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Sophie Murphy – the Virtual Interview

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Next up – we have u23 endurance athlete Sophie Murphy who is currently on an athletics scholarship in Iona

1. When and why did you join DSD AC?

I joined DSD in after running schools XC for a day off and ending up qualifying for the schools international in Wales. Ella Fennelly was 2 years ahead of me in school and a member in DSD so she pointed me in DSD’s direction.

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

My best event is XC and it is also the event I like the best. I enjoy the team aspect of it and the grit involved in running it. Hilly and muddy courses are a must for XC!

3. What is your favourite training workout?

My favourite training workout is probably a tempo run. I like that you can start off at the lower end of the assigned pace and work your way into it. I also enjoy that you are running the whole time and rest once it is over.

4. And your least favourite?

I don’t have one specific least favourite workout but if I had to choose it would probably be something on the track like 600m reps at 1500m pace

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

Either winning the National Junior XC Championships or placing 10th in the European Junior XC Championships. Both were pretty special.

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

Watching Ciara Mageean win bronze at the 2019 European Indoor Championships. She put everything she had into it, displayed true grit and was rewarded with a medal.

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

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European XC Championships is definitely my favourite. To start it’s XC which as I mentioned above is my favourite event, then just the whole atmosphere and team comradery are something I really enjoy. And of course the added aspect of representing your country is also something that makes it even more exciting.

8. What was your worst injury – and how did you get over it? Unfortunately I am currently working my way through my worst injury. I have a neuroma in my inter-metatarsal space.

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

I will usually eat Weetbix for breakfast and if it is an afternoon race I will try get a banana in a bit after breakfast. I get quite nervous before races so eating can be a challenge but I know how important it is so I do my best. I try to eat my main meal 4 hours before I race and I will have the banana about an hour before I warm up.

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

Roger Federer Simone Biles Marcus O’Sullivan

11. What is your next running / athletics goal?

Fixing my injury and getting healthy. Get back running and get my fitness back up. Trying to not look too far ahead but of course competing at Euro XC in Dublin in December is a goal of mine (and the rest of the running community!)

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

I am finding it quite hard because I am injured with very little idea of how to fix it but I try and tell myself that it is the perfect time to get healthy and strong, focusing on S&C and that no one is competing right now so I am not missing out.

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

Have fun, if you enjoy what you’re doing the results will come. Don’t focus on other athlete’s training or what they are doing, focus on yourself. As Donal taught me, Control the Controllables.

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

One year when we were going to Portugal for European Clubs my parents decided they would come and surprise me, but the only flight they could get was the same one we were on. They sneaked around the airport hiding from everyone on the team because they didn’t want the surprise to be ruined. Eddie saw them in the airport and nodded at them but didn’t realise where he knew them from! We landed in Portugal and as I walked down the steps, there standing on the tarmac in front of me was my parents. I was so shocked I turned around to Donal with a bewildered look and he says something along the lines of “Oh god yeah I forgot they were coming, surprise!”. They had told him a couple of months ahead of time and he still ended up being just as surprised as I was!

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