The 5000M podium revealed some intriguing trends this weekend. All three women who placed were 37 years old. What’s more is that two of them are mothers.
Twin sisters Sorcha and Ide Nic Dhomhnaill crossed the finish line in their 5000M race taking second and third place at the Irish Health National Senior Track and Field Championships. Sorcha (16.19) took silver, while Ide (16.20) took bronze, just one second behind her.
According to the sisters, getting to the podium was a team effort.
“I suppose we were definitely helping each other…it was kind of a funny race. The first lap was really, really slow,” Sorcha said.
The sisters said they were able to stick with each other during training, so they expected the same during the race.
“There’s a huge advantage definitely to having a sister who lives just down the road from you,” Ide said.
Two runners said they are actually less competitive with each other than they are with anyone else, but at the end of the day they both want to win.
They described how they took turns drafting off on another on the track, and how they were thinking of ways to help each other throughout the race.
“...at one point it felt like there was nobody at all on the track…,” Sorcha said.
Their competitor Fionnuala McCormack came first with a time of 16:07.75, which was 12 seconds ahead of the twins.
The sisters said they had never competed in a track event against McCormack before, despite knowing of her from other cross country events.
Sorcha started marathon training just under a year ago, and she said her 5K and 10K times have started to improve.
This race isn’t the first time both the twins made it on the podium. Earlier this year, Sorcha and Ide placed second and third in the Women’s Mini Marathon, which had been postponed for two years due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Ide gave birth to her second child just eight months ago and said it has been challenging to balance parenting and training time. However, it has made her training time even more special.
“Overall, I have to say me, personally, since having a baby… I’ve always loved running but it is the best now because I love when I do get that time at the end of the day…,” Ide said.
The 37-year-olds revived their passion for running at age 27, after taking several years off. They said in terms of athletics, it is never too late to get started.
“It is nice to think the ship hasn’t sailed…it is nice to write your own story,” Ide said.
Many girls drop out of their sports by age 14. Ide and Sorcha explained how they lost some of their passion for the sport, and ultimately had to want to run for no one else but themselves.
The athletes described the mental escape running provides for them, especially after a long day as busy parents.
“It’s that feeling of getting yourself out of whatever headspace you might have been in and exercise, you can’t beat it.”
Both Ide said once her husband comes home from work she is immediately out the door to train.
“It is not easy, but at the same time I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Ide said.
Sorcha said competing at the National Championships with her sister beside her made the entire experience even more enjoyable.
The twins also competed side-by-side earlier this year and took home gold and bronze.