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Sorcha living her best life abroad


FLASHBACK Sorcha McAllister of Westport AC is pictured on her way to winning the women’s 2,000m steeplechase during the National Juvenile Track & Field Championships back in 2016. Pic: Sportsfile

NORMALLY I get up around 8am-ish and do a little bit of work and have breakfast.
Practice is always at 10.30am. Myself and my room-mate actually cycle to college because we’re only a mile from campus. We don’t have a track on campus so we usually go to a nearby track with our coaches in a van. We work out as a group on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or Tuesdays and Fridays, and we have evening runs on the other days.
Tuesday is probably the most exciting day. When we get back from practice we have ‘lift’ at 1pm in the gym for 45 minutes. I then head home to have lunch and do some college work.
In the evening time if we’ve had a workout, we’ll usually have an easy run or some kind of cross training or a 30-minute bike ride. Afterwards, I’ll have my dinner and do any college work if I have any to do. If not, I’ll just relax with my room-mates.
We generally just watch Netflix. We’re currently on season four of The Wire and have started Designated Survivor, so we have quite a few to get through!
I’m living in a small suburb outside Boston called Newton.
With Covid, things have begun to open up far more than in Ireland. You can get coffee in a café or go out for brunch, lunch or dinner indoors. All the shops are also open on Newbury Street – which is Boston’s equivalent of Grafton Street.
Sometimes my friend and I like to walk around Newton, which is a really nice area with lots of trails. The Blue Hills isn’t too far away either. Boston is a lovely city. Places like Boston Common, Boston Public Gardens and the Isabella Stuart Gardener Museum are nice places to have a wander around.
We have to be careful on the team because if you get Covid you’re out for two weeks, or even longer based on how you react. On top of that, you have to be super careful with being contact traced, so if you are going out to meet people you have to be careful with who you are meeting and if they are following guidelines.
Even though things have loosened for the lay-person in Boston, I’m a bit more cautious, so I kind of stuck to my bubble of room-mates.
I’m in the graduate programme in Leadership Administration at Boston College.
This semester I had four classes and two of them were hybrid, so I’d be online one week and then in-person the next week. The other two classes were completely online. The college is way more open here than at home.
Libraries and cafés are open, so there’s definitely more of a campus and student feel to college here. It does make a big difference to be in-person once every second week just to keep you grounded in terms of what you have to have done.
We had a few open cross-country races before Christmas but we were limited with how many people could go, only around ten.
I have decided to come back to Boston for one more semester. It’s great to be out here with all the facilities for running and training with such a good group of girls. I’m excited for the next semester just because cross-country season has started. I’m excited for east regionals. I’m just excited to go to see the standard, it’s such a different level to at home. It’s at a great level at home but there’s just so many girls here running such fast times.
I was weirdly homesick when I first came back after Christmas, which I wouldn’t normally be. I was in college in Dublin for four years, so I felt I was kind of used to being away from home. I do miss Ireland, I’m looking forward to coming home to seeing my Mam and Dad, my two brothers and my friends.
It’s different here. Ireland is very relaxed, you miss that sometimes.

In conversation with Oisín McGovern

Quickfire questions
Name: Sorcha McAllister
Club: Westport AC
Age: 23
Occupation: Student

Working from home or just at home?
I’m lucky to have a hybrid of working from home and classes on campus.

Best thing about social distancing?
The perfect excuse to stay in!

Worst thing about social distancing?
Not being able to just meet friends casually. Everything has to be planned and booked.

Best thing about wearing a mask?
No need to worry about make-up below the eyes

What’s your guilty pleasure TV show?
‘Love at First Sight Australia’ – the drama is unreal!

Which three celebrity guests would you invite to your Zoom party?
Aisling Bea, Louis Theroux, and Ricky Gervais.

What’s your most prized possession at the moment?
I bought a new apple watch a little while ago and rely on it a lot! After breaking the first one, I’m keen to make this one to last more than six months.

First thing you’ll do when things go back to normal?
Go out with my friends to celebrate graduating college last year!

One old race you’d love to watch back?
My first All-Ireland XC race when I was Under-11. My Dad told me I finished middle of the pack but all I was concerned with was the cookie and McDonalds post-race.
It would be interesting to see if I actually came about last!

Athlete you’d most like to room with?
Ciara Mageean. She seems pretty relaxed and grounded.

Favourite post-race meal and drink?
A Lucozade sport and a load of toast with PB and jam – very boring I know, but generally all I can manage!

Favourite song to get ‘up’ for a race?
I never really listen to music before a race.

Best advice you ever got?
You make your own luck.

What do you miss most about sport pre-Covid?
Spectators and being able to celebrate a win.

Sum up Coronavirus in three words?
Eat. Walk. Repeat.

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