Friday, December 14, 2018

Meath Track and Field league Round 1b

Duleek and District athletic club

Headline –  Meath Track and Field League

It was a case of revisiting the scene of previous achievement as a number of Duleek juvenile athletes made the short trip to Cushinstown for the second round of the Meath Track and Field league. The league, which clubs are awarded points for adult and juvenile participants has proved popular with clubs around the county. This was the second of five rounds of the league and was a juvenile only round with the scheduled events on the night being 60m sprint, long jump and high jump for boys and girls from Under 9 to Under 16. The Duleek contingent were keen to build on the solid foundation laid from round 1 which saw the club top of Group B of the standings.

Duleek & District AC  were represented by a total of20 Juvenile athletes on the night, in what was the largest ever Juvenile contingent to represent the club at a meeting. All athletes put in great performances and left Cushinstown with a healthy points tally. Preparation for this event has been ongoing for a number of weeks at Lourdes Stadium in Drogheda. The juvenile section of Duleek and District AC now boasts in excess of 100 members. Training takes place each Monday night in Lourdes stadium in Drogheda. The emphasis is on variety and fun as children learn the basic skills across a variety of track and field disciplines in a fun and social environment.

The next round of the league which is for both Adults and Juveniles takes place on the 29th April.

Bohermeen Half Marathon and 10k March 2015

Duleek and District athletic club

Headline –  Building for Bohermeen

From the turn of the year the date’s been circled. On the positive days it motivated you, drove you. On the tough days you wondered if you could do it. For the distance running community in the Meath vicinity and far beyond it is the first major goal of the year. On the 8th March the annual Meath half marathon and 10k was run. Both events were hosted and organised by the Bohermeen athletic club. Most clubs do well to run one event per annum but the bohermeen club, who put on a number of high quality races during the year are dab hands at it at this stage manage to run 2 races simultaneously with the minimum of fuss.  Conditions were ideal, save for an inconvenient headwind and between the 2 events over 1,000 athletes from all parts of the country took to the rural and scenic countryside

A total of 27 of those athletes were from Duleek and District athletic club. The bohermeen date is a very popular one with the Duleek club and offers a local, early season target to aim for. It is always a key date in the clubs racing calendar and this year was no different. Year on year it mobilises and ever increasing volume of athletes within the club and the 2015 saw a record participation level in the event from the fledgling club. Much of the clubs early season training is geared towards this date with club athletes working towards a carefully tailored programme via the key pillars of core strength, speed and endurance which is repeated and rehearsed over an intervening 10 week period.

And so to the races. First up was the 10k and a storming performance from Liam Nulty in what was his first race for the club clipping his previous personal best by over 5 minutes.  There were also strong performances over the distance by Ann Byrne, Connie Martin and Niamh Downes.  And so it was on the half marathon and again there were lots of great achievements and results.  Another club debutant, Paddy Ryan ran a great race as did Declan Foran on his maiden voyage over the 13.1 mile distance.  A frantic garmin watch interchange between the 10k and half marathon did not put Graham Byrne off as he ran a great race and there were also personal bests for Amanda Noone and Lisa Chambard. The large number of club athletes on the roads was matched in equal measure by the large volume of club members who came out to support and encourage their club mates when the going got tough.

As with any running club Race days are where it’s at. All the same faces are present but with an increased sense of urgency and purpose. The last part of the race becomes an exercise in mathematics. You subtract the pain by ounces. You divide your attention between positive thoughts and your aching limbs. You add the support of your colleagues and club mates to your own efforts. And at the end of it all the feeling of satisfaction is multiplied through collective achievement. So the solving of the equation leads you to the square root of your whole achievement, the entity that’s brought you to this point – your club.

New members are always welcome in the club. For further information please visit www.duleekac.ie or follow us on Facebook.

Ras Na hEireann March 2015

Duleek and District athletic club Ras na hEireann Oldbridge.

Headline – Mud and Medals

 

If you were to sum up cross country running in five words – ‘not for the faint hearted’ would do the job nicely. Its inclement weather, unstable underfoot conditions and plenty more. There’s plenty of grit and very little glamour to go with it. The annual Ras na hEireann took place on Sunday 22nd February. Oldbridge Estate provided an ample location and backdrop for this popular annual event which attracts some of the best cross country runners in the country mixed with a sprinkling of international athletes. In conditions that were testing for all athletes, here was a full programme of races for both adults and juveniles over the course of the day

Duleek and District athletic club were represented in the women’s event by Susan Gleeson. This was Susan’s first cross country outing of the season. Susan transferred her excellent early season form from the roads to cross country. She made light of the difficult conditions and dug deep over the last lap to set a new personal best over the distance and in doing so, secured a bronze medal in her category. It was a marvellous performance and one which augurs well for the upcoming season.

Round 1 - Meath Track and Field league, March 2015

Duleek and District athletic club

Headline – Tracks and Trails

Springtime. the athletics season moves swiftly through the gears as the races begin to come thick and fast.  It’s all new faces, new goals and new optimism for the upcoming season. The week gone by was one of those weeks at Duleek and District with adult and juvenile members mobilised in unison to don the green singlet in some early season competition. First off on Wednesday was round 1 of the Meath track and field league at Cushinstown.  Clubs from all over the county meet and compete in a variety of track and field events and clubs are awarded points based on results in this competition. This was the first of four rounds and contained the explosive 60m sprint in addition to long jump and high jump and a combined total of 7 Duleek athletes were put to their paces on the night. The three adults and four juveniles performed brilliantly getting the league off to a great start and leaving Cushinstown with tired limbs but a healthy points tally.

The on Sunday the track was replaced by trail for the Lismullen 10k. As if tackling a challenging 10 course wasn’t a sufficient challenge in its own right mother nature smiled and then frowned on the participants as the chill turned to sleet and then snow. It was a case of following the footprints in testing conditions and a great performance was put in by Duleek athlete Paul Reilly.

National 50k Championships Donadea Feb 2015

 

 

Duleek and District athletic club National Championships

Headline – Going the distance

Donadea forest park is one of North Kildare’s best kept secrets. It is nestled snugly between Kilcock and Naas, within touching distance of both but with neither being able to lay full claim to it. It’s a glorious 243 hectare mass of mixed woodlands with a lake, church tower and walled gardens thrown in for good measure. Its nature in its purest form and spring is the time to see it. The serenity of it makes you lose all sense of place and time. It’s Valentine’s Day and the car park is full. Who needs fifty shades of grey when you can have forty shades of green? However, this Cupids day was different. The ambling tourists and the family picnics made way for new inhabitants for the day, the country’s finest endurance athletes.

On 14th February the Irish National 50k championships were held in Donadea forest park. Whats the definition of cruelty? Stand at the finish line of a marathon and make the athletes in their exhausted and disorientated state run a further eight kilometres. That is the distance that the larger than ever field took on. Amongst them were six athletes from Duleek and District athletic club. All six athletes completed the Dublin city marathon last October and maintained their endurance throughout the winter by completing a series of long distance runs on Saturday mornings, in addition to their midweek training. This is traditionally the off season in the running calendar with many runners taking a well earned break as races are at their most infrequent and conditions are at their most inclement. However, for the Duleek athletes it was about maintaining the high mileage and continuing the early mornings in preparation for this race. The race was run over ten five kilometre laps of what is known as the Aylmer loop.

 The completion of a race of this distance requires months of dedicated endurance work, sacrifice not to mention incredible determination. The willingness to engage in and win the physical and psychological battle that an endurance race such as this requires the mind and body to be pushed through their respective limits.  Each of the Duleek athletes proved that they possessed all of the aforementioned qualities in spades, with all of the six athletes obtaining personal bests over the distance.  Greg Dixon was first home in a time of 4hours and 15 mins knocking a full 12 mins off his previous best whilst Ray Cassin bettered his previous time by 8 mins. Each of the athletes who competed are a great source of pride to the club and to the large contingent of supporters who made the trip to encourage them on the day.

Trim 10 mile road race February 2015

Duleek and District athletic club Trim 10 mile race

 

On Sunday 1st February in Trim the unthinkable happened. History repeated itself. Over 800 years after Hugh de Lacy and his merry band rolled into Trim an invasion of a different kind occurred. This one was less seismic and more subtle though. Whilst the De Lacy invasion was about pilfering and raiding this one was about perspiring and running. The green army from Duleek which was 26 strong landed in the heritage town of Trim to tackle the inaugural Bewleys 10 mile race. The race attracted a field of over 750 athletes from all corners of Leinster and further afield and kicked off the Meath road running circuit is style. The event was also the Meath 10 mile road running championships

The running calendar is a pretty structure affair with specific races occupying specific places on it. So when a new race occurs it’s a bit like the new kid in class – there's a natural curiosity there. Conditions were perfect for road running with the icy morning giving way to a gentle early afternoon thaw as the race set off from the Kildalkey road in Trim. The course was a rural course taking in some of the finest countryside the vicinity of Trim has to offer. There will be many races ran this year. There will be few as scenic as this.

The 26 strong Duleek contingent acquitted themselves brilliantly with a number of athletes taking on the distance for the first time. The race served a dual purpose with many athletes keen to test their early season form over the ten mile distance. In addition, it was a gauge of progress for the upcoming Meath half marathon in Bohermeen in early March. In addition, there were numerous personal bests achieved. Storming performances from Susan Walsh, Niall Doyle and Sarah McKenna to name but a few with each bettering their previous attempts over the distance. Special mention too goes to Deborah O’Sullivan who represented the club at two different races in two different provinces over the weekend. With the race run all that was left was to sample some of the sponsors finest and make the short trip home. Commenting on the club performance head coach Ray Cassin said “It was a great day for our members and a chance to see where we are at with our levels of fitness. With some members running the distance for the first time this will give them great confidence going into the peak of their training over the next three weeks as they work towards the Meath half marathon”.

Cushinstown Juvenile Athletics meeting Jan 2015

Little steps, big milestones..........

 

It was a case of little steps achieving big milestones as nine juvenile athletes from Duleek and District Athletic club made the short trip to Cushinstown to compete in the indoor athletics meeting on Sunday 25th January.  The meeting which was organised and hosted by Cushinstown athletic club and catered for both track and field disciplines. Age groups from under 8 to under 21 were catered for. Each and every one of the Duleek athletes put in great performances and were a source of great pride to their parents, coaches and club with some of the athletes achieving medals in their category.

 This performance was a fitting reward for the hard work put in at Juvenile level by coaches and volunteers each of whom give up their time on a voluntary basis. And most importantly of all it was a testament to the commitment and determination of the most important people of all – the athletes themselves. Commenting on the success of the day and the performances of the athletes Juvenile head coach Samantha Power said ‘

Waterford Half Marathon December 2014

The grit and the glory

 

‘Where the miles are marked in blood and gold, I’ll meet you further on up the road’

  Further on up the road, Bruce Springsteen

Each sinew strains, each muscle aches. Almost there. You can see it, sense it, touch it. The music increases in volumes and the crowd thickens Two hundred metres to go, one hundred, fifty. You’ve won the battle over the last 13 miles. You’re not going to lose it now. Your body aching, your mind glowing from the goal it knows you’re going to reach. You cross the finishing line and in the following 10 seconds you race through every emotion known to mankind. Exhausted and exalted. The aches and pains temporary, the achievement permanent. Time to bask in the afterglow. Meeting your friends and club mates, some in, some yet to come in debriefing the course, the conditions and sharing the glory that only comes from perseverance, determination and fulfilling a goal. Part of who you are, part of what you do.

The Waterford half marathon took place on Saturday December 6th 2014 starting and finishing from the Waterford IT campus. It is a popular race and attracts athletes from every nook and cranny of Ireland this year attracting just over 1,500 entrants. It holds a unique place on the road running calendar allowing the long distance junkies one final fix before the festivities commence. On a scenic and challenging course that meandered and slalomed its way through Waterford’s hinterland the athletes were put through their paces. As ever, Waterford AC were excellent hosts serving up a very well organised event with all of their usual hospitality and goodwill.

Fourteen athletes from Duleek and District Athletic Club made the early start and the long journey down the M9 to compete in the event. In a sign of the clubs growth the club doubled their representation from 2013 hence increasing the size of their footprint on the Irish road racing circuit. After weeks and months of hard training across a variety of areas (speed, endurance and core) it was time to harvest what had been sown. The clubs contingent acquitted themselves brilliantly showing lots of determination and resolve.  There were lots of personal bests and special mention has to go to Karen O’Sullivan who knocked a full eight minutes off her previous best and Phil Wall who performed a similar annihilation on his previous best time, taking a full seven minutes off. It was with tired legs and sore bodies that the journey home commenced.

It’s been a long day, a great day. The body cries out for sleep, the mind resists. The adrenalin casts your mind back to the start line. The music has stopped, the nervous chatter subsided. Ready to go. Nothing in you but carbohydrates, nothing behind you but the goodwill and best wishes of all of your family and friends, nothing in front of you but the miles. Each step paved with the battles you will win, the heights you will scale and ultimately the goal you will achieve.  All there.  All in front of you. Further on up the road.

New members are always welcome in the club. For further information please contact David Doyle (087 7996576) or John Wall (086 8114575)

Navan 6k December 2014

Duleek and District athletic club Navan 6k race 2014

 

 

The 27th of December is one of those days. It falls into the abyss between Christmas and New Year and is typically a day for catching up with family and friends and trying to pare back on the indulgences of the previous days. It is an unusual time in the running calendar. Many runners take some time off after the exploits over the previous months whilst the remainder try to preserve some level of winter training and fitness.  Whilst races are not common at this time of year there are some local races during the season which allows athletes to put their winter training to the test and to maintain racing sharpness.

The 27th December is also the date of the annual running of the Robbie Byrne Memorial 6k road race. This year, eight Duleek and district athletes swapped the turkey for trainers and made the short trip to Navan to don the green vest and take part in the event. The race is a popular event with Duleek and district athletes due to the geographical proximity and a forgiving course. It set off at noon as the morning chill gave way to the afternoon hazy sunshine in conditions that were ideal for road running.  The afternoon thaw had emerged victorious over the morning frost. The course, which was both fast and scenic skirted around the outskirts of Navan and finished in Claremont Stadium. Navan athletic club as ever were excellent hosts providing an enjoyable and well organised event, not to mention excellent hospitality afterwards.

All Duleek and District athletes acquitted themselves excellently with some excellent times and personal bests along the way.  Special mention goes to Helen Lynch, Deborah O’Sullivan and Darragh O’Reilly who put in great performances all of whom significantly bettered their previous outings over this distance.  The scene at the end was that of tired but happy athletes who made the short trip home in high spirits, finishing 2014 as a racing year on a high.

New members are always welcome in the club. For further information please contact David Doyle (087 7996576) or John Wall (086 8114575)

Awards Night 2014

Duleek and District athletic club awards night 2014

 

 

‘Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort’ Franklin Roosevelt

The dominant themes were reflection and celebration as Duleek and District athletic club held their annual awards night in the Snail Box, Kilmoon. The night was hosted by the clubs head coach Ray Cassin who did a fantastic job as MC for the evening.  A hugely enjoyable night was had by all in what is one of the major events in the clubs social calendar. Since its inception in 2012 the club has gone from strength to strength and 2014 was a year where the club made large strides forward both individually and collectively.

The club achieved accreditation status which is an endorsement of the coaching and structures within the club. The club’s membership continues to grow on a weekly basis for both adults and children with the combined membership now in excess of 200. The Indaver Duleek 10k continues to grow in popularity and has become a fixture on the Meath road running circuit. And who could forget the heroic 10 marathons in 10 days completed by the clubs head coach Ray Cassin.

On an individual level there was a further list of achievements. There were new distances covered, personal bests, county medals and bigger numbers than ever before representing the club at a variety of races across all disciplines (Cross country, track and road).  Fiona Topcu and Sean Cassin were added to the Clubs roll of honour as Club athlete of the year and club person of the year respectively. These were both very well deserved and very popular choices. A number of other athletes were recognised within both the Fit for Life and Meet and Train groups and the prestigious award plaques were very well received.

With the formalities fully complete it was left to club members to party the night away and to celebrate their own part in the success of the club. The distance covered, the goals achieved, the summits reached. But above all, the friendships made

New members are always welcome in the club. For further information please contact David Doyle (087 7996576) or John Wall (086 8114575)

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Email: info @ duleekac.ie

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