David Flynn in training in the US at Mammoth Lakes

COOLMINE man David Flynn came 10th of 30,000 in the Rock and Roll San Diego half marathon recently, running a 35-second personal best as he made the step up to longer distances following an impressive middle-distance campaign.
Flynn’s time of one hour, six minutes and 31 seconds saw him tackle a humid, hilly course in a time that ranks third in Ireland for 2017, behind only former Dublin marathon winner and world championship representative Sean Hehir, and Olympian Kevin Seaward.
Despite this, Flynn says “there’s a lot of improvement to be made”.
Speaking of the build up to the race, Flynn told the Gazette “So far the season has gone very well. I’ve run two personal bests in the 5000m ranking me in the top 20 in Europe off only strength training, as everything was focused on this half marathon.
“I’m excited to start incorporating speed into my training and get back on the track to race. I put a huge amount of pressure on myself for this half marathon but that’s when I perform to my best ability.
“I’m quite vocal about my training and goals on social media, not because I’m trying to brag or anything but more to inspire the younger generation of Ireland of the opportunities running can bring, and connect with the Blanchardstown/Castleknock community who have been a lot of support over the years, whether it was classmates from Coolmine community school or GAA players from Castleknock GAA club, who I used to play for.”
He continued “I’ve just returned from 14 weeks of high altitude training in Mammoth Lakes, California. I’ve made huge sacrifices to get where I am today, and there’s definitely been a lot of setbacks along the way.
“But if I had advice for any young up and coming athletes in any sport it’s to stay focused on your goals don’t get distracted, especially between the ages 18 and 21 as these are pivotal times for development. If you’re willing to make the sacrifices and believe in yourself the dream will become a reality.”
Shortly before the race, Flynn was shocked by the suicide of his Mammoth Lakes college teammate, an Ethiopian born runner who relocated to the US at the age of seven, and had become a world class athlete training with the group, who use altitude and high-level training to condition themselves for racing at this level.
Flynn’s debut at full marathon distance is pencilled into the diary for the Los Angeles Marathon which takes place in March 2018, with the route from the Pasadena Rose Bowl to the LA shoreline.
Much sooner than that, he will represent Ireland at the European Team Championships in Vaasa, Finland between June 23 and 25.