For week 2 of our members Monday series, we caught up with Visually impaired runner Ross Gallagher:
1 Introduce Yourself
My name is Ross Gallagher, I am a blind / vision impaired runner, 33 years of age from Kerry. To date, I have won 289 medals and completed 258 road races in total!
2. How did you first get involved sport ?
I attended the May games in Dublin in 2004, competing in seven track and field events. I really enjoyed it and so I also went over to metro games in London.
3. What is it that you enjoy most about sports and physical activity?
Sports is a great thing to do that allows you to keep fit, have great fun and craic, and also be in great company! Through sport, I have made lot of new friends and I enjoy being out in the fresh air.
4. Were you previously or are you still involved with any other sports?
I did blind soccer for a while, I also tried cycling and did goalball too, however my main passion is running.
5. What challenges and/or obstacles did you face, if any, getting involved in sport and leisure? (i.e. lack of awareness, volunteers, resources, choice of sport)
When I first started out in running, it was important that I found the right guide runners for me to run with and go at my pace. I received great help from NCBI in Kerry and also have great help from Vison Sports Ireland. Joe helped me out with the various sports and what distance I could cover running. I also attend my gym in Castleisland and I can work all the machines in the gym I enjoy the rowing, cross trainer and treadmill.
6. What would you consider to be your biggest sporting achievement to date big or small?
My biggest achievement would have to be doing my second full marathon in Tralee on Saturday 25th September. I did it in time of 5 hours 51 with a great team of guide runners and also getting to my 100 ten k road race in total in Druntrasna challenge on 16th October and do a personal best at my 65th park run in a time of 25minutes 54seconds on 18th September in Tralee park.
7. What piece of advice would you give to someone in the vision impaired community who would like to get involved in sports?
To try everything in sports, enjoy it, make friends, have fun craic, be surrounded by great company and get off your ass! Don’t let anything or anyone stop you.
8. What athlete do you admire most and why?
I look up to Jason Smyth big time, what he has done in running and still doing to is great thing for sure. I also look up to Mo Farah the long distance runner and his drive to keep going.
9. Outside of sport what do you so in your leisure time?
I enjoy the gym, walking, running, holidays, going to the cinema and gigs , listening to music, dancing, shopping, listening to books, facebook and watching sports. I am a big Manchester United fan.
10. What does sport mean to you?
Sports means everything to me, I eat, sleep and drink it. I even dream about it too. Running is my life.