In todays’ interview we share the thoughts of Lucy Moore, our former club Head Coach,a hugely experienced athlete and coach, who is still competing at a high level at Masters athletics as well as in her new sport of Olympic Weightlifting.
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1. When and why did you join DSD AC?
I joined DSD the year it was formed. I had been a member of South Dublin, the club that joined Dundrum to make DSD. I think that was 1983?? At the time, South Dublin had a quality senior section and Dundrum had a huge juvenile section but very few seniors, so the combination of the two clubs was ideal. Like any merger, it did take a while for all of the personalities to gel and to find a new place in the new organization.
2. What was your best event and what event did you like best
My best event was the Heptathlon. I would say that I was mediocre at a lot of things, so Combined Events always suited me best! My favourite individual event was always the high jump.
3. What is your favourite training workout?
I love technique sessions (in any of my events). I also like weight training, which is probably what led me into what is currently my second sport, Olympic Weightlifting.
4. And your least favourite?
Speed endurance and long distance running. However when they introduced the 800m into the Pentathlon and Heptathlon, I had to force myself to do more of these sessions. As I got better at them, they became less unpleasant!
5. What is your most cherished or proudest moment in your athletics career?
Can I mention a few?? After all I have been in this sport for 50 years!!
First of all, as a Senior athlete, my proudest moment was when I got my first Senior International, in 1985 at the age of 28 years. I was selected as Irish Team Captain for the Heptathlon at the Europa Cup in Denmark. It was the first time that Ireland had entered a team in this competition.
All four of the women on the team are still very involved in athletics all these years later. Brid Golden is a very well known Coach in Ferrybank AC and has been AAI Chair of Performance for many years. Danea Herron coaches in City of Derry AC and is very active in Masters Athletics. Finally Mary Barrett coaches in Loughrea AC. She is a coach tutor in Connaught and would also be known to many DSD athletes through her involvement in the Schools International T&F over the years. She is also a very successful Masters athlete.
At Masters level, my proudest moment was winning gold in the high jump at the World Masters Indoor Athletics Championships in Clermont-Ferrand in 2008. This is a particularly happy memory, as my late husband Nigel had been able to come to France with me and was there to see me win.
As a coach, I am probably proudest to have been Deirdre Ryan’s long-term coach and to have guided her to become the first Irish woman to make a high jump final at a major games – the European Championships in Gothenburg in 2006. She cleared 1.92m, which was a National Record. Another key moment was when Jim Kidd & myself coached David Gillick to his initial gold medal in the 400m at the European Indoor Championships in Madrid in 2005.
6. What is your most loved athletics sporting moment of all time?
Sitting in the iconic Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing in 2008 with Nigel, watching Tia Hellebaut win an epic women’s high jump competition on the last day of the Olympics. It was an amazing Olympics and I couldn’t see how any other country could host a better one, but London managed to do just that four years later.
7. What is/was your favourite race / athletics meet to take part in?
The All Ireland Schools was my favourite event to compete in and it continues to be my favourite event to spectate at. It is run with military precision and is truly an “All Ireland” event.
8. What was your worst injury – and how did you get over it?
I’ve probably had every injury known to man at this stage but the most challenging by far has been having both of my hips replaced over the past 3 years. It has taken every ounce of will power and experience to come back from that! I was hugely helped by my weightlifting coach Alexandria Craig and of course I had tremendous support from all my athletics colleagues in DSD. I have a little way to go but I’m getting there! The key is persistence, patience and routine. I NEVER miss my daily “hip exercises” first thing in the morning.
9. What do/did you eat before a race and how long before did/do you eat?
This depends on what event I am competing in. If it is a field event, generally you can eat fairly normally but if it is the 800m at the end of a heptathlon, well that’s a different matter! Nowadays I mainly compete in individual field events. I would have my normal breakfast of coffee and porridge oats, muesli and sliced apple. I would then take some easy to digest snacks to eat closer to the competition itself.
10. If you could have dinner with 3 sporting personalities past or present who would you pick
They always say “never meet your heroes”, so I’ll pass on that one!
11. What is your next running / athletics goal?
At the moment the athletics calendar is in total disarray. A month ago, I would have said the British Masters Championships in Bedford in July, prior to travelling to Tokyo for the Olympic Games (as a spectator!). Now I would just be happy to take part in any competition before the end of the outdoor season! With regards to my other sport, Olympic Weightlifting, I am really hoping that the European Masters Championships scheduled to take place in Holland in late November, will actually go ahead. Overall though, I’m just hoping that my rehab remains on course and that I can get back to competing at a decent level in all of my events.
12. How are you motivating yourself to continue training at these difficult times?
We have a Senior Sprints Whattsapp group where we post details of the adapted sessions that we have been able to do. We also give each other suggestions and recommendations about sessions that could be beneficial and on line classes that we have found helpful. My weightlifting club Capital Strength (where the DSD sprints group also train) let me borrow a good bit of equipment. My garden has now become the Zen Lifting Studio and I video my lifts and my coach Harry Leech gives me feedback. This is useful training for athletics as well. In addition, I have been tuning into the free Webinars provided by England Athletics and have picked up some useful ideas from these.
13. What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete?
First of all enjoy your sport! Try lots of different sports – they all help you develop different skills and capacities and all of the research says that the majority of athletes who actually make it through to the senior ranks played a number of different sports until their mid teens. You do have to think about specializing around 5th year though.
14. Do you have any memorable or funny story from DSD that you could share?
I do but I’m not sure they are suitable for sharing!! “What goes on tour, stays on tour”!!
15. Can you share an old picture from your running days
The photo I am sharing is a poor quality black and white shot taken by my late husband. It is my winning effort in the high Jump at the Intervarsity’s in Trinity College. The competition was held on the grass track in College Park. Being able to land on the movable foam pit was a bit of an act of God! We also had to negotiate a triangular shaped bar, which really hurt if you landed on it! I think it was in 1977. Standing beside the high jump are my mother (now aged 92) and my late father. The woman judging the event is Nancy Magaheran, my old coach from my formative years in Crusaders AC. She showed me that it was possible for a woman to be a successful sports coach. Also Lucy with Deirdre Ryan
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