Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Relay Great Week

Duleek and District Athletic Club

The first week of the Meath championships have proved very fruitful for Duleek and District AC with no less than 14 county medals now present in the club as a result of last week’s action. Proceeding started last Tuesday evening with the adult road relay championships. The event is a unique discipline and breaks a 5 mile distance into four legs of 800m, 1 mile, 1.5 miles and 2 miles. It is a unique and novel event and attracts all of the county’s most prestigious road runners.  Last year was the clubs first sojourn at this event and it instantly became a club favourite. It offers athletes the unique opportunity to compete as a team in a sport that is predominantly an individual discipline. As the race unfolds as do the plots and sub plots and there are several races within the race for the various positions.  The shrieks of encouragement and excitement at the handover points and the scenic Bohermeen countryside mark the event out as somewhat of a break from the ordinary. So it was with eager anticipation that the club ladies and gents teams made the short trip to Bohermeen for this year’s event.

On a balmy May evening the anticipation and excitement at the start line was tangible as athletes and supporters awaited the event to get underway. First up for the ladies team was Amanda Noone in the 800m leg. As the race got off to a lightning start Amanda ran a storming 800m leg handing the baton to Sarah McKenna for the 1 mile leg. Sarah took up the running and carried on the good work, giving it everything as she mixed it with the best in the county. For the men’s team after the 800m leg Fran Power took up the running for the 1 mile leg and elevated the club into the medal positions over his favoured distance. He passed the torch to Derek Reilly who utilised his short distance pace and his marathon endurance over a tricky 1.5 mile leg. Lorraine Noone took up the running for the ladies team and there was no sign of fatigue from an excellent performance in the Boyne 10k a mere 48 hours earlier.

And so it was down to Lisa Chambard and Peter Hearty to take their respective team’s home in the lung bursting 2 mile anchor leg. Lisa ran the race of her life refusing to buckle under incessant pressure from Dunboyne to take the ladies team home to the silver medal position in Group C. Peter Hearty is returning to his best form and ran a highly impressive 10.40 for his 2 mile leg holding off Fr Murphy in the process and taking the men’s team to the silver medal position in Group B.

With the adult action out of the way the baton was passed to the clubs juvenile contingent to take up the running, jumping and throwing the following evening. This marked the commencement of the restructured juvenile championships. This year sees a more condensed track and field championships. Several weeks of hard work on the training ground saw a strong Duleek team well prepared, for the championships which are the cornerstone of the athletics calendar for the clubs Juveniles. There was a sense of nervous anticipation in the air as the children warmed up for their various disciplines. The events on the schedule were the 60m sprint, Turbo Javelin, Long Jump, 500m and 600m. First up for the club were some tremendous performances from a crop of under 9 athletes that are showing tremendous potential.

A number of the athletes were competing at championship level for the very first time and there was a n exhibition of determination demonstrated in sprinting, jumping and throwing from Daire Victory, Sean Kerley, Harry Meehan, Myles Killeen, Eric Ludlow and Isabella Field with a sparkling performance from Jack Maxwell as he romped home to the gold medal in the boys 60m sprint.  The Under 10 athletes carried on the great work of their under 9 predecessors and added a further 4 medals to the clubs tally for the evening. Ruby Hartford led almost all the way in a brilliant display of front running, being narrowly pipped before the line but taking an excellent silver in the 500m. Doireann Power retained her gold medal from last year in a fiercely contested long jump event.  There was a one –two combination for the club in the turbo javelin with Ciara McRoary holding off club mate Naoise Donnelly to win the gold medal with Naoise taking an excellent silver. There were also excellent and gutsy displays from the ever improving Saoirse Dixon and Nicole Hoey. Proceedings were rounded off in a week of unprecedented success for the club by the Under 11 athletes. Aoife Rohan took excellent silver in the 60m with the boy’s duo of Mark Reilly and Jake Meehan also putting giving it all for their club.

All Systems go

Duleek and District Athletic Club


Another frantic week of action for Duleek AC was the order of the day as it was all systems go for both adult and juvenile sections of the club. First up was Round 2 of the Meath Track and Field league in Navan where there was a great turnout from the clubs Juvenile’s.  The events for the night were 300m, Long Jump, High Jump and Ball Throw for Under 9s to Under 13. The Duleek contingent acquitted themselves brilliantly and sprinted, sprang and threw to earn healthy points accumulation for the club. These points are invaluable and count towards the clubs overall standings. There were lots of great performances amongst the girls from Aoife Rohan, Megan O’Connor, Nicole Hoey, Ruby Hartford, Doireann Power, Naoise Donnelly and Ciara McRoary. Not to be outdone the boys also shone brightly on the night and putting in strong performances were Jack Maxwell, Kenny Killeen, Jake Meehan and Harry Meehan. The action didn’t end there either as the club was well represented in the adult 1,500m race by Fran Power and David Doyle who took second and third place respectively.  There is a big week in store for the Juvenile’s of Duleek AC with the commencement of the Meath Track and Field championships.

The club had a sole representative in the Limerick half marathon in the shape of Paddy Lennon but this proved to be no barrier to success as Paddy ran a strong race coming home in an excellent time of 1 hour and 52 mins. This was a personal best for Paddy and an achievement he can be very proud of. The weeks action finished up locally in Drogheda for the Boyne 10k. As ever, Drogheda was pounding to the beat of the samba drums in a race that provides an atmosphere that few others can rival. The race, which is staple diet to the clubs adult road runners, was as usual well attended by the club and the steps of St Peters were clad in a sea of green singlet’s prior to the start. A record breaking 43 athletes from the club participated in the race and there were a host of highlights both from the clubs more experienced and also newer members. First home for the club was Derek Reilly followed closely by Eric Devine, Stephen McKee and Ray Cassin. For the ladies Lisa Chambard ran a smashing race and continues to improve with every outing and she was closely followed by Lorraine Noone, Amanda Noone and Sarah McKenna.

It was also a seminal day for many of the clubs newer members, who having recently come through the Couch to 5k programme have reset their goals and continue to go from strength to strength.  One such athlete is Marion Hayden who made light of the tough and blustery conditions to finish a very impressive ninth in her category.  There were also great performances from Orla Crosby, Olive Wall and Richard Cheevers. Susan Durnin made a welcome return to competition after an injury layoff and there were also strong performances from Liz Carolan, Naomi Walsh, Maria Ludlow and Daire McDevitt. 

Purple Reign

Duleek and District Athletic Club


The past week saw another frantic week of action across the adult and juvenile sections of Duleek and District AC. First up were the Juveniles of the club who were busy fine tuning preparations for the remaining rounds of the Meath track and field league and also the upcoming Meath track and field championships. A short trip to Cushinstown was the order of the day to compete in the annual Cushinstown ac sports day. As always, an excellent event was laid on by the host club. There were lots of excellent performances on the day from the little green vests as the efforts being put in at training are starting to reap rewards.  Keeva Donnelly and Rian Power won 2nd and 3rd place respectively in the tiny tot’s race. Nessa Rohan and Saoirse Power ran their hearts out in a very competitive under 8s race. Jack Maxwell put in a powerful performance to come home in second place in the under 9 80m. At under 10 the club was represented in both the sprint relay and Turbo Javelin with the girl’s team of Naoise Donnelly, Ciara McRoary, Doireann Power, Ruby Hartford and Megan O’Connor taking silver in the relay and the club also taking gold in the Under 10 Turbo Javelin. After a great days athletics lots of tired but happy bodies made the short trip home.

From there it was on to Dundalk and the adults where the club was represented in the DKIT 10k. The circuit which is a fast, flat course which starts and finishes in the impressive DKIT campus attracted in excess of 700 athletes from the regions. Peter Hearty slowed down to help others speed up as he was one of the designated race pacers for the Sub 40 category.  Shane Reid is having an excellent season to date, running a series of PBs over the 5 and 10k distances and Shane carried through is excellent early season form with an impressive time of 46.15 bagging himself another PB in the process. There was also an excellent performance on the night from Ken Brady. From Dundalk, action moved southwards to the sleepy Co Meath village of Longwood. On Saturday the village was awoken as the East of Ireland bandwagon rolled into town for the latest instalment in the marathon series. There was a half marathon and full marathon on the menu. In the half, Amanda Noone ran a cracking race in humid conditions landing narrowly outside her PB and coming home in a time of 1 hour 55 mins. Ray Cassin clocked up another impressive marathon performance in the full marathon with an impressive time of 4 hours and 6 mins.  However, the performance of the day was that of Derek Reilly who can do no wrong this season. Derek smashed his marathon PB and came home in 4th place overall in a fantastic time of 3 hours and 17 mins.

Action then moved to Dublin’s city centre for the 5K 1916 Remembrance run. Once again, the green vests were prominent in a massive crowd along a historic route that bypassed many of the landmarks that helped to shape the 1916 rising. Gigi Cassin, Aishling Duff, Orla Hillman, Sandra Cassin, Anne Hamilton, Ray Cassin, Sean Cassin and John Wall all put in great performances. Whilst green may have been the colour in Dublin purple was certainly the colour in Duleek for the Duleek Cystic Fibrosis 10k. The annual race is a hugely popular event in the village. This year proved no different as walker, joggers and runners of all abilities took on and conquered the undulating and scenic route. There was a great atmosphere in the village and the crowds thronged on the village, clad in their purple race t-shirts for the after race barbeque. Lady luck smiled on the event as near perfect weather conditions ensured the day was a great success. In a somewhat fitting tribute the Prince favourite ‘Purple Rain’ belted out from the PA system. Whilst there may not have been rain in Duleek there was certainly a purple reign.

Meath Championships

MeathTrack and Field Championships 2016

Age Categories:

Age Category

Year Born

Under 9


Under 10


Under 11


Under 12


Under 13


Under 14




Venue & Time


Wednesday 4th May

Claremont Stadium, Navan


All 7pm

Boys & Girls Under 9/Under 10/Under 11 60m

Boys & Girls Under 9/Under 10/Under 11/Under 12 Turbo Javelin

Boys & Girls Under 9/Under 10/Under 11 Long Jump

Boys & Girls Under 9/Under 10 500m

Boys & Girls Under 11 600m

Sunday 8th May

Claremont Stadium, Navan


11.30am - Boys & Girls Under 12/Under 13 60m

11.30 am - Boys & Girls Under 14 80m

1 pm - Boys & Girls Under 12/Under 13 600m

 1 pm - Boys & Girls Under 14 800m

 2.15pm - Boys & Girls Under 14 200m

2.15pm - Boys & Girls Under 14 1500m


Wednesday 18th May

Claremont Stadium, Navan


All 7 pm

Boys & Girls Under 9/Under 10/Under 11/Under 12/Under 13/Under 14

4 x 100m relay

Full steam ahead

Duleek and District Athletic Club


Spring is in full bloom and the running season is in full swing. The green vests of Duleek and District were out and about nationwide over the recent days. First up was the Connemara marathon and half marathon where the club was well represented. Amongst rugged scenery and in ragged conditions Derek Reilly was first home for the club in a time of 3hours 53 mins in the full marathon. Conditions on the day nullified any hope of a PB but Derek ran a great race nonetheless. In the half marathon on the same day and in the same atrocious conditions there were successful outing s for Rachel and Ken Gorman who both came home rain soaked and windswept in a time of 2 hours 10 mins.

Moving eastwards the action turned to the Lough Sheelin 16 mile road race. The scenic route which navigated the shores of the lake and took the athletes on a meandering but beautiful course that straddled counties Meath, Cavan and Westmeath.  This was Duleek athletic clubs first time to have representation in the race and both Ray Cassin and Eric Devine ensured the green vests were prominent with both athletes landing PBs. Eric, who is one of the clubs newer members is having a wonderful season and came home in a time of 2 hours and 4 mins with adult head coach Ray Cassin following shortly behind in a time of 2 hours 16 mins. A very well organised race was hosted by St Brigids ac and the smart money is on it making it into the clubs racing calendar in 2017.

From there it was on to Dundalk and the ever popular Patsy Kelly 5k. The race which is well known for providing a fast course proved just that. A large field went to post with two Duleek athletes taking their place on the start line. A prevailing headwind made conditions deceptively difficult. There was another impressive performance from Peter Hearty who came home in a time of 17 mins and 55 seconds. Niall Doyle continues to edge closer to the sub 20 mark with a new PB of 20.05. Within the club numbers at training have been steadily increasing as the club gears up for some prominent local races over the coming weeks. Some new training destinations have been trialled with the tempo session up on the hill in Bellewstown proving a popular addition to the clubs recent programme. In addition, the Boyne 10k is one of the most anticipated races of the year amongst athletes of the club. With that in mind eleven of the clubs members joined the pre-run to get a sneak preview of the course. Over the coming weeks the season swings into full gear with the Meath Track And Field League and Championships for Juveniles and adults. On the roads there are upcoming 10k races in Duleek, Dundalk and Drogheda for athletes to feast their legs on.

Throughout Leinster

Duleek and District Athletic Club


The past weekend saw more races, actions and strong results from Duleek and District AC. Over the course of the weekend the club were represented at races in Meath, Louth and Wicklow. First off to Louth where Peter Hearty put in a great performance in the Glen Emmets 5k road race in Tullyallen. On a testing course and in testing conditions Peter put in a great performance coming in 3rd overall in a time of 18.14. Indeed, Peter was narrowly pipped for second place. He has followed up on recent strong performances in Dundalk and Duleek and whilst conditions dictated that a PB was not on the cards he can nonetheless be very proud of his podium finish. From there it was on to Wicklow where Niall Doyle followed up his strong performance in the Clane AC 5k with an equally positive showing in the Bray cliff run.  The scenic trail run up along a windswept Bray head was not for the faint hearted as some strong cross winds did little to assist the athletes. Generous helpings of wind and rain were taken on board however neither turbulence or precipitation dented Nialls race as he put in a great performance and bagged a PB of 46.55.

From there it was on to Co Meath and one of the biggest races on the Meath road racing calendar as 3 club athletes took part in the Eirgrid Dunboyne 4 mile road race. In a race which attracts some of the top road runners nationally there were also some great performances from the Duleek contingent. First home for the club was Anne Hamilton who is carrying some great form from race to race as she came home in a time of 35.30. Anne was followed closely by Sandra Cassin who in turn was followed home by Billy McCormick.

In Bloom

Duleek and District Athletic Club

The daffodils are in bloom, the Easter bunny has been and gone, the clocks have gone forward to lift what seemed like the eternal darkness and the athletics season is in full swing. The second round of the Meath Track and field league was held in Cushinstown last Wednesday evening. This round of the league was solely for juvenile athletes and contained both sprint and long jump events. Once again, the little green vests were out in force to cement the clubs standings in the league table and amass a further points tally. A total of 12 of the clubs juvenile athletes made the short trip to Cushinstown for the event.

First up was the girls Under 9 60m sprint. In a close and exciting race the strong Duleek contingent of Soracha Bell, Isabella Field, Holly Dunnion and Nessa Rohan all put in great performances. The same quartet carried their form from the track to the pit where they all surpassed their achievements on the track. Next up was the boys  Under 9s where Eric Ludlow, Cathal Levins, Kenny Killeen, Jack Maxwell and Harry Meehan flew the green flag with equally consistent performances in the long jump and 60m events. Aoife Rohan and Sophie Quinn carried on the clubs rich vein of form in the Under 11 Long Jump and 60m and a very successful evening for the club was rounded off by Jake Meehan in the Under 11 60m and Long Jump.

Not to be outdone there were also some notable performances from the adult section of the club also. Niall Doyle continued an excellent start to the season in the Clane AC 5k run in the spectacular grounds of Clongowes college.  A fast start and strong finish were strong contributory factors in an overall time of 20.12 which is a personal best for Niall. The club was also well represented in the Irish Runner paced mile series in the ALSAA complex. The mile is a distance many consider to be the most accurate barometer of a middle distance runner’s ability. The event, which was well attended by clubs throughout the region saw a series of paces miles run off from Sub 5 minute to Sub 12 minute. In a fitting coincidence the date marked the 87th birthday of the distance’s most famous exponent – Sir Roger Bannister. The night was marked by a great season opening performance from Cathy Cawley who came home in an impressive 7 minutes and 16 seconds.

Rub of the Green

Duleek and District Athletic Club

It was fitting display of colour for the day that was in it. A number of the green vests from Duleek and District AC made the short trip to Balbriggan to take part in the Balbriggan 10k held on St Patrick’s day. The race, which was in aid of Cancer Support drew a large crowd and was run in ideal conditions on a fast course. There were some notable performances from the six Duleek athletes who took part. One of the clubs newest members, Gary Donnelly, notched a major running milestone as he completed his first ever 10k race. Gary, who recently completed the clubs Couch to 5k programme, has continued on in a rich vein of form and in an additional 3 week period has increased his racing distance to 10k.

There were personal bests for both Laura Donohoe and Sinead Donnelly who came home in times of 58.05 and 56.44 respectively. The ever improving Anne Hamilton ran another super race and notched an impressive time of 53.13 whilst there were also excellent performances from Sandra Cassin and Barbara Lenehan.  The onset of the Spring sees a surge in club activity over the coming weeks with both adult and Juvenile sections of the club actively preparing for upcoming events.  At Juvenile level this week sees the second week of competition for the Meath Track and Field league and the clubs juveniles will be eager to build on a healthy point’s accumulation from week 1. At adult level attention will switch to the Dunboyne 4 mile road race, DKIT 10k and also the Boyne 10k.

Bohermeen and Duleek

Duleek and District Athletic Club

Home and Away

There was a home and away theme to proceedings in another action packed weekend for Duleek and District athletic club. First off in the ‘away ‘ leg the club had 6 athletes competing at the Meath half marathon championships in Bohermeen. There were some great performances in perfect racing conditions from the Duleek contingent.  Eric Devine, one of the clubs newest members has made a storming start to the season and on Sunday he set his third PB in a row this year over the 13.1 mile distance arriving home in a time of 1 hour 37 mins.  Ken Brady opened his account for 2016 with a time of 2 hours 6 mins. John Wall, fresh from the National 50k championships ran an impressive PB of 1 hour 46 mins but undoubtedly the performance of the day was Susan Corry who broke the 2 hour milestone coming home in a smashing time of 1 hour 57 mins.

Back on home turf in Duleek the club had was very well represented in the Duleek National Schools 5k race. The race, the purpose of which was to raise funds for the school proved to be a huge success. First home for the club was Peter Hearty in a time of 17 mins and 23 seconds and a 4th place overall finish. Hot on his heels was fellow speed merchant Fran Power with an equally impressive 18 mins 30 seconds. The first female home for the club was Lisa Chambard who has started the season in flying form. Lisa finished in a time of 23 mins 10 seconds and is edging closer to the sub 23 mark. A number of the clubs newer members, fresh off the back of completing their Couch to 5k programme got another 5k in quick succession under their belt.  Among these were Olive Wall, Billy McCormack, Gary Donnelly and Caroline Doyle.

The club is gearing up for a number of upcoming events in the coming weeks at both Juvenile and adult level. For the Juvenile’s the Meath Track and Field League and championships are around the corner. The adults are gearing up for a number of upcoming road races in Dunboyne, Duleek and Drogheda.

Mission Accomplished

Duleek and District Athletic Club

Mission Accomplished


A field trip with a celebratory theme was the order of the day last Saturday for the  Duleek and District AC Couch to 5k members. Having successfully completed the programme members were able to unwind with a gentle 5k loop followed by coffee and a presentation in Donadea Forest Park, one of North Kildare’s best kept secrets.  This was the inaugural Couch to 5k programme and it was operated on a trial basis. Overall, the programme proved to be a huge success with a large uptake and it culminating with the athletes achieving their goal by crossing the finishing line in the Mount Hanover 5k which was a mere 6 weeks after the programme began.

The structured programme was implemented with great precision by the clubs coaching staff and leaders, all of whom are volunteers. The success of the programme can largely be attributed to this in addition to the determination and resolve of the athletes. The programme started early in January and what may have initially seemed a fanciful new year’s resolution and pipe dream started to become an attainable goal over the intervening weeks.  Each week the distance was topped up a little further. Nothing seismic. Small steps.  It was carried out in a fun and social environment with plenty of support and encouragement from the programme coaches and leaders.

Above all, the momentum was driven by the determination and perseverance of the athletes.  On those cold dark nights their enthusiasm was infectious. In a very short space of time they have achieved a wonderful result. This breathed new life and vitality into the club and the club would like to congratulate all Couch to 5k members. Witnessing many of them cross the finishing line for their first 5k on 21st February was a very proud moment for everyone associated with Duleek and District AC. Whilst the programme may now be complete the goals have shifted and many of the clubs newest members have their sights firmly set on building on the foundation they have set and are focusing on a number of upcoming races.

Elsewhere on the roads at the weekend there were some great performances from a number of the clubs more established members at the Carlingford 10k and Half Marathon. Sinead Donnelly came home in an impressive 56.56 and there was an excellent PB for Daire McDevitt who finished at 1.01. There were equally impressive performances from Karen O’Sullivan, Laura Donohoe and Sandra Cassin. There was another excellent half marathon performance from Eric Devine who finished in a very impressive 1 hour 38 mins.



Duleek & District AC


Email: info @ duleekac.ie


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