Darren Dunne recently ran an unreal time for the 3,000m of 8:42, which should be good enough to see him secure a place at the European Youth Olympics. Qualifying for a Euros in running when already dividing your training time between 3 different sports is very hard, but those of us that saw Darren running for the first time in our own 5km run series 3 years ago knew that something like this was possible. It’s not every day someone from Nenagh reaches these heights so we wanted to get Darren to give us his reaction and let us know how he does it.
scroll down below image for interview
Q. So Darren, how do you feel after qualifying for the European Youth Olympics?
I haven’t qualified yet!! I ran the standard but the deadline isn’t until May 17th so there’s still time for others to run faster. I do hope to go faster myself to guarantee my place but we will have to wait and see.
Q. Surely, making the ‘Guardian Player of the Week’ must be the real highlight?
I can’t lie it’s an honour; it’s very rare not to get a Gaa player winning it, that picture is definitely going up on my bedroom wall!
Q. Does qualifying for the European Youth Olympics alter your training plans and goals for the season?
No, the aim since September has been European youths for triathlon which are on in Holland on May 17th. Getting the standard for athletics is just a BIG bonus. The selection races for triathlon are the end of April and start of May and my swimming still needs a lot of work so the next few weeks are about getting faster in the pool!
Q. What do you hope to achieve over in Azerbaijan?
If I get selected all I can hope for is to run a good race, either tactically or to run a pb. Being realistic only one person from Europe qualifies for worlds, all the places (9) go to the Africans. In triathlon 11 Europeans qualify so I have a much better chance at qualifying through triathlon.
Q. So are you a runner or are you a triathlete?
Triathlete no question. I haven’t spent the last 3 years on my bike and in a pool to give up on it before I even get to race an international triathlon. Looking at it long term I have a much better chance of succeeding in triathlon than running.
Q. How many hours per week are you training these days?
I try to get in around 17 hours in a good week. It has been hard with the weather the last few weeks but with the lads I train with there’s no love/loss for skipping training because of the weather!
Q. What is the key to your success? Is it hard work or is it all in the genes?
The people around me. My parents are unreal. They never give out about me barely being home or eating all the food. And my Nan who makes me dinner every day after school and grandad who is forever buying me loafs of bread. The people I train with have the biggest influence on me. There’s is almost always someone to train with in town. It never gets boring on a morning run with the lads
Q. Aside from running in the Youth Olympics, what are your key sporting goals in 2014?
To go to European youths for triathlon and hopefully come top 10. Other than that the obvious thing is to improve all my pb’s and hopefully really make some progress in the pool!
Q. How many more years is it going to take you to beat the Dromineer and North Tipp Sprint club course records?
None! I think I should hammer the Dromineer one this year. However the North Tipp Sprint one could take another year, Shane set that one back when he was fit so it could take 1 or 2 goes to get it 😉