Born To Run’s ‘Couch To 5k’ Recruits Make The Grade

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Members of the Born To Run Club’s ‘Couch To 5k’ programme at the Aquadome on Tuesday. Photo by Dermot Crean

By Maria Moynihan

HAVING laced up their running shoes for the first time in May, the latest recruits to Born To Run Tralee Marathon Club earned their first race medals on Tuesday evening, having completed a special event to mark the culmination of their “Couch To 5k” training programme.

Over the last number of weeks — and despite the challenges posed by the recent heatwave — the beginners worked their way up to the 5k distance by using a walk/jog strategy, gradually increasing the time spent on their feet over the sessions.

One “graduate” of the programme is Marcella Moriarty, who was inspired to join Born To Run after watching her friends, Catherine and Anthony O’Connor, complete it last year.

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“I can’t believe it,” she says of reaching the 5k milestone. “I thought I could run across a car park and that would be me gone, but it’s amazing how when you do something gradually, you can build up on it.”

Members of the Born To Run Club’s ‘Couch To 5k’ programme at the Aquadome on Tuesday. Front from left; Karen Lawlor and Anna Suchatys. Back from left; Ailish Hughes with Ivy Rose, Marcella Moriarty, Fiona Griffin, Kate Caffrey, Margaret Wharton, Helen Egan and Tom Dillon. Photo by Dermot Crean

But aside from running, Marcella explains that it is the comradery in the club that proved the real draw; such as the treats every Tuesday after the club run.

“Tea is beautiful after a run!” she laughs. “It’s a real remedy, I can assure you; and a few biscuits!”

Moreover, the support from the dedicated mentors meant that nobody was ever left behind on the training sessions.

“If you’re on your own you’ll say, ‘I’ve had enough’ or you’ll stop; this pushes you,” explains Marcella, “and if you want to walk, there will be somebody to walk with you.”

Another proud “Couch to 5k” graduate is Tom Dillon, who is from Listowel, but working in Tralee. He says that the best thing about the programme is the support from the other club members.

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“Every time you’re running, some one of the club members will always tag along with you and they’ll chat with you and before you know it, you have your time put in and your goal for that evening met,” he says. “And of course, you get to meet new people, which is fantastic.”

Tom is now hoping to participate in his local ParkRun and hopefully build up to running 10ks.

“I don’t have any ambitions of doing a marathon!” he laughs, despite Born To Run’s reputation for bringing novice runners to marathon- and even ultra-marathon- level.

He would advise anybody who has ever wanted to try running to come along to the club, no matter what your level.

“Give it a go: everyone has to start somewhere and everyone is a beginner the first time you do anything,” he says.

“People are very friendly in the club and I can testify to that; I definitely recommend it.”

Lead mentor, Ann O’Shea, described the performance of this year’s “Couch To 5k” group as “fantastic”, with approximately 80% of the 45 people who originally registered seeing the programme through to the end.

“Pace, sticking to a routine and consistency,” she lists as the secrets to successful running; along with the ability to have fun along the way.

“You can hear the laughing and joking going on in the group and people are always helping each other out as well,” says Ann.

And while the “Couch To 5k” programme has concluded for this year, new members of all levels are always welcome to the club. For further information, find Born To Run Tralee Marathon Club on Facebook or visit

One Comment

  1. Sean O'Mahony says:

    Well done to all the new 5k gang and all of the BTR mentors for their commitment.