Meet the member – Liam O’Riain
Well Liam, how’s the form? How’s everything going for you?
All in all, given the last few years we have all endured things are going well. Can’t complain. Family all healthy and happy.
Tell us about how you got interested in Triathlon and how you came to join Pulse?
I have a long background in distance and ultra-distance events. But always had a desire to do a triathlon, but swimming was a barrier. So, when I turned 50, to satisfy the bucket list, I decided to learn how to swim and do ‘one triathlon’. I started to swim, got a 1-2-1 coach and put in the work. Was on the start line of my first Ironman within the year.
Tell us about your first race?
My first triathlon was a sprint (I think). The swim was in the canal in Leixlip. Nearly strangled myself getting the wetsuit off. Then I did Tri-Try in Athy, first river swim – ever.
What’s your favourite race/distance to race?
Marathon & 5mile events
What’s your favourite Pulse memory so far?
Trip to the Hell-of-the-west, I recall a hard race, sunny day and loads of craic in the club marquee after. Great weekend – plus we all got those red jackets from the race.
What’s the best thing about being in a Triathlon club?
I think wearing club kit makes you feel part of a team when racing. Also, there is always lots of support and encouragement.
When you’re not swimming or pedalling or running, what keeps you busy?
Work, Family, Life, Garden, Shamrock Rovers.
Outside of Triathlon, what’s your favourite sporting memory or achievement? (Doesn’t have to be your own!)
On a personal note, I’ve completed 50 marathons including the Marathon Des Sables and Gobi March events. More generic, every time Rovers beat Bohs.
Obviously Kona is the dream for a lot of members, but are there any other bucket list, once-in-a-lifetime type races you’d love to experience?
My bucket list still includes the Atacama Desert crossing, Death Valley and riding the Tour of Flanders etape (which I’m planning for next year!)
What’s the next Triathlon goal you’d like to tick off?
Getting back to any triathlon next year will be a happy goal. Then, it’s always the ‘next’ event
What’s your favourite book/movie/tv show? What do you like about them?
Most important book has to be Robert Fisk’s ‘Pity the Nation’. A deep history of the Lebanon, Palestine, Israel conflicts with particular insight into the continuous suffering of the Palestinian people
What are the go-to tunes/podcasts for a training session?
Definitely not Kevin Doyle’s play list
Who inspires you, be it in sports or in regular life?
Anyone who fights injustice & inequality and is willing to suffer for what they believe in;
– Malcom X, Bobby Sands, Che Guevara, Ida Wells, Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks
What one nugget of advice would you give to a new member starting out on their Triathlon journey?
Always have a goal – don’t give in till you reach that goal – expect setbacks they make you stronger
Pain is only weakness leaving the body
Finally, can you tell us an interesting fact or story we don’t know about you?
For 30+ years I was a director of the Dublin Marathon. I was Chairman of the Board for circa 12 years