston Marathon winner in 2018 is an incredible runner and I look forward to picking up that book. At the moment I’m coming to the end of the fascinating ‘Out Of Thin Air’ by Michael Crawley, this is the man who spent 15 months training amongst runners of all levels in Ethiopia. ‘Running is My Therapy’ by Scott Doiglas is another one of my favourite books. It’s one I go back to again and again and it’s well worth a read. ‘Running with the Kenyans’, ‘The Way of the Runner’ and ‘The Rise of the Ultra Runners’ by Adharanand Finn, are three must-reads from one of the most talented running authors around.

Alex O Shea winning in Lapland

Locally, I hope one day Alex O’Shea will write his memoirs. His latest adventure was running and WINNING! the Arctic Ice Ultra, a 230 km, 5 day event held inside the Arctic circle. This is a man who has run 32 marathons in 16 days, ran the Cork Marathon in his Fire suit whilst breaking the world record and raising money for the Guide Dogs. He has represented Ireland at international level, and has taken part in 24 hour and 100km races. There are plenty of other achievements that Alex has completed but he is an extraordinary man doing extraordinary things. His list of achievements probably wouldn’t fit in one book, he may have to release a trilogy to cover all of his achievements. I’m available for ghostwriting in case you are considering it Alex! 

Molly Seidel

Another story yet to be scripted is that of the inspiring Molly Seidel. For those who don’t know her, Molly Seidel is an American marathon and long distance runner. After a prolific college career with Notre Dame, her career was interrupted with injuries. After getting back to full fitness, she qualified for the Olympic marathon by finishing 2nd at the US Olympic Trials in Atlanta in 2020, her first time running the marathon distance. She went on to win an incredible bronze medal in Tokyo, in gruelling conditions. Her story may seem like a fairy tale, but when you dig a little deeper, you see what she has had to endure during her career and life so far. In the aftermath of her bronze medal, she suffered with her mental health and dealt with eating disorders. These are issues she has had for most of her life and is very open in talking about the issues and how it has affected her. She first came to my attention as I watched those trials. On the day she took everyone by surprise with a gritty and determined performance. She followed that with her sensational bronze medal run in Tokyo  that cemented her place as one of the worlds best. I have followed her on Strava and on social media over the last number of years, as I tracked her journey towards Paris 2024. She released a Podcast with her friend Julia Hanlon called ‘The Build Up’ in which they talk about her journey to the US Marathon Trials 2024. The podcast gives a fascinating insight into the life of an elite runner. While it also gives Molly the space to discuss the issues that she has faced down and battled over the years. A few weeks before the trials Molly got a bad knee injury and had to pull out of the race. During the final episode of the Podcast, released recently, she describes how her injury came about and the effort she put in to try and rehab it, before finally making the call to not race. She hasn’t let the disappointment of not partaking in the trials get to her, she now sees it as another opportunity to try something else.  


Her openness in talking about her mental health and wellness, her eating disorders, her successes and failures make her one of my favourite athletes around. One major piece of advice that I got from the podcast was that she now just wanted to get better each day. Such a simple message after a massive disappointment. If that message is good enough for an Olympic Bronze medalist, then it’s good enough for me. If I try and get a little bit better everyday, my fitness will come back.

There’s no quick fix, my story isn’t finished yet, I’ve a few chapters to write but there is plenty of time, it’s a marathon not a sprint.

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