A Cork student who wowed the world with her astounding finish to a 4x400 meter relay race has joked that she can now look to retirement after reaching viral status because of her running skills.
Phil Healy, a third-year nursing student at University College Cork, staged a remarkable comeback in the final leg of the Woman's 4 x 400m Relay Final at the Irish University Athletics Championships last week, a run that has resulted in her being featured in the Washington Post and on dozens of top US sport sites.
Funnily enough, Phil wasn’t even supposed to be taking part in the race!
“I had ran in the 100 and 200 meters and one of the girls just asked would I fill in on the last leg and I said ‘throw me in and I’ll see what I can do,’” she told the Irish Examiner.
As it turned out, what she could do was extraordinary and over the last 200 meters of her leg she came from the “depths of hell,” as the overexcited commentators described it, to clinch first place in what had already been an entertaining relay.
With University College Dublin looking as if they would easily bring it home, the race from around three minutes on is full of twists and turns before reaching its fantastic finish, helped along by the pure unforced excitement in the voices of the commentators.
Despite her miraculous drive from fifth to first in the last half-lap, Healy didn’t even get a chance to celebrate. She had final assignments that had to be completed as soon as she got home.
“I went home Saturday night. I missed the banquet that night and just continued on as normal on Sunday,” she said.
“It was Monday before it exploded. It went absolutely crazy,” she laughed.
“I had an assignment due this Friday and I was doing the work and last night the media frenzy went off the wall.”
Thankfully, UCC has now given her an extra week to finish her assignment so she can keep up with the intensified media interest as the video’s fame continues to soar.
She joked: “I was saying to my coach, Shane McCormack, ‘How can I go out and perform better than this? I can retire now’!”
H/T: Irish Examiner