Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Paralympic athlete in Cork looking for guide runners...

Monday, January 09, 2012

Paralympic athlete in Cork looking for guide runners...

Immediately after hosting the Olympic games this summer, London will then host the Paralympics.  One of Cork's big hopes in the Paralympics is Youghal native Amanda Crotty who will compete in the 1500M.  Amanda is presently the only visually impared Irish female runner to have made the "A" standard for the London games having run 5:17 at the national track and field championships in Santry during the summer.  This was a PB by 16 seconds and a full 3 seconds inside the "A" standard for the London games!  This was followed by a 5:15 two weeks later in the Czech Republic which moved her to number 8 in the world rankings for visually impared 1500 runners.

Since then Amanda has been training hard 6 days a week and is expecting to drop her PB far enough this year to get onto that Podium in London!  At the moment, Amanda does most of her long runs at the Farm in Bishopstown or in Youghal while her speed sessions and tempo runs are mostly done on the old railway line, just off the Marina in Cork city.  She will move back to the track at CIT in March for 3-4 sessions per week.

But your help is needed!  Due to the nature of Amanda's visual imparement she can only train with a guide runner.  Amanda and the guide are attached by a hand held bind and the guide typically gives Amanda instructions and information regarding the terrain ahead e.g. sharp left, right, kerb or DOG!!  Amanda's team presently has 4 guide runners who do the various sessions with her but due to the big year ahead more guide runners are urgently needed.  At the moment Amanda does most of her fast sessions with Cork runner Jim Cosgrave who many of you will know from the road running circuit.  Jim will be on hand to explain the basics of guide running to any new recruits and the aim is to get 8-10 people involved with Team Amanda so that over the next few months she can get all of her high intensity and easier recovery sessions in without being overly reliant on a small group of volunteers. 

So who can help?  Any help at all is appreciated.  Amanda needs 2 runners for faster track sessions at CIT (should be able to do 800m comfortably at 2:50 pace).  2 runners are needed for longer runs which will be 7:30-8:30/mile pace.  These can be done at the Farm in Bishopstown or if the guide is from East Cork direction these could be done in Youghal or Dungarvan.  Two guides are also required for shorter recovery runs (45 mins at 8:00/mile pace).

As the sessions vary in intensity and distance most club runners could help out in some small way, even if that was just 1 session per month it would make a big difference.  This is a great chance for one athlete but equally a great opportunity for the running community at large get involved and show support......all you have to do is run!!

If you would like get involved in Team Amanda you can contact Jim Cosgrave by email or mobile 086 6012551

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