This year marks the 10th anniversary of Tralee Born to Run Marathon Club so to celebrate that important milestone a series of runners’ profiles will be published over the coming weeks. Our club is renowned for its welcome and success in turning people with no experience into fully-fledged runners and introducing them to the world of running. Through Born to Run, members have achieved personal goals and enjoyed countless happy lifetime memories, they’ve undertaken many fundraising events and ran all over the world. The profiles will highlight some of our runners who help bring pride to the famous orange jersey and celebrate the success of Tralee Born to Run over the past decade.
RUNNERS’ PROFILES – ANN O’SHEAName: Ann O’Shea
When did you start running? Sept 2013
Why did you take up running? To get fit
What running experience have you? All distances including 27 marathons, 40 milers, 60k, 100ks, 12 hr and 24 hr events
What is your most memorable Born to Run moment(s)? Doing the Rose of Tralee 10k with the club dressed up as roses and escorts, completing my first 100k in 2014, and doing the 60k around Central Park in New York
What is your favourite running event? Depends on the event and distance, they all have different things to love about them but the ones that stand out in my mind are the Tralee 100k and Listowel 24hr endurance run, they were like a day-long party with Born to Run and other runners.
Any running advice? Enjoy every run and learn from the runs that don’t go as planned, everyone has a run in them and respect the distances – one person’s 5k is another person’s marathon, everyone has their own reason for running.
Why do you think Born to Run is special? It’s a special club in that you meet people from all walks of life who have one common aim and that is to run and to support each other regardless of what their running ambitions are whether it’s 5k or 100miles and everything in between. The spirit is to leave nobody behind and that is evident in every run the club partakes in.
Who or what is your inspiration in running? It’s the chance to clear your head and just be there in that moment and time when you are running – think mediation while you are moving. And I guess what sticks in my mind is what my grandmother used to say to us when we were children that there is no such thing as “can’t” but try your best and see what happens, and I guess this is what motivates me
Outside of running, what are your other interests? Swimming, walking, triathlons, gardening, reading, crochet and knitting.
RUNNERS’ PROFILES – TONY PONTI
Name: Tony Ponti
When did you start running? July 2016
Why did you take up running? I was overweight and needed to get healthy.
What running experience have you? I have road and trail running experience up to half marathons.
What is your most memorable Born to Run moment(s)? The Born to Run 40 Mile Relay in 2019 was great craic.
What is your favourite running event? Glenageenty
What future goals would you like to achieve in running? A marathon – Eventually!
Any running advice? You have good runs and bad runs, embrace them all.
Why do you think Born to Run is special? A sense of belonging. Lots of support and advice you receive from every friend. And most importantly a good laugh.
Who or what is your inspiration in running? My daughter
Outside of running, what are your other interests? Gaming and family
Most interesting fact about you? I used to play guitar in a band
RUNNERS’ PROFILES – Liam Horan
Name : Liam Horan
When did you start running?: September 2012
Why did you take up running?: I work for a charity called Novas, we provide services to homeless people and people at risk of homelessness. Ours was on of the local charities the Tralee International Marathon was supporting in their inaugural year. They asked that a couple of staff to volunteer to train for and take part in the race, so after much persuasion I gave in a decided to give it a go. It was meant to be one time thing but 8 years on I’m still running.
What running experience have you?: Well the plan to stop after one marathon didn’t work out and I’ve ran several marathons and ultra-marathons and all sort of other distances since then.
What is your most memorable Born to Run moment(s)?: Many great nights out and events part taken around the country with the Born to Run crew, but maybe the most memorable were the long runs training for our first marathons with huge crowds of us suffering and celebrating together at every new mile-stone of distance achieved.
What future goals would you like to achieve in running?: I’ve never competed in an event outside of Ireland, when we’re all allowed to travel again it’s something I’d like to do.
Any running advice?: Enjoy it, but set goals and targets to keep yourself motivated and challenged.
Why do you think Born to Run is special?: It’s a club where all are welcome no matter what level of fitness or ability you’re at. Everyone is supportive and helpful to each other and health, fitness and the enjoyment of running is more important than competing and wining.
RUNNERS’ PROFILES – Kathleen Curtin
Name: Kathleen Curtin
When did you start running?: I started running on my 59th birthday in January 2017.
What running experience have you?: I have done 121 parkruns and 83 (not)parkruns to date. I try to run at least 3 to 4 evenings a week which would incorporate 1 x 10k, 1 x 8k, 1 x 5k and I have also listed to do the Dingle Half Marathon in September next year.
What is your most memorable Born to Run moment(s)?: My most memorable Born to Run moment was when I completed the BTR Couch-to-5k way back in 2018. The exhilaration I felt having ran my first 5k without having to walk was simply amazing and it was all thanks to BTR.
What is your favourite running event? : My most favourite running event is definitely parkrun. My second favourite running event would have to be the Rose of Tralee 10k.
What future goals would you like to achieve in running?: My future running goals are to continue my training every week, to avoid injury if possible, to always try to enjoy my runs, to get out and run no matter what the weather is like, to encourage more and more people to do a 5k at least once a week and to do the Dingle Half Marathon next year.
Any running advice?: My running advice would be to (1) get fitted for the correct running shoes (2) run at your own pace and do not focus on getting PBs (3) run with a buddy or buddies you are comfortable with and (4) most important, enjoy every run!
Why do you think Born to Run is special? : Born to Run is a special group of people who look out for each other, encourage each other, listen and support each other and who are very proud to wear the Orange and Black club colours.
Who or what is your inspiration in running?: My inspiration in running is definitely my daughter Claire who is a member of a running club in Cardiff. Without her encouragement, I would not have started running at all.
Outside of running, what are your other interests? : Outside of running, I love to swim in the sea with my brothers, all year round. We call ourselves the Banna Polar bears. My brothers have been swimming all year round for the past 20 years – I have only been able to join them since I retired in 2019. I have encouraged members of BTR to join us for a swim and some have taken up the offer. My mission is to get more BTR members winter swimming… this is the challenge!
Most interesting fact about you? : My most interesting fact is that I met and had lunch and dinner with Neil Armstrong, the first man on the Moon, when he came to Tralee in 1997 for a weekend.