Coach Profile: Paul O’Mara

I started running when I was 14 for the school cross-country team and my local athletics club, which at the time was down south. Between the ages of 15 – 21 I raced regularly at different distances, up to half marathon distance, but then in my early 20’s I picked up a serious foot injury and completely lost motivation to run, let along race. I did not do any form of running for the next 4 years, and only resumed running again in my late 20’s when I became motivated by my wife who had started running herself to become fitter and healthier.

I ran ‘unattached’ for the next year, competing in local races and improving on all my personal best times, which I had set when I was younger. This encouraged me to follow my wife and join Tyne Bridge Harriers.

Having been in the club for the past 4 years, I’ve come to realise how much the club has brought me on, both as a runner and a person. Training and competing with faster runners each week has allowed me to post personal best times at every distance, from 1 Mile to Half-Marathon, and I have been fortunate to win a few races.

On the back of performing well for the last 2 years, I had been considering how I could give something back to the sport of running, especially seeing first hand the time and effort all the TBH coaches put in at the club. And when I heard Dave Moir was hosting an elite running group on a Monday evening, I decided to go along and help out  to the best of my abilities. Since my first session with the group, I have completed my Leadership in Running Fitness course, led my first warm-up and cool-down at a juniors session and also paced one of the junior runners to a 5K PB (and club record).

My future hopes include progressing onto the Leadership Coaching course and to continue help young runners improve and, more importantly, enjoy this great sport.

Paul O’Mara

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