19 February 2017; Kieran Kelly, Raheny Shamrocks AC, Dublin, crosses the line to win on the Men's 800m Final during the Irish Life Health National Senior Indoor Championships at the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

The 2017 summer athletics season is upon us, and so it’s time for a new series of Meet the Athlete. First up is the 2017 Irish indoor 800m Champion, Kieran Kelly, who has been chatting to James Sullivan. Here’s some things you didn’t know about the Raheny Shamrock half-miler.

If you could be one Simpson’s character, who would you be, and why?

Kent Brockman, the news presenter. He’s rarely in trouble and always seems to have subtle funny lines.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Slow drivers. One of them cost me €60 when I got caught overtaking in the bus lane last week in Swords.

Your most horrific travel experience was in…….

Coming back from Belfast from a Noel Gallagher gig in 2012. A friend and I planned to get a taxi from the Odyssey to the bus stop, in order to catch the last bus back to Dublin, but we were delayed with all the traffic outside the venue. When the driver finally got a free run and onto the motorway he had to chase the bus down, and eventually overtook the bus to get us to our stop. Then while we’re at the stop and about to get on the bus I can’t find my ticket and neither my friend or I have sterling on us.  30 seconds later I found the paperthin ticket in the corner of the pocket in my jeans to much relief.

Most bizarre thing that has happened to you at an athletics meet?

When I was put initially in the B race at the recent indoor AAI Games for the 1500m. I don’t mean to sound arrogant but I had the second fastest 1500m PB going into that meet ,so I obviously expected to be in the A race. it upset my mental preparation with that happening 20 minutes before the race. It was quickly corrected and stated as a clerical error.


Kieran Kelly

Most interesting thing you’ve heard or come across in a pre-race call room?

I’ve seen funny looking warm ups that I’ve never done or even seen before but nothing particularly too interesting or controversial.

Favourite and least favourite things about being an athlete?

Favourite: The great feeling you get from winning a medal or achieving a personal best. It’s an amazing adrenaline rush.

Least-favourite: The Sunday morning hills session. It’s a tough session and I’m tired most of the day afterwards. I can’t do much on the Saturday night and need to be home by 11ish, and if I go out I can’t have more than 2 or 3 pints. Sunday sessions are hard but they’re important. They really make you.

Your non athletics friends think you are…….

Very goal focused, too thin, football fanatic, bookish, opinionated.

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?

John F Kennedy. His whole life was interesting.  The man had great hair too.

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

A cheetah because they are fast.

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

Cold baths in winter to help the muscles recover. Shivering the whole time and anxiously looking at the watch to know how long is left.

Favourite artist, album and song?

Favourite artist – The Beatles

Favourite album – The Beatles: Revolver

Favourite song – The Beatles: In My Life

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

Ban cigarettes, allow off licences to be open until 12, allocate less money for the GAA as they’re self-sufficient enough.

Favourite non-athlete friendly meal?

Ham and chicken pizza from Domino’s.

You get to spend one training session with any athlete of your choosing. Who do you pick?

David Rudisha. I’d love to try his training sessions or even have him do some of the sessions I do in St Anne’s Park.

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