It’s been about a month now since Ciara made the big move from Ireland, across the Irish Sea to become the newest Team New Balance Manchester member. If you’d like to know a little more about Ciara then read on!
Home Town: Portaferry
Favourite pair of running shoes?
– Mileage: 1080s
– Tempo: Fresh Foam Zante
– Spike: MD800
Favourite place to run?
There’s a reservoir back in Diublin called Bohernabreena that I enjoy running around on a Sunday. In Portaferry I usually head out on the country roads but here in Manchester I like the Sunday run out to Lyme Park.
If you weren’t a runner what would you do?
I’m a qualified physio so if I wasn’t running I’d be working in a hospital somewhere doing my rotations. I really love physiotherapy so look forward to one day pursuing my passion there but for now I’m focussing on my athletics career.
Who inspired you to start running?
I started running consistently when I was in secondary school in Assumption Grammar Ballunahinch, my PE teacher Mrs McCambridge spotted that I was a very energetic student in PE and asked if I wanted to join the XC team, from there it all spiralled.
My very first race would have been Sports Day in St Marys Primary School Portaferry, that’s where I first felt the thrill of racing and that competitiveness that drives me now was born.
What do you love most about running?
I love the freedom and opportunity. Running has shown me that I can achieve so much in life when I truly want something and work tirelessly towards it. It has shown me that the world in my oyster.
My childhood hero was actually my Aunt Edel, I grew up playing camogie and my Aunt was a fantastic player, who worked so hard. I always wanted to be like her when I grew up. Camogie was really my first love and a sport that shaped me hugely.
Biggest influence in your athletics career so far?
The people who have influenced me hugely are my coaches. My first coach Eamonn Christie helped me cut my teeth in this sport, he showed me the work that is needed in this sport and helped me achieve as a junior athlete.
When I moved to Dublin and Jerry Kieran took me under his wing I was about to have major ankle surgery. Jerry became so much more than a coach, he helped me back from my toughest times in this sport. He nurtured me back to winning European Bronze and becoming an Olympian but more so through his love of athletics showed me what I aspire to be. I want to look back on my time as an athlete with no regrets, and to one day when my racing days are over give back to this sport that has given me so much.
Favourite race venue?
I’ve raced in amazing stadiums around the world, but for me nothing beats Santry Stadium. I love racing there for our National Championships and the Morton Games. The Mary Peters track in Belfast also holds fond memories as this is where I really began my athletics career.
Favourite weather to train in?
I love stepping out on a fresh spring morning back home in Ireland, while the sun is shining through the trees and the sounds of nature are all around me.
My junior career was a very successful one with World Youth and Junior Silver medals so these are up there. Winning my first senior medal for Ireland at the European Champs is a huge highlight after years of injury and set backs.
Interests away from running?
As I said I’m a physio, but outside this I enjoy spending time with my friends and family and my 3 dogs back home in Portaferry. I’m also attempting to learn how to play the guitar, unfortunately I’m not the most musical person but I am trying my best!
I love happy films so anything that makes me smile, my boyfriend thinks I’ve terrible taste in films but I love the likes of Dirty Dancing, Coyote Ugly, Pretty Woman, White Chicks, She’s the man… basically the ones the boys usually hate!
I love fajitas, but I do miss my grannys Irish stew.
Favourite holiday destination?
Right now… home ❤
I’m the least talented of my siblings! My little bro can sing really well, my big sister is a surgeon and my little sister has the sharpest sense of humor you could come across! I’m kind of boring in comparison.
Give your all. I always try to live by this, if you can look back with no regrets then you can smile.
Favourite Quote/words of wisdom?
Do it with passion or not at all.
Did you play other sports growing up?
Yes I played camogie since I was probably 5.. and I love this sport. I also irish danced, tap danced and played soccer for a little bit. I also did drama, my granny had us in everything!
Goals for 2018?
Commonwealth Games final and European Champs final… once you’re there it’s anybodies game!