Meet the member – Niall Connaughton

Well Niall how’s the form? How’s everything going for you?

All going all well as can be expected, just trying to stay sane the same as everyone else. Looking forward to getting back to be able to enjoy the normal things like a pint in my local, racing, group spins and holidays.

Tell us about how you got interested in Triathlon and how you came to join Pulse?

I was working in Paris and aside from the odd game of astroturf hadn’t kicked a ball in a longtime and was living a very unhealthy lifestyle of lots of pints and cigarettes and not a huge amount of fruit and veg. I came home one weekend ran a parkrun and nearly died, a 10k and a charity cycle followed and I signed up for an indoor triathlon in my local gym and was in a lane with a girl from Pulse who told me I should join and being the easily led type, I did!

Tell us about your first race

It was Hook or by Crook in Dunmore East. I played golf for a GAA fundraiser the day before, had a decent cut off the pints afterwards and fair to say I didn’t set the world alight. My abiding memory is of seeing Pulsers on these expensive bikes flying past me heading for T2. I finished anyway and loved it despite being one of the last.

What’s your favourite race/distance to race?

I think full distance, I like the challenge of the training and trying to get all the parts to come together, haven’t succeeded yet mind but getting there slowly bit by bit

What’s your favourite Pulse memory so far?

Ironman Austria in 2018, Lanza in 2019 had big numbers of Pulsers taking part and great Pulse support from members who made a weekend of it. Both had great day-after parties too! Hardman Killarney last August was great craic too, we had a small number of Pulsers taking part and poor Brian Power had to pull out at the last minute with injury but was helper in chief for the weekend running around after us all. I can hopefully return the favour sometime. One Pulser parked his car in the dark on race morning on the middle of the 1st fairway at the golf club and got out of the water to angry announcements to move his car! That and Paul Doheny telling an uppity German not minding his own business to Foxtrot Oscar at breakfast in Lanzarote last year!

What’s the best thing about being in a Triathlon club?

Definitely the members, the friends you make and the camaraderie. You’re never short of support or someone who’s does it before that can offer advice.

When you’re not swimming or pedalling or running, what keeps you busy?

Busy job with lots of travel in normal times, two young hyper kids who are normally ready and waiting for me once I get off the bike or back from a run and am hopefully finishing an MBA this year

Outside of Triathlon, what’s your favourite sporting memory or achievement? (Doesn’t have to be your own!)

Dubs winning the AI in 2011 was very special then being Chairman of Round Tower GAA when Jim Gavin was manager for the three in a row and the homecoming parties each year with thousands cheering the open top bus through Clondalkin was incredible too.

What’s the bucket list, once in a lifetime race you’d love to experience?

Kona would be the obvious one but you tend to need to be fast to get to go there so more realistically, I’d like to give a US Ironman a go maybe somewhere like Texas which is normally an early season one.

What’s the next Triathlon goal you’d like to tick off?

Hopefully Challenge Roth in September and record a respectable time in the process. A group of us in Pulse are also doing a marathon open water swim this summer which I’m looking forward to

What’s your favourite book/movie/tv show? What do you like about them?

Between work and study, it’s a long time since I’ve read anything high-brow recreationally, so anything from Michael Crichton/Lee Child etc is easy to pickup and switch off for ten minutes. I don’t watch a huge amount of tv but when I do it would be a Netflix box set or something on Sky Atlantic.

What are the go-to tunes/podcasts for a training session?

On the rare occasions I run alone, I’d listen to Crushing Iron or the David McWilliams podcast or some 90’s music. I couldn’t tell you a band from the last 15 years!

Who inspires you, be it in sports or in regular life?

Lots of different Pulsers who have to cope with adversity and somehow manage to keep going. Everyone I train with who push me on even when I’m not feeling like it. Also my parents who worked hard to give us a better life and never complained despite having things a lot harder than I do now.

Finally, what one nugget of advice would you give to a new member starting out on their Triathlon journey?

Don’t be afraid to ask for advice and that generally there are no shortcuts, you improve by consistently doing the sessions and don’t miss your weekly long run or long bike where possible.

Pulse Triathlon Club: swimming, cycling, running and socialising since 2003

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