20 Questions with Catherina McKiernan

20 questions will be a weekly post with a host of fantastic Irish and International Running Stars…

First up is Catherina McKiernan: Catherina is one of Ireland’s most celebrated running stars, she is a European Gold & World Cross Country Silver Medalist and has won the London and Berlin Marathons –  she is also the current Irish female marathon record holder.

Check out her answers below!

Catherina McKiernan, Terenure 5 Mile, Irish Running, Run,

  1. Who was your inspiration in running growing up? No one in particular, to be honest.  I ran from a very young age for the sheer joy and sense of freedom that it gave me.
  1. Favourite Place to Run? I live beside the Phoenix Park and like running there but also like to run around the country roads at home in Cavan when I go home.
  1. What is your greatest achievement, running or otherwise? Difficult to pick one but winning the London marathon has to be up there.  Also winning the European Cross Country Championship and 4 silver medals in the World Cross country.  Off the sporting field learning to overcome challenges that life brings.
  1. Do you have any pre-race superstitions? I always wear a holy medal in my shorts pocket.
  1. What’s the one piece of advice you would give to a novice runner? To take advice from people that have competed and have experienced the ups and downs that athletics brings.
  1. How long have you been running? I started training properly under guidance from a coach when I was 17.  Before that I played a lot of different sports
  1. Best running memory? Thankfully many of them and I still have many enjoyable days at races and also watching my children run is fantastic.
  1. Favourite/Least Favourite distance? During my professional career  I liked anything from 10km up to the marathon.  Was not a fan of the shorter distances


  1. What shoes do you run in? Asics Hyperspeed
  1. What’s your next aim? To continue to enjoy running and to stay fit and healthy and run 5 and 10k’s and maybe a half marathon and some of the great races that are organised around the country.
  1. Favourite time of the day to run? To be honest for me anytime is a good time to run. Due to family and work commitments, I do most of my running in the morning time.
  1. Favourite/ Least Favourite thing about been a runner? I love the feeling of well-being, health and fitness that running gives.
  1. If you weren’t a runner, what would you be doing? Something sport-related


  1. Facebook or Twitter? Both
  1. Instagram or Pinterest? Neither
  1. What’s playing on your iPod before a race? N/A
  1. What’s in your Netflix queue? N/A
  1. Last Book you read? Find and Use Your Inner Power by Emmet Fox
  1. If you could be anywhere else in the world right now, where would you be? On a 6 month holiday in a nice warm peaceful place with my two children and all my Family
  1. Words to Live by? Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be.

Thanks, Catherina!

Check back soon for more “20 Questions” with Lauren Fleshman, Molly Huddle, Kim Smith, Thomas Chamney, Deirdre Byrne, Mary Cullen and more!

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