Samaritans team going the distance in Great Limerick Run

Lesley McSweeney, Lisa Kearney, Paula McSweeney and Norma Lenihan, who are running the relay marathon in aid of the Samaritans
Lesley McSweeney, 26, of Crecora, is taking part in the Barrington’s Hospital Great Limerick Run on May 5 to raise funds for The Samaritans.

Lesley McSweeney, 26, of Crecora, is taking part in the Barrington’s Hospital Great Limerick Run on May 5 to raise funds for The Samaritans.

Here she answers our questions ahead of taking part in the Barringtons Hospital Great Limerick Run:

What’s your biggest ambition when it comes to health and fitness?

To stay fit all year round. It’s easier to stay fit during summer and spring months. But when the evenings get shorter during the winter it’s a greater challenge, but my hope is to push on and maybe do some indoor training in the Arena in UL.

Why are you doing the Barrington’s Hospital GLR?

We are taking part for Limerick Tipperary Samaritans. They have asked for people to run/walk for them to raise awareness for the work they do in offering confidential emotional support 24/7. So we formed a relay team. There’s an element of fundraising too as we each have a sponsorship card.

Who is on your team?

Lisa Kearney, Norma Lenihan, and Paula Mc Sweeney.

How often do you train?

We try to train together on a Wednesday. One of us plays rugby so trains two time a week, and a game every second week, another does outdoor pursuits. But with work commitments it’s more difficult to get more training time together.

Is there competitiveness within the group or a lot of support for each other?

There is a great spirit of teamwork within the group, and the fact we are running for Samaritans we do offer support and encourage each other all the time.

What do you love about running?

It’s just great to get out there, especially with the group. I love the freedom and how easily you can go from the pressures of work to the peacefulness of running.

What do you hate?

I suppose not been able to train in very bad conditions, but then you can move indoors, and injury of course.

What tips would you give beginners?

The first thing is to decide to start - sometimes that can be the biggest hurdle - and getting motivated. Start with low mileage, and build it up slowly. Reward yourself with good quality runners, and it’s very important to get them fitted properly.

Where is your favourite place to run?

Limerick is a great place to run, in the city - you have footpaths and it’s well lit up in the evenings. Along the River Shannon there is a track and it loops back into the city, and out in Plassey where there’s lots of green areas.

What will you eat on race day?

Well I suppose the real preparation starts the day before with a hi carbohydrate diet. On the morning of the race - porridge with fruit and Manuka honey. Stay hydrated with water during the race, with sugary sweet like fruit pastiels and Zim added to my drink, it replaces salt and gives energy.

What music keeps your tempo up?

In the GLR there is so much hype and music as you go around the course you don’t need personal music. When training as a group you don’t either, each other’s company and chat is enough. Maybe when running alone the Best of U2 is good company.

How do you celebrate afterwards?

We’ll probably meet up after the race and replace our lost fluids with a few bevies, but only after a we warm down and some stretching of course.