My Running Life: Teena Gates

Teena Gates: competing in the Killarney Adventure Race, which is one of her greatest achievements.

Teena Gates: competing in the Killarney Adventure Race, which is one of her greatest achievements.


When did you start running and why?
I always thought that only “fit” people ran, until I joined a couch to 5k programme at LeChéile AC in Leixlip and got running tips from Irish Ultra Runner, John O’Regan.

Then I had a running workshop with Catherina McKiernan for a programme I was presenting for Setanta TV called Get Off The Couch.

The passion they both had for running changed the way I felt about it.

What has been your biggest achievement? Completing the Killarney Adventure Race.

What’s the one thing you’d change about running?
I want to be one of those people who wake up and WANT to go for a run. I briefly had that feeling recently – but I was in work.

Where’s your regular run route?
I open the door and run for 10 mins in any direction, then run back again.

What’s your regular training schedule?
Wednesday night training with LeChéile AC, Saturday Park Runs and two weekly sessions at the gym.

What are you training for?
Being better than I am.

What do you wear on your feet?
Nike Free Twist for roads (shoeless technology) and Helly Hansen Trackfinders for the hills. I had gait analysis done with Amphibian King, but they didn’t think I needed extra support.

Have you any niggly injuries?
Not really, apart from always struggling with my weight. I had dodgy knees and early onset osteoporosis, but after three years of weightlifting, and three hyaluronic acid injections in my knees, a Dexa scan found no trace of osteoporosis. The report remains glued to my fridge door.

What’s on your iPod when running?
I run and walk in the great outdoors to hear the music of the mountains – I couldn’t bear to drown that out.

What was your most embarrassing running moment?
Fifty metres into a relay under spotlights at Le Chéile, I felt my running pants loosen around my hips. “They can’t go any further,” I think to myself, “they’re Lycra.” Then to my horror, my belly pops out over the waistband – the point of no return. Thirty metres to go.

I grab my belly, still firmly hanging onto my baton, grab my pants, and shuffle, giggling to the switch as my blissfully unaware running mate, blinded by the light, screams at me to hurry up, grabs the baton and runs off into the night.

Life lesson? That bit of string has a purpose.

What’s your favourite running book?
Dean Karnazes: Ultramarathon Man.

Have you ever been chased by an animal?
I’m pretty sure I was overtaken by a hedgehog while running up a hill during Wicklow ‘WAR’, but it could have been early onset delirium.

What’s your favourite running tip?
I may not run fast, but I can always run faster.

Teena Gates is head of news at 98FM.

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