We recently interviewed Irish Mountain Running Champion Moire O’Sullivan. She loves running up and down mountains and writing about it all once she gets home. She started out mountain running in Ireland, where she became Ireland’s 2007 and 2008 Mountain Running Champion. She also won the Irish 24 hour Rogaine Championships twice with Andrew McCarthy as well as the Mourne Mountain Marathon mixed elite class. In 2009, Moire became the first person ever to complete the Wicklow Round, a hundred kilometre circuit of the Wicklow Mountains to be completed within twenty four hours. She was so moved by the experience that she wrote a book called “Mud, Sweat and Tears” detailing the personal journey she went through to complete the Wicklow Round. When not running, Moire works for international charities. As part of her work, she has travelled to some of the world’s poorest areas and worst conflict zones. She currently lives in Nepal.
How long have you been mountain running?
I started mountain running four years ago when a friend invited me along to a race. My maiden attempt at uphill running was pathetic to say the least. Within seconds, my lungs caught fire. My heart hit record speeds. After less than a minute, my thighs were ticking time bombs, ready to explode. When I eventually got to the summit, I found all mountain hell breaking loose. The wind was screeching. The rain was swirling. And whilst I was being subsumed by this Irish Hades, all the other mountain runners I was with disappeared further and further into the mist. I hated it the first time. But now that I don’t mind the pain or bad weather, I truly love the sport.
What distance race do you prefer to run?
I like any race that involves running around mountains for hours upon end. It could be a mountain marathon where you cover less than 30 kilometres but it can take anything up to eight hours because you’re carrying a tent, sleeping bag and enough food for 48 hours. Or Nepal’s 71km Annapurna trail race where the 2050 metres of climb up 3080 steps to Ulleri meant to take me over 12 hours to get to the finish. Or it could be a 24 hour Rogaine where the distance you cover is up to you, the only prerequisite is that you visit as many check-points in the mountains and get back home before the 24 hours pass.
Moire comments on the 24 hour 100km Wicklow Round and much more after the jump.
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