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Duleek is a warm friendly village in County Meath. Almost 4 years ago, some like minded people sat around a table and decided enough was enough, it was time this great village had their own athletic club. Instantly, the club was a success, bringing people from all walks of life together to run and train through all weather conditions for the greater collective good. Now a cornerstone of Duleek, RunRepublic.ie spoke to club members about how their club came into existence

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Where is the club located?

The club is located in the historic village of Duleek in Co, Meath’s Boyne valley only 6km from Newgrange we meet on the village green for training sessions and also have the use of the Lourdes Track 9km away in Drogheda Co, Louth.

What year was the club founded?

We are one of Irelands newest athletic clubs founded in March 2012 with the principal aim of promoting athletics in the village and environs of Duleek.

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How many members does the club have?

The club has 223 members 129 from little / Juvenile athletic and 94 adults, and is open for new members for January 2016. Little Athletics is where children as young as 5 are taught the basics of Athletics in a fun and social environment. Once the children reach age 7 they progress to our Juvenile athletics programme. This takes place at the Lourdes track each Monday evening and the children’s athletic horizons are expanded as they are coached in a range of track and field disciplines. However, the ethos of fun and enjoyment remains. From an adult point of view, there are Fit for Life and Meet and Train groups. These are both popular and well established and in 2016 for the first time the club are running a Couch to 5K programme with a view to expanding its adult member base.

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What are some of the club’s honors?

From humble beginnings in 2012 the club continues as one of the fastest growing clubs in the country. The club received accreditation in 2014 which was a major achievement. Last year, the club won over 25 medals at the Meath championships.  This was achieved between adults and Juveniles. The club achieved runners up in its division in the Meath League.  A number of adults won prizes in their categories at various road races. But there is no doubt that the major achievement of 2015 was a number of our Juveniles competing and medaling at the Leinster Juvenile championships for the first time. The club is not resting on its laurels and is hoping to consolidate and build on these achievements in 2016.

What is the clubs claim to fame?

Within local and regional athletics the club is probably best known for the volume of runners it sends to local races. In excess of 40 club athletes took to the streets of Drogheda last year for the Boyne 10k. In addition, the club sent in excess of 20 athletes to road races in both Dunboyne and Stamullen and the same number to the start line for the Dublin marathon. The Indaver Duleek 10k which is the clubs race continues to grow in popularity. Its continued success and extremely positive feedback demonstrates the clubs ability to organize not just a road race but a fun and enjoyable family event. Despite being in its third year it has already cemented a reputation as one of the most popular races in the Meath road running circuit.

At an individual level there have been several notable achievements. A unique double was achieved at the Meath Track and Field championships last year with Sam Power and her daughter Doireann both winning medals in the Long Jump on the same day. There was a very simple and wonderful symmetry to this achievement. In 2014 Ray Cassin ran 10 marathons in 10 days, alternating between Howth and Clontarf to raise funds for the club.

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What are the clubs featured race for 2016?

From an organizational point of view the Duleek and District AC 10k on 14th August is a key date. As always a massive collective effort will go into making it a success again. For our Juveniles, the key target will be the Meath Track and Field League and championships. The League commences in February and the club are hoping to go one better than their second place from last year. The championships will start in March and the club will participate in some local meetings prior to this to prepare the children for these events.

From an adult point of view 2015 saw the club break new ground and enter athletes in a number of races for the first time. Examples of this include the National 50k championships, National 24 hour relay championships and Meath road relay championships. We envisage 2016 will bring more of the same and there is an exciting programme of local and regional races for us, as a club to embrace. Some of the local races the club will be supporting are the Mount Hanover 5k, Boyne 10k, Star of the Sea 5k and Cilles AC 5 mile road races. In addition, we have a number of adults who will enter the Meath Track and Field championships, not to mention a few club members who have earmarked the Dublin marathon and race series as their key goal for 2016.

The age profile

Our Little Athletics category starts with children as young as 5. Once they reach 7 years old they progress to Juvenile Athletics. At adult level the age range is from 16 upwards. You are never too old or young to become a member of Duleek and District AC.

Training Times

Adult training is on Monday (7.15 for Fit for Life, 8pm for Meet and Train), Tuesday there is an indoor circuit training session for all adult members at 9m and on Thursday there is training for all adult members at 7.15pm. On Saturday morning there is a free run at 8am.

Juvenile Athletics training takes place at 7pm on Monday evenings and Little Athletics takes place at 5pm on Tuesday evenings.

We have a new 6-week Couch-To-5k program for adults starting in January 2016 and it is one of the best ways to get people up of the couch and out the door idle for first time runners, people looking to get back running after been out of it for a while, for those looking to get fit and active, when you sign up for the Couch-To-5k you are also getting a full years membership for the club so we will not be sending you on your way after the 6 weeks are done for more information on the Couch-To-5k email info@duleekac.ie

If you are interested in joining the Duleek and District Athletics Club log on to www.duleekac.ie and download a membership form or you can email us at info@duleekac.ie. To keep up to date with developments at the club, simply ‘like’ our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter @Duleek_AC

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Paddy Ryan
I have been running since I have been in primary school, all the time striving for better times. To date, I have run 10 marathons and 1 Ultra and numerous other races besides. I am focused on running a sub 30 10K and my next goal would be sub 2:30 marathon, all in time. I am also dedicated to helping other runners improve through coaching and advice to help them every step of the way.

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