Namban Rengo 5 Questions

Every Friday Paddy from Namban Rengo asks a member of Namban Rengo the following 5 questions. This was my turn.


And … we’re back! Happy New Year folks! When Pádraig (pronounced “paw rig”) came to the track all those years ago, I immediately had him down as one of those Oda Field one-hit-wonders. But if I learned one thing about this Dubliner – from the wrong side of the river – he’s a stubborn and persistent auld dog. He’s now one of the clubs most committed and dedicated members. Not only that, he’s a sound man. This is the highest compliment you can pay to an Irishman. Just make sure you read his blog posts. To the end! No longer content with the mere full marathon distance he’s started to dabble in ultras. This probably isn’t going to end well … Let me know if you need the number of a good surgeon. Over to you, Pádraig …

Hometown: Dundrum, Dublin.

Currently live: Musashi Mizonokuchi

1. Namban years active?

I first came out to run with Namban on Wednesday, 10th June, 2009. It was quite a memorable beginning … at least for me. I had just ran my first marathon, Tokyo, the previous March and my Irish friend, John Guckian, told me about Namban. He said that it was originally linked to The Irish Tokyo City Harriers (ITCH) which our friends Olly and Monica had run with in the 80s. I really enjoyed my first night running and came back for more. I remember Bob holding up a copy of Born to Run and recommending everyone to read it and Paddy coming over to say “howya”. I still find it amazing that I found so many new friends as I headed into middle age.

2. Running high point(s)?

It might sound superficial to say that every run is a high point, but it is only when you are injured and cannot run that you realize that it true. Most of my high points have not been races but runs in different parts of the world. Although I have run along the Tamagawa river 500 times in the last 10 years it never fails to disappoint. Whether it is first thing in the morning, or late at night, it is always full of life and nature. Many times Paddy and myself have discussed what a great resource it is and how lucky we are to live near it, although Paddy might live a little too near on a rainy day. My most memorable runs along the Tamagawa were in the days and weeks after the Great Tohoku Earthquake in 2011. If you were not in Japan, it was a time of great uncertainty and we were very lucky to be able to meet at Tamagawa station and trash out a steady 30km, still hoping that the Nagano Marathon would not be cancelled. Deer Park in Dublin sits above the city with a great view right across to Howth and the Northside. Less that a kilometer from where I grew up, there is no finer sight that the Lansdowne Road Stadium shimmering in the morning sun while you pound out the one mile circuit amidst local mamas power walking in groups of 3 and students cycling to UCD. I never ran when I lived in Ireland and now I am hardly back 5 mins when I am out the door in my shorts and clutching my iPhone. Running on holidays is always a pleasure, but one that has to be enjoyed early in the morning before your family wake up and realize that you have escaped into your own private world. I have ran in every country I have been to in the last 8 years but the lap of Diamond Head in Oahu was definitely special. Coming round the top with the most magnificent view of Waikiki Beach ahead and passing the young lad in the bright yellow running shirt who passed me on the way up will live with me forever. I could go on. And on. The Marina in Cork. The Phoenix Park in Dublin. Shimin no Mori in Nagano. Hyde Park in London and the pouring rain and getting lost in Chelsea and nearly missing my meeting. The park with all the stray dogs in Bangalore that scared the crap out of me. The beaches in Surin, Kona, Da Nang and Kuta. East Coast Park in Singapore and Victoria Park in Hong Kong with 100s of ladies doing Tai Chi at 6am. Every place I have been is linked to a run and I am grateful for every one

3. Running low point(s)?

There are no low points. Why should there be? What the hell was Paddy thinking asking this question? Probably of Nagano Marathon 2012 when I gave him my number but that is another story.

4. Favorite sports movie, sports book and sports/motivating song?

Movie: Escape to Victory. I was 12 when I heard that this movie was being made and I could not imagine a better movie than one that had Pele. Unless of course it also had The Incredible Hulk.

Book: Born To Run. After Bob recommended it to us, John went out and bought it and I borrowed it from him. It is an amazing book that makes you want to get up out of bed and run, even though it is 1am. Another great book that John lent me was Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes. I think we are seeing a trend here. Dean’s love of running is infectious and this book is highly recommended.

Song: Kylie Minogue – Can’t Get You Out Of My Head. Obvious reasons.

5. Your next big goal, ambition?

At the start of 2017 I decided to run an Ultra Marathon and completed the Nikko 100km in July. In order to prepare for it I did a lot of long slow runs and stopped doing the intervals with Namban. Right after it I thought that this was great and I would like to run it again. However, now at the end of the end of the year as I reflect on all the running that I have done, I feel that I missed a lot by not joining in the weekly track workout. My next goal is to get back to running on the track on Wednesday nights and doing the 5km time trial at the end of the month.

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