Moire’s first interest lay in science. And though she was athletic as a child, she dropped netball at 18 to concentrate on the Viola.
“I played in the Ulster Youth Orchestra,” she says.
After university, Moire worked for the missionaries in Kenya.
“Part of my work was writing newsletters and reports. People were encouraging.”
After seven years she left Africa, and worked for Concern in Dublin.
“I was based there for three years, and I took up mountain running. In 2009 I became the first person to complete the Wicklow Round, a 100 K circuit of the Wicklow mountains run within 24 hours.”
When the financial crash came, she and her husband left Ireland for Nepal, then Cambodia.
“We came back in 2012 to start a family.”
Moire self-published an account of the Wicklow challenge before getting a publishing deal for her debut.
“I was so apprehensive about getting pregnant,” she says. “I wanted to show that you can get back to training and racing, but it’s a real struggle.”
Who is Moire O’Sullivan
Date of birth: 1976, in Derry.
Education: Thornhill College. (Home of #Derry Girls.) University of York: BSc Chemistry. This included a year in France. University of Manchester: MA in Development, Administration and Management.
Home: Rostrevor, County Down. At the foot of the Mourne Mountains.
Family: Husband, Pete Power, Microfinance Specialist. Sons Aran 4, and Cahal, 2.
The Day Job: Mum and writer. Training to be a Mountain Leader.
In Another Life: “I’d be Karen Blixen with a farm in Africa.”
Favourite Writers: Currently Julia Donaldson; Oliver Jeffers; Roald Dahl.
Second Novel: “It’s about Tom, the dog we rescued in Vietnam.”
Top Tip: “If you’re lacking inspiration, go for a run.”
Web: www.moireosullivan.com Twitter: @moiresullivan
The Debut: Bump, Bike & Baby. Mummy’s Gone Adventure Racing. Sandstone Press: €10.99 Kindle: €2.49
Moire’s husband wants children, but as a competitive mountain runner, she’s less sure about parenthood. Is it possible to combine pregnancy and babyhood with a punishing training schedule, and still win Ireland’s National Adventure Race Series?
“I love it when new mothers say, ‘your book helped me to think through how to be me.’”
The Verdict: A well written, honest, and amusing account, which will prove invaluable for mums who run.
Published on 30th June in the Irish Examiner.
© Sue Leonard. 2018