Faye O'Riordan: The Teen Making Waves in IMRA Races

March 27, 2024

At just 15 years old, Faye O'Riordan of Carraig na bhFear AC is already making headlines in the world of Irish mountain running. Despite her young age, Faye has shown remarkable talent, competing against seasoned athletes and achieving remarkable success in IMRA (Irish Mountain Running Association) races.

Earlier this year, Faye showcased her prowess as part of Carraig na bhFear AC's National Senior Indoor League campaign, where she played a pivotal role in the team's impressive 5th place finish. Competing in the 3km events, Faye held her own against senior athletes with international experience, proving that age is just a number when it comes to her athletic abilities.

Schooled in St Angela’s College, Faye is guided by the experienced hand of coach Rhona Lynch. Rhona, herself a decorated athlete with achievements including a Cork County Senior Cross Country title and representations for Ireland at O35 XC level, brings a wealth of experience to Faye's training regimen, ensuring she is well-prepared for the challenges ahead.

Faye's journey to success has not been without its setbacks. In 2022, she suffered a setback due to a broken bone in her foot following a fall during school hurdles and a re-brake in the Musters cross country. Undeterred by this setback, Faye demonstrated her resilience by not only finishing the races but also making a remarkable recovery. Despite lingering nerves in 2023 about re-injuring herself, Faye persevered, eventually reaching the All Ireland cross country without the looming fear of her previous injury resurfacing.

Faye O'Riordan
O'Riordan representing Carraig na bhFear AC, by Jo Martin

Her foray into mountain running came as a natural progression, with Faye finding solace and joy in the trails alongside her father. Venturing into the IMRA leagues, she quickly made her mark, securing her first victory at the Bweeng Trail in 2022 on the short course. Undeterred by challenges, Faye embraced longer courses, relishing the encouragement from fellow runners.

The 2024 season has seen Faye continue to shine, with standout performances including a remarkable first-place finish for females at Glengarra Woods and a commendable 5th overall and 1st Junior F at Bweeng Trail. Currently ranked 3rd overall in the Coillte Winter/Spring Trail League with one race remaining, Faye's determination and talent are evident with each stride she takes.

Despite her impressive achievements, Faye remains humble and focused on her goals for the future. Expressing a desire to tackle the renowned Carrauntoohill Classic, she is undeterred by age restrictions, showcasing her hunger for new challenges and experiences in the world of mountain running.

As Faye O'Riordan continues to carve her path in the world of athletics, her story serves as an inspiration to young athletes everywhere, reminding them that with dedication, resilience, and passion, anything is possible, regardless of age. Keep an eye on this rising star as she continues to leave her mark on the Irish mountain running scene.

Featured Image: Valerie O'Sullivan