Meet the member – Ché McGann
Well Ché, how’s the form? How’s everything going for you?
Everything is good with me – busy juggling motherhood and working from home. Becoming a mother a month before the pandemic has been strange, makes it hard to know whether the significant life changes are baby or Covid related, but I’m slowly getting used to them. My home office is set up in front of my bikes so I feel like a total fraud these days on work calls as everyone asks about them and I’ve probably been out on my bike about 3 times this year!
Tell us about how you got interested in Triathlon and how you came to join Pulse?
I swam as a teenager, started running in my twenties, and when I was living in London a friend finally convinced me to buy a bike to do the Ride London 100-mile bike ride. The event was a disaster, with horrendous weather and 3 punctures but I had all the gear so decided I might as well do a triathlon… I moved back to Ireland in 2015 and when I researched triathlon clubs the Pulse colours matched my bike so the decision was made.
Tell us about your first race?
My very first triathlon was a pool-based triathlon in a gym in Cork where I was living at the time. I wasn’t at all sporty, but I’d recently started running and completed the mini marathon so was feeling ambitious. I showed up that morning and they gave me my race pack which contained a bottle of Lucozade Sport. I think I thought it would improve my performance, so I drank the whole thing before I started. Big mistake – my stomach was in bits through the whole race. Anyway the whole thing was enough to put me off triathlon for another decade 😊
What’s your favourite race/distance to race?
A few years ago, I probably would have said a half distance but the last while I think I’ve decided I quite like the Sprint distance – there’s no worrying about nutrition, you can just show up and race without too much training.
What’s your favourite Pulse memory so far?
There have been many but it has to be the training week in Majorca in 2017… the friends I made on “The Boulevard” will be life long 😊 If we ever get back to doing training weeks I’d highly recommend going on them to anyone!
What’s the best thing about being in a Triathlon club?
Being in a triathlon club makes training feel less like exercise and more a day out with friends.
When you’re not swimming or pedalling or running, what keeps you busy?
I’d be lying if I said swimming, pedalling or running takes up much of my time these days but I really hope I’ll be able to get back to it. Its great having other women in the club who show how this can be done.
My main involvement in the club at the moment is being on the Committee, I’m secretary at the moment but I also did Finance for a few years.
Outside of Triathlon, what’s your favourite sporting memory or achievement?
Probably doing the Mizen to Malin cycle and managing to fit my gear for the trip into a small pannier bag! We did it over 5 days, with an additional two days to get to Mizen and home from Malin by public transport – which was just as much adventure as the cycling.
What’s the bucket list, once in a lifetime race you’d love to experience?
My mam is from New Zealand so I would love to do a race down there, maybe Queenstown.
What’s the next Triathlon goal you’d like to tick off?
In 2019 I started the Sheephaven half distance race but about 10km into the bike my derailleur fell off so have unfinished business up there.
What’s your favourite book/movie/TV show? What do you like about them?
Movies would be Life is Beautiful or the French film The Intouchables. Suppose I like films with strong personal connections.
Books… hmm at the moment I am really enjoying Fredrick Backman books, particularly A Man Called Ove. I love the simplicity of his novels. Sporting wise I enjoyed Born to Run.
TV… probably The Wire or more recently Line of Duty.
Who inspires you, be it in sports or in regular life?
In terms of inspiration I’d say it would be Jacinda Ardern – she’s been a breath of fresh air on the political scene and at tackling social issues. I’m also pretty inspired (or perhaps more in awe) of all of the professional triathletes who balance motherhood and their training like Mirinda Carfrae and Michelle Vesterby.
Finally, what one nugget of advice would you give to a new member starting out on their Triathlon journey?
Join the club and go on one of the weekends away (when they start again). It’s the best way to meet a few people and to really get hooked! Oh and sign up to lots of club races – the National Series is a great way to see our beautiful country – Jailbreak in Cobh or By Hook or By Crook in Dungarven spring to mind.