Mary was a studious kid and wasn’t interested in sport. After college, she joined the IT department of Price Waterhouse Cooper becoming a management consultant. She spent a lot of time in London, and friends introduced her to running.
“I got slowly up to my first 5 K, and then, in 2005, I trained for the London Marathon. I read everything possible and learned a lot about running.”
Mary ran long distance throughout her thirties, completing over 45 marathons, and some ultra-marathons.
“I combined it with travel.”
In 2006, offered a career break, she moved to Ireland and worked under contract for three days a week.
“I set up as a coach and personal trainer as a hobby. And in 2012 I left real work to coach full time.”
She started writing a bi-weekly column for the Irish Times after the success of the ‘Get Running,’ online coaching programme she’d set up for the paper. This gave her the confidence to approach publishers with her book proposal.
Who is Mary Jennings?
Date of birth: 1977, in Dunboyne.
Education: Coolmine Community School, Dublin: Dublin City University, BA in European Business and French. “We spent our third and fourth year in France. I spent some time working for Bord Failte, promoting Ireland in France.”
Home: Donabate, County Dublin.
Family: Husband John, and son Harry, 2.
The Day Job: Chi Running Instructor with ForgetTheGym. Columnist for the Irish Times.
In Another Life: “I’m a chicken in open water, but I’d love to have the guts to be a daily sea swimmer.”
Favourite Writers: “My bookshelves are full of running, travel and food books. The Non Runner’s Marathon Trainer by David Whitsett and Forrest Dolgener got me to my first marathon. I love Dervla Murphy and Nigel Slater.”
Second Novel: There’s nothing planned.
Top Tip: “Having a deadline. There is no way I would have written the articles or the book without being accountable to someone else.”
Website: www.ForgetTheGym.ie Twitter: @ForgetTGym
The Debut: Get Running. Gill Books: €17.00
The training guides, motivational tips, runner’s stories, and pictures in this wonderful book, provide encouragement for anyone who wants to get out and give running a go.
The Verdict: The best running book ever! Comprehensive, inspiring and beautifully produced.
Published in The Irish Examiner on 9th March.
© Sue Leonard. 2019