Meet our Athletes; Pat Comey

Posted by Ciaran Tobin on 12 June 2020

He turned his back on the stop sign when he retired

He is all go

Racing and coaching with over forty years of experience to draw on

He can still cut it at national masters level

Bringing on the next generation with his wisdom and good coaching advice


1.When did you start running?

I saw the first ever Dublin City Marathon in 1980. Started training on my own and loved it.


2. When did you join Trim AC ?

1981 after being approached by Willie Quinn, Chris Quinn and Kieran Allen.


3.Why do you run ?

My football career was winding down. I had become frustrated with referees and team selection.The great thing about running is that it reflects your own ability and input. It is a very fair sport which rewards people completely on merit.


4.Favourite event, race or competition (other than a Trim AC event)?

The Bob Heffernan 5km where I won the Leo McKenna Memorial for the best M55 four years in a row.The Dunshaughlin 10km which is Irelands best 10km. Both races are organized by runners who understand what makes a great race.


5.Do you listen to music, podcasts or the natural world while running ?

I never run with headphones. I think in road training they are lethal. I don’t think they should be worn in races for safety reasons and wouldn’t even jog with someone who is tuned in.


6. Favourite type of training. ?

I cannot stress enough the importance of building a good endurance base. However, my favourite session would be 400m and 800 m intervals which give me the pace to perform better when racing from 5kms upwards.


7.Who is your athletics hero ?

On a national level I admire Eamonn Coughlan, Sonia O’Sullivan and John Treacy. Outside of Ireland I think Seb Coe was a very special middle distance athlete.


8. What is your best memory from the sport ?

When I lived in Australia I was in a very competitive batch of runners which competed against each other around Victoria. I found it difficult to break into the top three of this group at middle distance track races. However at the Victoria State Championships when I was 40 years old I ran an M40 track record of 9m37m for 3km and beat those rivals !


9. What is the best race or athletics competition you ever watched but did not take part in ?

John Treacys silver medal in the LA Olympic marathon


10. What aspect of the sport gives you satisfaction ?

Outside of competing I have to say that coaching juveniles who have a commitment and passion for athletics is very satisfying. 


11. How important is group training to you ?

The training group set up is one of the best ways to bring out the best in ones training. Even the fact that people get to meet up to train has positive effects. I miss group training and have been very restricted by age limitations imposed during the lockdown. The group training mindset is a key part of Kenyan distance running. If its good enough for them isn’t that a great recommendation ? I enjoy working to bring along young talent. I have great help from Elaine McEvoy who links up with athletes and their families. She has coordinated so much activity over thepast few years and we are beginning to enjoy success. I also enjoy working along with Ciaran Tobin, another experienced club coach who shares many of my coaching beliefs. I  look forward to a great future for the young athletes to enjoy the sport.


12. Has the sport influenced life in general ?

Very big impact on my discipline, diet, sleep and has been the key to my interest in health and general fitness.


13 .What do you feel is your best sporting attribute?

The 40 years of experience which I have got from coaching and learning from other coaches and athletes.


!4. What motivates you to go training on a wet and windy day ?

I set out my plan to train and get on with it. Its too easy to look for a cop out. You can’t cop out on race day.


15. What advice would you give a new member ?

Commit yourself to a patient, gradual build up in training . Don’t rush into changes which will put your fitness and ultimately your involvement in the sport at risk. There are NO shortcuts.


Join our club

We have juvenile and adult training groups. We cover track and field, cross country, road running and trail/ mountain running. Club coaches have undertaken Athletics Ireland coaching courses and many of them bring years of experience and knowledge to share with members.

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