Runner of the Week: Paschal Sheehy - 'I’m not running to be competitive'

Paschal Sheehy enjoys cycling as well as running.

Each week Denise O’Donoghue profiles one of the runners taking part in the Irish Examiner Cork City Marathon this June.

“I run up to 20 miles. I don’t do marathons. I’m not running to be competitive. For me it is about exercise and physical and mental health,” says RTÉ News’ southern editor Paschal Sheehy, who will be running two legs of a relay in this year’s Cork City Marathon.

“I’ll be running 10 miles, two legs of the relay. I’m raising funds for Douglas GAA club,” he said.

As well as running, Paschal enjoys cycling.

“I started cycling 20 years ago. I’ve done Malin to Mizen half a dozen times, I did the 26 counties over four days, I lost count of how many times I cycled the ring of Kerry.”

Paschal turned to running as a more flexible option when other commitments made it difficult to travel for cycling.

“It’s hard to keep that up after you’ve had children. I started running five or six years ago.”

He enjoys the buzz he gets from running, especially after working hard.

“I run up to 20 miles. I don’t do marathons. I’m not running to be competitive. The buzz is important to me. I find that the harder I work the more I exercise need to take and the more I do take.”

Paschal’s job can be physically demanding, but he doesn’t let that stop his running.

“During the general election last year I was in every constituency. In 25 days I ran ten 10km runs. By the end of it, I felt energised, while people there who did no exercise were collapsing.”

He says many people have no excuse for not exercising. He often skips sleep so he can run, and he feels better for it.

“Exercise energises me rather than making me tired. I have often sacrificed sleep time to exercise, but I find that after that if I sleep only six hours, it is a good, deep sleep and I don’t wake feeling tired.

“When I go out for a run at 6am I know my day at work — and my day in general — will be more productive as a result.”

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