Jennings has oar in for 2016
ONE woman who didn't make the Airtricity Dublin Marathon was Caitriona Jennings, who made the painful decision to quit competitive running for good last September.
It came after a long battle with injury that came to a head in the marathon at the London Olympics last year when she hobbled home in 3 hours 22 minutes.
She had picked up a foot injury and her determination to finish the marathon resulted in a stress fracture of the left foot.
"Despite the pain, I honestly thought I'd get through the race on adrenaline. As we all know, on the day it didn't pan out like that." The nightmare wasn't over. Soon after she returned to training, Jennings picked up another stress fracture – this time in the right foot.
"It was much harder to deal with that. I'd picked myself up after the disappointment of the Olympics and then I was shot down almost immediately."
Totally frustrated, she decided to join sister Sinéad – a former world champion – in the sport of rowing. After an eye-catching performance in the novice singles at the National Championships, she won a place on rowing's development squad, coached by three-times Olympian Niall O'Toole.
A typical day for Jennings now starts at 6am, when she rises to put in a 90-minute stint on the water before work.
At lunchtime there's an hour in the gym and then in the evening it's back on the water.
"My goal is to make next year's World Championships and then to get good enough to be in contention for an Olympic place.
I have no doubt that there will be an Irish lightweight double at the 2016 Games."
So with one chapter ended, Jennings starts a new and rewarding one in her sporting life.
"I couldn't leave it after London. I didn't want my sporting career to end on that note. I feel I can make it up to everyone who supported me by making it to another Olympics."