BY KIERAN McCARTHY
JOAN Healy has her sights set on breaking a national record in the coming months.
The Bandon AC sprinter set a new 60m PB of 7.37 at round one of the National Indoor League in Abbotstown last Saturday and, in good shape, she feels she can run even faster in the weeks ahead.
‘I started the season with a baseline run in December, running 7.44 which was my fastest opening race,’ Joan explained.
‘I had a PB of 7.41, which I ran in 2016, so I was delighted with that opener.’
Ahead of the National Indoor League opener, Joan was hoping to get under 7.40 – but she did even better than that. ‘When I saw the clock I was absolutely delighted. That time has now put me at number seven on the all-time Irish list,’ she said.
‘The national record is 7.30 so that is most definitely in my sights now after Saturday’s run. 7.30 is also the qualifying standard for the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham in March.’
Joan, from Ballineen, is the older sister of well-known sprinter Phil Healy, who has already qualified in the 400m for the world indoors, and Joan also knows to beat the 60m national record, she’ll also have to run faster than Phil’s PB of 7.31 – but she feels that’s realistic after an injury free run and a solid winter of training under her belt.
‘I’m heading to Nantes this weekend to race in the 60 metres,’ outlined Joan, who works as a full-time secondary school teacher in Terence MacSwiney Community College in Cork city.
‘There’s a really good line-up there so hopefully that will push me to take another few hundredths off my time. I’ve a few more races in February with the national championships on February 17th and 18th.
‘I’ve had a great winter, the best yet. I’ve been able to stay injury free so that has been key to me running so well up to now so hopefully it will remain that way.’
The Bandon AC sprinter also wants to qualify in the 100m for the 2018 European Athletics Championships in Berlin next August, and if she can stay injury-free and continue her impressive early-season form, that’s within her grasp. Her current 100m PB is 11.62 and the qualifying standard is 11.50 and she’s confident she’ll hit that mark.