Martin O Leary’s blog: Running is not always about the runners

Eagle AC members

My club, Eagle AC, has a weekly email newsletter that is sent out to all its members. It’s a vital tool that keeps people informed about race results, club activities, club runs etc. For the past seven years Karen Bevan and Ruairi Egan have held the responsibility for the email , before that, Elaine Guinane was the one at the keyboard. These are people who give tirelessly to the club in various roles and we as club members are indebted to them. There are many others behind the scenes who are essential to the smooth organisation of my club. Indeed, I am sure it’s the same in every athletics club around the country. People double and triple jobbing to ensure that things get done. I’ve recently taken over the job of sending out the weekly email. And in doing so I’ve started to see the great work being done in my club.


One group of people that I’d like to talk about is photographers. No matter what race we go to, we see various photographers out on the course behind the lense. It may be with a camera or a phone, but they will be there. Sometimes in plane sight or sometimes in various different obscure locations and poses looking for the perfect picture. You all know who these people are, Tom Riordan (The Snapper!) Georoid O Laoi and John Quigley are some that we regularly see around the Cork racing circuit. There are probably others that I have forgotten. All put in huge effort in capturing us on race days. In Eagle, we are lucky to have four talented individuals who you will always see at races. The four men in question are Mick Dooley, Joe Murphy, Derek Costello and our friend Graham Meikle.  Between the four of them I don’t think they miss a race in Cork. These guys give up their time to give us the images of ourselves and other race goers that we all love to see. I am sure that I am not the only one who goes on line after a race and scrolls through all the pictures the guys put up. But I think It’s not just a photo, it’s all about capturing a moment. Moments on our own or with club mates,  moments of pain and moments of pure bliss, in rain and in sunshine, and in despair and in triumph. Each of these moments are lovely to have and are a little bit of our own running history. To those who capture those moments and share them with us all, thank you.

Some of Graham’s best work,

Training wise I’ve been far from picture perfect. I’ve had to cut a few runs short due to dizziness issues. Confidence levels are low as I’ve felt very uncomfortable and unsure out running. The thoughts of another onset of vertigo are on my mind and I’m finding it difficult to snap out of it. It’s a little bit of trial and error at the moment as I try to navigate through things. I’ve taken a break from Strava also as I was getting a little too caught up on it, comparing myself to others and questioning where I should be fitness wise. I’ll return in the future for sure. Don’t get me wrong, I love Strava and it’s a wonderfully positive community. I’m just not in the right headspace at the moment to connect with people there.

Martin and Sinead Power

The 10 mile season is upon us, unfortunately I was unavailable for  Mallow, but it’s one of most popular races on the calendar for a reason. I’m sure it was a great day out. The hills of Cobh will be my next race, which will be a great test. I’m also looking forward to running my first Ballintotis race. This race always signifies the start of the evening races and the start of summer. Cobh and Ballintotis are two great races in East Cork continuing on the long and strong race tradition in the area. Plenty to look forward to in the coming weeks.


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