by Conor Bradley

Everything, for me, revolves around running.

Every decision I make is based on running. Over the years I've had to make a lot of sacrifices, missing friends' birthdays, not seeing my wife as much as I'd really like, but the big picture for me has always been to represent the country.

My family, my wife and friends are fully supportive. They know it's not a decision I take lightly. It's just something I have to do to be the best I can be.

What does it involve?

It's a case of getting up at half-six in the morning, when the rain and wind is battering on the window and you're thinking, this is the last thing I want to be doing, but somehow, you just manage to lace up the shoes and get out the door. You have that mental fortitude to keep pushing on because you know it's what needs to be done.

It's what your competitors are doing.

At the end of 2018, I was in my sixth year of injuries, on and off, and I was just mentally tired. I decided I needed to step away, I couldn't do it any more.

So I hung up the spikes.

For the first few weeks, it was great. You go to work, 9 to 5, then come home and have your dinner at a reasonable hour, and you can sit and watch TV and walk your dog. But after a few weeks you realise you actually loved running.

And you need it in your life.

The above passage is an extract from It Runs Deep, a documentary by Eamonn Kerrigan, which tells the story of Irish distance runner Conor Bradley as he chases his dream of representing his nation at the European Cross Country Championships.

Watch below. 

Image: Fintan Stewart