Get to Know…Katherine O’Hara

There's no messing with this lady.

There’s no messing with this lady.

We are joined this week by one of the Four Musketeers (can you guess the other three I am talking about?). Having seen her photo for these Q&A’s then you know there ain’t no messing with this girl. She is one of the winning SDW relay team members as well as holding an Arena club record as the 4th fastest lady at the Hove Prom parkrun. So you think you know Katherine O’Hara? Well read on to find out the real truth behind the mask of Katherine O’Hara.

Name: Katherine O’Hara 

1. When did you join Arena:
The last race of the cross country season, I think it was January 2015 although it feels like I have been part of the family for longer than that…

2. How long have you been running:
It has always been a part of my life especially at University in the early 90s when I used it to run off the hangovers. My first marathon was London 1999 so that was when I got into proper training.

3. Where did you grow up:
Proud to say Essex .. a place called Shoeburyness close to the infamous Southend (although I was born in Kent so am not by definition an ‘Essex girl’).

4. What’s the first thing you notice about somebody: 
Their facial expressions such as smile and eye contact…

5. Apart from running what else do you do with your free time:
I have 2 girls aged 4 and (almost) 8 so when I have them we get busy. Recently camping and teaching them to boogie board. I get free time when they are with their dad and I have to confess to being a coffee addict so I can very often be found feeding my habit in local coffee shops and catching up with friends.

6. What’s the one song that gets you up out of your chair: 
Tough to pick just one… Dario G – Sunchyme is a favourite as it reminds me of attempting to teach aerobics to African girls in Nairobi. A track to get me out of my chair and off for a run has to be Let’s Go – Calvin Harris.

7. Tell me about something you would happily do again:
I lived in Melbourne – I was there for 11 years. Top liveable city and lifestyle.

8. What are the three most used apps on your phone: 
Spotify, BBC weather, Whatsapp (in that order).

9. Who is your sporting hero:
Daley Thompson was my first love- more recently Jo Pavey who I met at Brighton Marathon. Kelly Holmes another one.. Jessica Ennis …. in fact anyone who has trained for an Olympics (especially when coming back from injury or having children).

10. What would be your perfect evening out:
Depending on location and weather … a BBQ on a cliff top overlooking the sea with friends and family would be perfect. Equally some cocktails / tapas and a good dance with friends would be a winner.

11. What’s the best thing about living in Brighton:
Being by the sea and the South Downs… it is as close to Melbourne as I can find.

12. Who do you hang out with from Arena and why:
Tara Shanahan helped me build a flat pack wardrobe which took more than 3 solid nights of blood sweat and tears so that started a solid friendship. I Met Tara Shanahan and Kerry Scott doing the South Downs relay in 2015 and they became my ‘run dine’ with me mates where we run / host a meal and share some vino. Dani Tarleton and I train together and raced XC together. Our families spent New Year together last year.

So many of the Arena crew have inspired me in my training and racing. Outside of running the Arena crew have also supported me as I adjusted to being separated from my family and I fully appreciate their friendship.

13. If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go:
A few on my bucket list I haven’t been to… South America, Maldives, Madagascar – prefer somewhere away from the crowds and near the Ocean.

14. What was the first song you ever purchased (be truthful):
Nena – 99 red balloons on vinyl…

15. Tell us something we don’t know about you:
I have an identical twin sister called Lisa who runs for Greenwich runners.

16. Can you play chess and do you know the offside rule in football:
Don’t have the strategic patience for chess. Am all over the offside rule having been brought up in a house that had the football on every weekend and supporting my brother  playing. In fact the reason my Dad left Ireland (his homeland) was to watch the World cup in 1966 ( then he never went home!).

17. What has been your biggest achievement in your life so far: 
Having my two girls is the most important. Personally winning gold in my age group at the World Champs Duathlon in 2005. Coming second in the South Downs relay is up there too!

18. What gives you a high:
Racing is my best high and I really enjoy racing as a team. Giving my girls a good time/laugh and listening to good tunes ( am a real dance music fan…seems the Essex in me lives on).

19. Who was you first pop idol crush:
Nick Kershaw.

20. What’s the last concert or gig that you went to:
Coldplay in Melbourne – amazing.

Our biggest thanks to Katherine for her Q&A’s and a great read this week. Check back next Wednesday for another set of Q&A’s with our chosen club member.