Matthew Behan’s Still Running

Matthew Behan 2

Young Sandymount athlete Matthew Behan’s star is on the rise as he continues to win at running and hurdle races in Leinster and around the country.

A 16 year old fifth-year student at CUS (Catholic University School), Matthew’s two main interests are 100 and 400-metre hurdles. His achievements include Gold Medal in 400 metre hurdles at the All Ireland Tailteann Inter-provincial Schools 2013 and Leinster Champion for 100-metre hurdles 2013. He was placed on (AAI) Athletics Association of Ireland emerging talent squad for Leinster 2012/2013.

Matthew trains with his club Crusaders based in Irishtown Stadium and also runs for CUS.

Matthew spent a year of intense practice on his lead leg (the one that goes over the hurdle before the body) aided by his coach Maria Hetherington.

He is driven by his love of sport, he says “I love being out there and doing it, I just find it a good way to get a release from everything but mainly I love running, being active and fit.

Matthew trains three times per week for two hours, two times after school and on a Saturday. Although he doesn’t follow a strict diet, he avoids crisps and his mother Deborah makes sure he is well-fed to keep his energy levels high and his nutrition well balanced. Usain Bolt is his favourite athlete and he looks up to world champion American hurdler David Oliver.

With the help of his parents, he has a well-organised routine in place for his sports and life balance. “My parents support me all the way, they bring me to every event I have to go to and they are there watching me always.”

Winning is definitely on Matthew’s agenda and he has a deadly competitive streak, not just in sports, “even a game of tiddly winks gets Matthew going”, his father Liam jokes. Before a race Matthew gets into the “zone” by taking a few minutes aside to warm up and he is driven by the idea of being successful in sports. Does Matthew have advice for young athletes out there? “Yes, persistence, just keep at it and it will come together for you”.

Above: Matthew Behan in action.
Photo courtesy Liam Behan.

By Leeza Kane