Meet our Athletes; Paul Hegarty

Posted by Ciaran Tobin on 25 May 2020

He followed the good example of his wife Paula.

Never looked back.

Park runs, mountains ,duathlons.

A real mover and shaker in the engine room of the Trim 10 mile road race.

                                                   PAUL HEGARTY

1.When did you start running
Started when I was 40, had a couple of stone to lose and Paula had joined Trim AC and was enjoying the running so thought I might as well give it a bash to lose some weight and gain a bit of fitness.  Had never taken part in any form of organized sport before.  It’s absolutely and completely all her fault!! 
2. When did you join Trim AC ?
Around late 2012 if I remember correctly, just as I was starting running.
3.Why do you run ?
Multiple reasons – primarily as a way to keep fit, but it has so many other benefits.  I’m sitting all day in work so absolutely need to get up and out moving, but I find it a fantastic way to cope with the stresses of work.  I find myself thinking a lot of stuff through when I run, and often work out how I’m going to approach a problem in my head, which I’d never do just sitting there watching TV or something.  You meet people, you get out and about in nature and fresh air (we’re very lucky where we live on that front), it clears the head, you feel great after it…. what’s not to love about it?
4.Favourite event, race or competition (other than a Trim AC event)?

There are really 3 favourite annual events which I have only missed due to injury or being away: Dunshaughlin 10k, Terenure 5 mile and Aware 10k.  Love them all for different reasons, but ran them all in my first proper year of running and have done so ever since.  All very well organized races and great atmosphere at them.

5.Do you listen to music, podcasts or the natural world while running ?
Not really, generally just listen to nature and surroundings.  Besides I’ve never been able to find earphones I can run with!
6. Favourite type of training. ?
Stuff like 400s is hard going, but love the feeling afterwards and you just know that it’s doing you good to push hard.  Interval training also very satisfying, and you feel like you can push hard and better yourself.  Like the mixture of training on a Tues/Thurs night.
7.Who is your athletics hero ?
Don’t really have a single person, but really admire Eliud Kipchoge and am amazed by what he has achieved in the sport.

8. What is your best memory from the sport ?
From a personal perspective, I think doing my first marathon in 2013 (even though it was horrendous for the last few miles!) is definitely up there, along with finally achieving a 10K time I had in my sights for quite a while.  Very satisfying to finally achieve a long held goal.

9. What is the best race or athletics competition you ever watched but did not take part in ?
Missed out on the Dublin marathon last year due to injury but if I’m not running it, I go in to watch it.  Love seeing the red and white stripes passing and giving the clubmates a shout of encouragement.

10. What aspect of the sport gives you satisfaction ?
Achieving personal goals, doing things I never thought I would do or be able to do.  I always think back a few years before I started running, anyone who knew me would have laughed at the very idea of me running a mile, let alone a marathon.  It’s nice to look at progress made from when you started – I think we all should do that every so often.  We beat ourselves up over race times, missing out a few seconds here and there, but ultimately, look at the bigger picture and be proud of what you have achieved.
Also helping out at club events and seeing them grow year on year.  Trim AC continues to punch above its weight on so many fronts, it’s very satisfying to see that.  The 10 miler is hard work but enormously satisfying to be involved in.

11. How important is group training to you ?
It is now part of my normal weekly routine, so it’s really important to me to be honest.  Group training pushes you on, everyone helps each other, even if just being a marker to aim for.  There is always someone to chat to and push you on, esp if you’re not feeling great on a particular day.  Puts you in a good mood no matter what really, and gives you something to aim for – you’re more likely to go out in crappy weather when training is on as you don’t want to miss out.
12. Has the sport influenced life in general ?
100%.  Often wonder if I hadn’t started running where I’d be.  It’s lead to other things also, like doing a bit on the bike and doing some duathlons.  There are no negatives, I just regret not starting earlier in life to be honest.

13 .What do you feel is your best sporting attribute?
“God loves a trier” I don’t consider myself very sporty, so hard to answer that – but I do try and give everything within my limited abilities.
!4. What motivates you to go training on a wet and windy day ?
The feeling afterwards really – and generally knowing that once you are out in it for 5 mins, you won’t feel any worse or get any wetter for the rest of the run!

15. What advice would you give a new member ?
Build up slowly, start with achievable goals, don’t get disheartened by expecting too much too soon.  Get a training programme that suits your ability and current fitness.  Forget fancy tech at the start, just walk/run between sets of street lights at a comfortable pace and push a little harder each time.   Join a couch to 5k group and stick with it, don’t be afraid to ask for advice.  Then join the club and stick with it!!  You’ll soon find what you like, there are SO many different events to suit all.


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