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Seán Connolly’s race

“My goal was to be competitive” Time: 29:19, 1st place!

Seán Connolly, 28, from Tallaght in Dublin was delighted to win the race. He’s coached by Dick Hooper (a three-time Olympian and 2:12 marathoner). He runs up to 115 miles per week and plans to move up to marathon later this year

“I have been running since I was 12 years old. I played Gaelic football, hurling and soccer as child but decided to solely concentrate on running when I was 16. I took up an athletics scholarship at Iona College, New York after secondary school and studied Finance. When I started work, I gave up the sport for almost two years (2006-2008) due to injuries (sciatic problems) and lack of motivation. But I got back into it in early 2009 and things have been going well since, with PBs in 2010 in 1500m, the mile, 3000m, 5000m and now 10k! “My training had been going very well

over the eight to 10 weeks before the race and my workouts suggested that I was in 29:30 shape, if not faster. My goal was to be competitive and let the time take care of itself so I was very happy to win against a strong field. “I felt pretty good pre-race. I did an easy 10 minute shakeout jog at 6.30am to wake the body up, and my legs felt

Tracy Duke’s race

“It really mattered to me!” Time: 55:20

Tracy Duke, age 39, has only recently started to take running seriously. The Brighton 10k was her second race and first 10k

“I hadn’t taken any running seriously

before. I did the Eastbourne Half Marathon two years ago in a deal with my husband that if I could complete it, he would come to ballroom dancing. He hasn’t kept his half of the bargain!” “I’d been training with my personal

trainer, Mike Ovens (RF’s personal trainer), for three months. Mike had planned a schedule for me running five days each week at varying paces and distances. I could feel the increasing fitness and strength as the weeks progressed. What seemed impossible at the start ended up being okay. “I didn’t want to put pressure on

myself but people were asking me what time I wanted to do. I said 53 minutes but was secretly hoping for sub 50.

40 n RUNNING FREE “The week before the race I was a

nervous wreck. I had trained hard for three months (although had only focused on the race for three weeks) and it really mattered to me. I had nightmares about taking three hours to finish. “I was glad the day had finally come

and was excited to get going. My race plan was to run the first 5k comfortably with my heart rate at 160 bpm and then go for it at 180 bpm for the second half. “The start was amazing. I loved the atmosphere and excitement with all that adrenaline. And when we turned for the home straight and looked out across the beautiful calm sea I felt so privileged to be there at that moment. I had hoped to run faster but it was a great day and I’m now more determined than ever.”

pretty fresh. Having said that, I try not to read too much into how I feel before a race as I have run some of my best races feeling terrible or sluggish. I have a better idea how the body feels after a mile into the race! “I began a taper midweek, as the

week after the Brooks Brighton 10k I was taking part in the Irish inter-county cross country championships (and European Trials). Typically, I run 110 to115 miles per week, so I’d dropped my miles down to 90 the week of the race. “It was fantastic to cross the line in first place and improve my 10k road PB by 19 seconds. The race organisation and atmosphere were both excellent and we had great support from the Brighton locals along the promenade. Like most runners I always think I could have gone a little faster as the conditions were ideal for a sub 29 and course record – but unfortunately the pace slipped between 6k and 8k… There’s always next year!”


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