Cross CountryTrack & Field

Raising the Banner: Mulcaire on a mission in 2015

It’s been a big year for one of our most promising underage distance-running prospects, Kevin Mulcaire. The Ennis Track athlete took a memorable schools double on the track in June and went on to take victory at the National Junior Intercounties Cross Country in November. At the European Cross Country in December, Mulcaire led for much of the first two laps, before eventually fading to a disappointing 33rd. However, looking ahead to 2015, the 17-year-old, who is coached by Pat Hogan, is hoping for bigger and better things. He spoke to JumpingTheGun about what went right and wrong in 2014, outlines his training routine, his goals for 2015, and why he can’t get enough of One Direction.

What were your highlights of 2014?

On a performance aspect, All-Ireland Schools track was definitely a day I won’t forget: breaking a 36-year-old record and later that day out-kicking the one they call Mustafa to complete the double and win the 1500m. On an all-round aspect, I think winning the All-Ireland Schools intermediate boys cross country team title was my highlight for 2014. I remember hearing after the race that a Dublin team had won but we all reluctantly checked the result sheet to read we had won by just two points! I am grateful for every win I take, but when you get to celebrate it with your team, the guys you train with week in, week out, it’s a different experience!

Winner alright: Kevin Mulcaire wins the National Junior Cross Country in Dundalk. Photo credit: Loughlin Campion

Winner alright: Kevin Mulcaire wins the National Junior Cross Country in Dundalk. Photo credit: Loughlin Campion

Will you go on scholarship to the US or stay at home? Why?

I’m undecided if I’d like to go to America or stay here in Ireland. I have thought about it but it will depend on where I am as an athlete at that time and what will give me the best chance to achieve my goals. It’s not something I have to worry about yet because I have another year of school ahead of me.

How did you find the European Cross Country and why did you go out so fast at the start?

In 2013 i went in to Euro XC not prepared for what I was about to experience; the gun went and the race went out faster than any race I had been in before and after running a 1500m PB I found myself surrounded by a sea of bodies in 87th position. My race was over before it began.
In 2014 I didn’t plan on letting that happen again; we walked the course on Saturday and I saw the u-turn we had to take after no more than 300m. I decided then no matter how fast the race went out, I would be in the top 10 to that bend. When the gun went I had imagined the start so many times I could I have run it with my eyes closed. I just had to get to that bend and then my race would start.

Kevin Mulcaire leading the junior race at the European Cross Country in Samokov. Photo credit: Brendan Ahearne

Kevin Mulcaire leading the junior race in the early laps at the European Cross Country in Samokov. He eventually finished 33rd. Photo credit: Brendan Ahearne

What are your goals for 2015?

For 2015 I would like to become more than just a good athlete in Ireland. I would like to break eight minutes for 3k. I hope to go to altitude during the year. I want to achieve the qualifying mark for the European Juniors and perform at these championships. I don’t want to go to Europeans and just compete; I want a medal! I also would like to work on developing my 8-pack.
What was the best present you got for Christmas?

The best present I got for Christmas was One Direction’s new album.

What does a typical training week look like?
Monday: 50min run on HR, followed by circuits
Tuesday: 50/60 min run either at a certain HR or perceived exertion, followed by some speed-development work
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: threshold-type work depending on block of training; e.g. 3 miles followed by drills
Friday: short aerobic run followed by hurdle mobility and lower-leg circuit
Saturday: long run; usually 18km
Sunday : workout; winter: 3-4 by 1 mile with a 4-min recovery

I must give major credit to Pat hogan, Sean Collins, Jamie Roche, Rory Chesser, Odran O’Dwyer (physiotherapist), among others, for all their help throughout the year.

Photo by Brendan Ahearne
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Feidhlim Kelly

Feidhlim Kelly

Con Houlihan once told me that tomorrow is now. In taking on this venture I’ve started to try and put his words into action.

I worked for Con from 2007 till his passing in 2012 taking down his copy and a whole lot more. I have a Con Houlihan section which will go in to more depth on that.

I’m a long-time contributor to the Irish Runner magazine and am also working for the Irish Examiner.

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