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Noel Berkeley – the Virtual Interview

Famed NZ Coach Arthur Lydiard once said “there are champions everywhere” . Yesterday we featured a world class club athlete from Ballinteer with David Gillick. Today we have an Olympian who grew up in Wyckham Park, not a mile from the clubs base in Dundrum. Today we have words of wisdom I am sure you will enjoy from another class act from the past Noel Berkeley:



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1. When and why did you join DSD AC?

I joined South Dublin in 1984. That year I started running at school and continued thro the summer. Peter Farrelly was a neighbour and he offered to take me up to the club one tues night. I think it was later in ’85 the two clubs amalgamated to form DSD.

2. What was your best event and what event did you like best

My best event….good question?! I loved cross country but I was pretty handy from 1500m to the Half Marathon. However I think road racing was my true passion. At my peak I pretty much felt invincible on the domestic scene.

3. What is your favourite training workout?

My favourite workout was 16x400m in 63sec with 30 seconds rest. I often ran the last two in sub 60.

4. And your least favourite?

Least favourite ( a Joe Doonan special); 4k, 4k, 2k, fartlek on the track. It was absolutely gruelling. But it certainly helped develop serious change of pace.

5. What is your most cherished or proudest moment in your athletics career?

Lining up in the 10,000metres at the Barcelona Olympics….still very vivid in my mind today.

6. What is your most loved athletics sporting moment of all time ?

To be honest I always find it very moving to see any Irish Sports Person win on the International stage.

7. What is/was your favourite race / athletics meet to take part in?

The Seoul International Half Marathon ’95 was a sweet victory for me. After a dreadful Summer and a rather long stay in Korea i won after a fierce battle. The big fat wad of US dollars made it even better. It was a fun trip despite having to room with the BLE treasurer for a few nights!!!

8. What was your worst injury – and how did you get over it?

Early March ’91 I got a stress fracture in my metatarsal. So I aqua jogged twice a day for 6 weeks in a diving pool with no flotation belt. Admittedly I nearly drowned a few times but it was would the effort.

My first race back was a 10k in mid May, in Joplin, Missouri. I hired a car to get there. Paul Donovan and a handy US athlete, Matt Wegenki were on the start line. The humidity was ferocious. The lads got away from me early. I kept chipping away, caught them at about 4.5mls and went on to win! Broke the course record too.

9. What do/did you eat before a race and how long before did/do you eat?

If the race was very early in the morning I would run on empty. Otherwise I’ve toast with banana, peanut butter and honey 2.5/3 hours before.

10. If you could have dinner with 3 sporting personalities past or present who would you pick

So many athletes I admire….couldn’t limit it to three!

11. What is your next running / athletics goal?

Not running much at the minute but toying with the idea of doing some Cyclocross in September.

12. How are you motivating yourself to continue training at these difficult times?

Most evenings I go cycling with my daughter. Head out for the odd spin on my own too.

13. What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete?

Don’t over train!! Make both short term and long-term goals. Believe in yourself.

Don’t be afraid to pick the brains of other athletes/ coaches.

14. Do you have any memorable or funny story from DSD that you could share?

I have lots of stories…..I’ll hold off til I give my talk to the club!



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