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Up next in Meet the Athlete is Irish racewalker Brendan Boyce, who has been chatting to James Sullivan. Boyce has represented Ireland in the 50km Walk at the 2012 Olympic Games, the 2013 and 2015 World Championships, and the 2014 European Championships. His personal best of 3:48:55 places him third on the Irish all-time list.

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Brendan Boyce

Hike in the mountains or a lazy day at the beach?

If it’s not training then I’m all about relaxing. I’d be at the beach for sure reading a book.

Training on Christmas Day: Yay or Nay?

In my younger days I would have trained, but now I’m better at planning and always make sure I’m off on Christmas day.

Most interesting place you have visited as an athlete?

South Africa is probably the most interesting. It’s the place I’ve met the most contrasting people. Everyone you meet there has a unique story and it’s fascinating to get that insight into the lives of people. I’ve been a few times but our training camps are so intense I’ve still not seen the safari. I might go back on a proper holiday to see the other wonders of the country.

Most boring place you have visited as an athlete?

Dudince in Slovakia. I’ve raced there 5 times. They host great events but it’s a tiny spa town and it has one shop and one restaurant/pub. Anything more than a weekend there and I would have to be committed to an asylum.

If a movie was to be made about your life, which actor would you want to portray you?

I wouldn’t wish to put anyone though that torture, Groundhog Day rings a bell with my life. Same thing every day, but if I was allowed some liberties with the truth I might go with Shay Lebeouf. He played a nerdy kid in school and now he’s a bit weird, so fits with my story.

If you could be one animal for a day, which would you be, and why?

I’d be a peregrine falcon, the fastest thing on the planet. I’d love to do a skydive and these birds get to do that every day.

Least favourite thing about being an athlete?

My favourite thing is going to the start line on the big day and knowing I’m fully prepared. Unfortunately for me that is generally only 1 race a year. So I only get to do the thing I love one day a year and the rest is just the process.

What is the craziest thing you have done in a bid to reach your athletic potential?

Crazy isn’t really on the radar for me. I don’t do anything that doesn’t have a solid theory behind it, but I guess having to park my physiotherapy degree was a bit crazy. I now have to make athletics work or I’ll just be a bum.

Favourite non-athlete friendly meal?

If I get the urge I’ll have a Jackie Deluxe burger with a cheese chip garlic from Lennox’s in Cork.

Favourite Irish sportsperson (outside of athletics)?

Right now it would be Jason Quigley, the professional boxer from Donegal. He’s making his mark at the minute and I’m sure he’ll be a household name in another 2 or 3 years. I love seeing local success and it inspires me to know that you can still make a global impact even if you’re from the forgotten county.

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be?

Pablo Escobar, the richest criminal in history. Just to see life from the complete opposite end of the scale.

If you were the Taoiseach of Ireland you would……..

Sort out the housing market and make sure any athlete who wins an Olympic medal is given a state pension.

Any words of wisdom to share with our readers?

Do something every day that has an impact on your goals in life.

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