'I managed to jump on the bonnet and hold on'


Paraic Murray is a surgeon and a runner and was joint-winner of the Bagdad marathon in 1990 in three hours, 10 minutes-plus

When did you start running and why?

I began running after I finished crew rowing (UCD 1975 to 1981). Once I began a career in surgery there was no time for rowing (I won the Dublin Sculling ladder outright in my final medical year)

Wheres your favourite place to run?

My favourites are to run early on Sunday morning in a city Im visiting for a conference. I get to see the sights and can enjoy the run without traffic.

What’s the biggest challenge youve taken on?

Over the years I have hiked Kilimanjaro and to Everest Base Camp (with my son). Running was a great distraction when we were stuck in Baghdad in 1990.

My wife and kids got out a month after the invasion of Kuwait but it was five months before I was allowed home. I ran at least once a day and its amazing how you get used to temps near 50C. I was joint winner of the Baghdad Marathon in 1990 (Three hours, 10 mins and 25 seconds).

Whats your proudest achievement?

The sculling ladder win with the marathon close behind.

Last year my son Daragh was in Galway and we trained for the Dublin Marathon (not 3 hours 10 for me).

What keeps you going when things get tough?

I find when you are in a routine that getting out to run is enjoyable. It’s tough to get up to the level were you look forward to running. If I miss a day it’s harder the next day.

What are you training for?

I am training for the half Ironman. Patsy (cycle) and Orlaith Kilgannon (swim) are the rest of the team. We are competing for croí as I had a cardiac stent five years ago and am keen to give something back.

What does your average weekly training consist of?

I run after work as I start work at 7am. I run four days and cycle two with Thursday off. I have a bad knee (a pity for a knee surgeon) and the cycling helps. Once I keep the miles up the knee is manageable.

Do you listen to music while running?

I never ever use an iPod. I enjoy zoning out or thinking while running. I would be afraid of traffic,

Ever been chased by an animal? I was never seriously chased by an animal. Perhaps the odd snappy dog. It’s the cars Im afraid of. Two years ago I was hit by a car coming out of a side road. The car pulled out with the driver looking right and ran right into me. I managed to jump on the bonnet and hold on till he stopped. Just a few grazes.

What do you wear on your feet?

I wear simple shoes which are comfortable. No barefoot running for me. They happen to be Nike but it’s just they seem to suit my feet.

Do you have a coach?

I dont have a coach but find the weight falls off as the weekly mileage increases.

Favourite running tip?

My tip for running is keep at it. Eventually the body accommodates and it gets enjoyable.

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