Molly Scott: Ireland’s fastest barrister prepares for racing return

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It has been a roller coaster eighteen months for Molly Scott.

The Carlow sprinter started off 2022 trading the national 60m record with Rhasidat Adeleke, becoming the first Irish woman to break 7.20 when winning the national title in Abbottstown that February.

The intervening months saw her finish her first year studying to become a barrister at King’s Inn, training away under the watchful eye of her mother Deirdre, before claiming silver in the 100m at the National Senior Track and Field Championships in Santry in a race for the ages against Adeleke.

Soon after, just before she was to fly out to the World Championships in Oregon as part of the Irish women’s 4x100m relay team, disaster struck.

Sprinting around a bend during a typical training session, Scott sustained a 17cm longitudinal tear in her post tibial tendon.

Fearing the worst instantly she went for a scan where the initial extent of her injury was laid bare.

“I tried to get the radiographer to tell me what it said but she wouldn’t,” Scott tells Irish Runner.

“She just said that I needed a lot of rest, so I knew then that it wasn’t good.”

Scott spent the next five and a half months without running, working with physiotherapist Ciara McCallion at the Sport Ireland Institute to try and get her back on track as soon as possible.

She returned to action in February in an ill-fated bid to prove her fitness for the European Indoor Championships, ultimately deciding herself that she would not compete in Istanbul.

Since then she has faced the difficult task of juggling the completion of her studies alongside her training.

“For all of March and April I was pretty much just getting four or five hours sleep every night,” she reveals.

“I would go to the track near my house, meet my mam there and do like a tempo session; no sprinting, no spikes, nothing. I didn’t sprint in spikes for all of March and April.

“It was too risky with how fatigued I was and the extreme mental stress I was under.”

Molly Scott on success off the track

The hard work paid off for the 24-year-old who opened her results in the Sport Ireland Institute last month to discover she had passed all her exams, sharing a heartwarming video on TikTok which has amassed nearly three million views.

The success off the track hasn’t stopped there as last Friday Scott was called to the Bar of Ireland by the Chief Justice.

“That was a really special moment, it meant a lot to me.

“We got to sit in the Supreme Court, there’s a harp on the wall and an Irish flag there. It means a lot to me. I was thinking about representing my country on the track but to also do it in a court is pretty special.”

Scott will now turn her attention to athletics full-time as she bids to qualify for the Olympic Games in Paris next year.

“I’ve done six years now of trying to balance both (training and studying) and with the degree I did you can’t do that,” she says.

“Trying to make Paris is similar to being a barrister, you have to give it 100%, you have to go all in to be successful.

“I think in the future if I didn’t do that, I might regret it.”

This weekend Scott returns to action racing over 100m at the National Senior Track and Field Championships at Morton Stadium, Santry.

The heats on Sunday will serve as her season opener, with a semi-final and final to follow should she advance through the rounds.

“I’m quite nervous about it but I’ve done a lot of training.

“I can’t really wait around anymore now I just have to get out there and do the first race.

“I’d love to make the final, get up there and try win.”

A firm believer in manifestation Scott previously had the time she clocked to break the national 60m record ingrained on the back of her phone. Has she done anything similar ahead of this weekend?

“It hasn’t been on the back of my phone this time, it’s been on my mirror in my house written with a pink magic marker that my mam gave me,” she laughs.

“I’m not sure if it’s going to come (the goal) as soon as I would like, but I’ve definitely put it out there into the universe.”

Molly Scott was speaking at the media day ahead of the National Senior Track and Field Championships that take place this weekend at Morton Stadium, Santry. Both days will be live streamed on the Athletics Ireland YouTube channel, with live coverage on RTÉ 2 on Sunday evening from 6:05pm.

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