Athlete Profile - Ray Somers

Published in Members on 8th March 2016


1.      How long have you been an Athenry AC member?  Since 2009.

2.      Briefly, what started you running? My two housemates back in the day did a lot of running which began to affect our social life so I took up running so as not to be left out.

3.      What shoes do you train/race in?  Always Asics GT 3000, they’ve never let me down. They’ve let me commit the mortal sin of wearing brand new ones for the marathon (purchased at the marathon expo the day before) without repercussions.  I slept with them on the night before to break them in, I think Tomas Ruane wore his gel belt to bed that night so I wouldn’t feel so silly. 

4.      What piece of running gear/apparel is your most prized possession? My lucky shorts & the Ballycotton Top 100 finishers T-shirt they got me after 5 years of trying.

5.      What is your favourite event/race of the year?  It’s a tie between Ballycotton 10 Miles and the Streets of Galway 8k.

6.      What event/race that you haven’t done would you most like to compete in? The Fields of Athenry 10k, I’ve never got to race it as long as I’ve been with the club.

7.      What performance/race do you take most pride in? The River Moy ½ marathon 2014, I had hoped to break 1hr 20mins for the first time but the first four miles were a disaster but I had the best race of my life for the remainder and finished in 1hr 18.44.

8.      Is there any performance/race that you would rather forget?  I’ve had a few but the beer mile each year stands out, I’m usually at the end of the field (literally, puking!)

9.      Where is your favourite place to train?  Derrybrien in the summer, it’s a great place for a quality long run followed by a dip in Loughrea Lake afterwards. The weather was always good up there, no cars just other runners and cyclists.

10.  What type of training is your “favourite”? (Speed,Tempo,Short,Long Run,Slow????)  Threshold training on my own was quite rewarding, often matching race times in training.

11.  Do you prefer solo or group training? Group training.

12.  What’s the funniest/strangest thing you’ve seen or heard on a run?  Owen Curran once sent me to the front door of Rick Mice (not his real name to protect his identity) while he tied his lacers (behind a car). I was ushered from the door by Mrs. Mice as she informed me it was their childs communion and Rick couldn’t come out today as he had to entertain relatives. She had no sooner closed the door than Mick, I mean Rick, came running from the side of the house, shorts & runners on, t-shirt in hand whispering “go,go,go”. The three of us tore across the green like schoolboys playing Knock Door Run. I had been used as bait.

13.  If you were to give 1 piece of advice to a newcomer to running what would it be? Enjoy it, if you don’t you won’t stay at it.

14.  What injury has caused you the most problems since you started running? I’ve been pretty much injury free until last year when my hip started causing me a lot of grief.

15.  Do you cross train? If yes what type?  Boxercise core class.

16.  What is your most embarrassing running related incident? I once corrected a young female runner before a race when she said she was going to do 36mins, I told her it was a 10k not an 8k assuming she was a novice to racing. She finished in 36 mins, 2 mins ahead of me. That was me put back in my box.

17.  Which club member would you most like to beat in a sprint to the line?  Frank Burke, every time.

18.  Do you have a favourite current or past athlete that inspires you? Mick Rice, Valerie Glavin and Ruthann Sheahan have had some fantastic performances in distance running that they tend to just gloss over, the 3 of them deserve a huge amount of credit for their achievements. 

19.  Which PB would you most like to break this year? 10k   20.  Can you share the following PBs with us?.......   Distance               Time           Where                                When

5km                      16:45          Tuam                                  2014

8km                      27:55          Streets of Galway                2015

10km                    35:22          Moylough                            2014           

10 mile                 57:57          Ballycotton                          2015

Half Marathon       1:18:44       Ballina                                2014

Full Marathon       2:49:31       Dublin                                 2015