ATHLETICS | McCluskey hoping to put his injury problems behind him

North East Runner athlete has been in good form in recent weeks

Brian McCluskey of North East Runners crosses the line at the recent Dundalk 10K Race. PICTURE: CIARAN CULLIGAN

Local athlete Brian McCluskey is hoping that his injury problems are finally behind him after a string of impressive performances in recent weeks.

The North East Runners member backed up his third place finish at the 2017 Patsy Kelly 5K Race (16:07) by securing the runner-up spot in the Mountpleasant AC 5K Road Race (16:23) nine days later.

And he battled through blustery conditions to finish fourth at the recent Dundalk 10K Race, finishing in a healthy time of 33:41 minutes.

“I was quite happy with,” McCluskey told Dundalk Sport. “I’ve been struggling with injuries for the past five or six weeks and I haven’t been able to do the training I would have liked to have done to get me up the field.

“But, fourth place in a time of 33:42, I would have taken that any day if it was offered to me beforehand. It’s a good time and a good push forward for me. It’s a marker.”

Dundalk 10K Race 2017 | 250417
Action from this year's Dundalk 10K Race at DKIT Sport. Pictures by Ciaran Culligan Photography.

Niggles to his calf and hamstring have interrupted McCluskey’s season but he feels he is getting back to something near his best form.

“I’d like to get back running the way I was about a year-and-a-half ago. I had no injuries and I ran for the Ireland over-40 team. I was absolutely flying,” he said.

“I had a bit of an injury that set me back for three months last year. I got back but not to the times I was hitting before that and then I picked up another injury which I’ve been trying to shake off for the past five or six weeks. Hopefully, it’s all systems go now.”

A record number of entrants took part in this year’s Dundalk 10K while there were also huge numbers at the Patsy Kelly 5K.

Athletics is thriving in Dundalk and the surrounding areas at this moment in time and McCluskey has seen first hand how popular the sport has become.

“I took up running late in life,” he explained. “Soccer was my game so I didn’t get into running until I was 33. I’m 41 now and since I’ve taken it up it has just exploded.

“You can see that in the Dundalk 10K Race,” he added. “I’m a local lad myself and I participate in it every year. I’ve seen it grow from strength to strength and it gets bigger and better. You can see that in the record numbers this year.

“Each year there are more and more people running and more and more events taking place. It’s just a fantastic game to be in.”

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