Saturday 20 December 2014

Grassroots Club of the Week: Lakeshore Striders

Lakeshore Striders Running Club is a small club that enjoys a big reputation, writes Frank Greally

Published 22/07/2014 | 00:00

Some of the members of Lakeshore Striders.
Some of the members of Lakeshore Striders.

Lakeshore Striders is a small running club based in Blessington, county Wicklow. It was established in 2007 with an original membership of fewer than 10 who enjoyed training spins around the town of Blessington.

Since then, the club has gone from strength to strength and the current membership now stands at over 80. The development of a 400 metre gravel running track at the local Community College has also proved to be of great benefit to club members. This facility was a result of the combined efforts and enthusiasm of club members and the local community.

Lakeshore Striders Running Club is located in a lovely, scenic area where members can take full advantage of the nearby hills and woodland trails for training.

They are also fortunate to be able to avail of and benefit from the advice of local resident, Tommy Evans, a former US track scholarship athlete.

This year saw club members compete in the Women’s Meet & Train Winter & Summer Leagues where Hollie Gernon won three of the four Winter cross-country races.

The Lakeshore Striders women’s team were also successful, achieving the top spot in the Silver Division of the Summer League. Club members are also big fans of the Saturday morning 5km Park Runs that take place in nearby Nass. Club members have placed in the top three in these weekly runs on a number of occasions.

Lakeshore Striders Running Club also organise and host their own very successful running event, The Lakes 10k, which is scheduled to take place this year on Saturday, September 6.

This club promotion has fast gained a big reputation throughout the Irish running community.

The event regularly attracts an

entry in excess of 600 and, over the past four years, Lakeshore Striders have through this event raised over €80,000 for national charities such as Cystic Fibrosis Ireland and the Laura Lynn Children’s Hospice.

The club has developed very strong links with the local community through a smaller scale fundraising event known as the Lakeshore Striders Trackathon, a 10k, half-marathon or marathon that takes place on the 400 metre running track every year.

This is a big fundraiser for local causes such as a community AED located at the club’s track and a local mobilization programme to help raise awareness of early alcohol and drug abuse in young teens.

Many of the club members who originally started out on the club’s Couch to 5k Training Programme have since progressed to complete the full marathon distance.

Tom O’Leary has greatly improved since joining the club and he recently won the Dunlavin 10k in a time of 38:45.

Lakeshore Striders Running Club continues to be be very progressive with a constantly growing membership. The Lakes 10k on September 6 is an event well worth putting in your training diary as a ‘Must Do’ race.

More details at:  www.thelakes10k.ie.

Committee

Chairperson: Edel Byrne

Vice-Chair: Anthony Keenan

Secretary: Edel Evans

Treasurer: Susan Boyce

Head Coach: Tommy Evans

Assistant Coaches: Neil Stone and Aaron Browne

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