Marianne O’Connell

[Published 9th June 2016]

Marianne O’Connell is a Fit4Life/Aprés Run member of Togher AC and an Assistant Coach for Little Athletics

Member of Togher AC since September 2015.

Coach: Frank Doherty/Aidan Hartnett

How long have you been running? A long time, I joined North Leitrim AC when I was 6 years old!

Marianne at the Cheetah Run, May 2016
Marianne at the Cheetah Run, May 2016

What are your events? At the moment I just run to keep fit. When I ran competitively my favourite event was the 100M but I tried lots of different events.

Proudest Moment in Athletics: Hard to single one out, Leitrim and Connacht medals were always special.

What’s your most memorable race? There are 2 – coming 4th in National Community Games when I was 7 which was really the start of my love of running, and over 20 years later crossing the finish line of the Paris marathon, where it felt like I’d come full circle.

What do you like most about Togher AC? The people and the all-inclusive attitude, everyone is welcome and is treated with the same level of respect and friendliness regardless of how often you run or how long you’ve been with the Club. It’s a lot of fun to run/coach with such a great bunch of people.

What’s your main goal for this year? ‘To keep running as much as possible and to broaden my experience as a coach.

As a member of a relay team for Togher AC in the Cork City Marathon, June 2016
As a member of a relay team for Togher AC in the Cork City Marathon, June 2016

In 5 years time, athletics wise, where do you see yourself? I hope to be still running and still enjoying it as much as I do now!

Do you have a favourite sports hero? Jessica Ennis-Hill – a true inspiration to all female athletes and a wonderful ambassador for the sport. She was the face of the London Olympics and faced immense pressure to succeed (like Cathy Freeman in the Sydney Olympics, another inspiration). After that she took time off, had a baby and came back and won the World Championships the following year, proving that anything is possible!