Meet The St Benedict Inbhear Mór Members – John & Jacqueline


You may have seen us out running in our green vests but what’s it like to join our club? We asked some of our members to answer a few questions and tell us all about their experience of joining St Benedict Inbhear Mór AC. If you are interested to know more about us or have any questions please send us a message through our Facebook page or Contact Us page.


St Benedict Inbhear Mór AC

Member since – 2016

Q1. How did you hear about the club?

John – A few people that I knew in the estate that I lived in were members and said it was great for fitness and improving self confidence. So I decided to give it a go!

Q2. What made you decide to join?

John – I had run a lot as a Juvenille in school at local community games over 100m and 200m distances. I played football at a decent level until I was 19 but my fitness was poor since my mid twenties. I was too heavy, over 12 stone and enjoying the party lifestyle a bit too much. So I said to myself that I would try and target a 5k race in 6 months time and get myself off the couch.

Q3. What were your first impressions of the club after you joined?

John – At first I felt that I might be a bit out of the loop as I thought I wasn’t as good as some of the others. However I quickly found that the club were great in welcoming new members and ensuring people get any advice that they need. It had a really positive, happy feel to it. A club should be welcoming of everyone as it can be daunting for some people to make the decision to join up. It’s important to make people feel welcome and to remember that we all have the same goal, to be ambassadors for Arklow and improve ourselves.

Q4. How has joining the club benefited you?

John – My confidence in running has definitely grown immensely. I want to be better in every race that I do even though I’m 43 now! My running last year for me was just perfect. I achieved PB’s in all of the main road race distances. I got some great advice running in the club especially from Michael, Denny and Gary, sensible guys who know their stuff. Interacting and encouraging others in the club is also something I love. It’s great to see new faces and love the bus trips to races and the spirit in the group. Hopefully these events come back next year!

Q5. What is your favourite thing about being a member?

John – My favourite thing about being a member is feeling part of the group, seeing peoples happy faces after the races (the good bit after, not finish line faces!). There are so many people in the club now who want to really improve their running. I think it’s a brilliant club that is definitely going places. It’s also exciting to see the fantastic Juvenilles that will come through the ranks in the next few years. The club is definitely in great hands!

Q6. What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about joining?

John – I would say to anyone thinking of joining to come down and see what it’s all about. We are a very welcoming bunch! Ask as many questions as you can, take your time and the progression will come. Just enjoy the running and smile and laugh with our crazy crew!


St Benedict Inbhear Mór ACMember since – 2019

Q1. How did you hear about the club?

Jacqueline – I was helping out with St. Benedict’s Juveniles Athletics Club and met Justin and Donna Nolan when they started coaching also. They told me all about the club and encouraged me to join.

Q2. What made you decide to join?

Jacqueline – I completed a couch to 5km programme a few years ago and really enjoyed it but found after a while I wasn’t being consistent enough with my training so found it really hard to get over the 5km distance. When I saw the difference that Justin, Donna, Michael and Gillian’s coaching made to the juveniles it spurred me on to improve my own training. However, I wasn’t too sure where to start as I hadn’t been running consistently for a long time. I was given great support and advice as I started running again, as a result I decided to join.

Q3. What were your first impressions of the club?

Jacqueline – I have to say I was very impressed with the knowledge of the runners. Also the support and how welcome I was made to feel.

Q4. How has joining the club benefited you?

Jacqueline – Since I have joined the club I went from struggling with my running to taking part in a number of running events, club runs, Wicklow County 5km Championship and recently I completed a Half Marathon Distance! I truly believe that I wouldn’t have achieved this if it wasn’t for the support of the members, of the club members urging me on during the difficult runs and celebrating with me on great runs too.

Q5. What’s your favourite thing about being a member?

Jacqueline – My favourite thing about being a member is that I have met such lovely people, I feel part of a community and have had some hilarious conversations while clocking up the miles!

Q6. What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about joining?

Jacqueline – Sometimes it is very easy to let fear hold you back, thinking “I couldn’t run that distance” or “I won’t be able to keep up with anyone!” Don’t let fear hold you back because I found there was always someone to run with, encourage me and to give me advice on how I can improve or reach goals that I had set for myself. So, if you think that running might be something you would like to try, get in contact with the club!


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