Club of the Week: Dunboyne AC
The club has grown to be the third biggest in the country and is looking to the future with redevelopment plans.
Next Sunday's Eirgrid Dunboyne Four Mile Road Race will be a day of special celebration for the local athletics club that has organised this popular promotion for the past 45 years.
Dunboyne AC was founded in 1928 and is now ranked as the third biggest athletic club in Ireland, with an ever expanding membership of more than 700.
The annual Eirgrid Dunboyne Four Mile Road Race has long been recognised as one of Ireland's premier club road races. Last year John Coghlan, of Metropolitan/St Brigid's AC, stormed to victory in the men's event in 19.17, while Maria McCambridge (DSD) led the women home in 21.07.
This is an event that is always well supported by athletes from all over the country; an event that retains a special village charm and that includes a number of boys' and girls' races.
There are generous cash prizes, too, of €400 for the first man and woman and a €250 bonus for breaking the course record.
Dunboyne AC is known as a very progressive club with a dedicated and hard-working committee and an array of qualified coaches.
It is a club of great welcome – a regular hive of activity that caters for all strands of athletics, from juveniles right through to masters. The oldest member of the club is John Cotter (75) who last year completed the Dublin Marathon.
The club has excellent facilities that include an all-weather 400m track complete with flood-lighting; changing rooms and hot showers; and a weights and gym area.
The range of events that club members are involved in includes sprinting, hurdles, middle- and long-distance road racing, ultra running, cross-country and mountain running.
Dunboyne has athletes competing at county, province, national and international level. You will see lots of the club's members in action at road races across the country – dedicated runners like Emilia Dan, Deirdre Fitzsimons, Aoife Kerrigan, Ann Gorman, Karen O'Hanlon, Scott Willoughby, David Galbraith, Tom Scanlon, Alan McKernan, John Holian and a host of others.
Club athletes who have achieved international status include Luke Ford in junior cross-country, Michael Cornyn in masters track and Karen O'Hanlon in mountain racing.
The club also has a strong tradition in field events and club internationals include Padraig White and James McCabe. Another top road runner is Rory McDonnell.
The club has invested heavily in coaching at juvenile and senior levels and the Fit 4 Life section for recreational runners is also a hugely popular part of activities.
The club is also now promoting the new Athletics Ireland Fit 4 Youth fitness programme.
Prolific road racer Gary O'Hanlon is involved in the coaching programme.
The Dunboyne AC committee is at the early stages of planning for a redevelopment of the club's track. First off, in a series of fundraising events, will be the inaugural Dunboyne AC Golf Classic which takes place on June 10 at Carton House.
You will find a lovely village atmosphere in Dunboyne on Sunday and a great welcome from the members of the local club. You can enter the Eirgrid Dunboyne Four Mile Road Race at:www.dunboyneac.com. Late entries will also be accepted on race day up to one hour before the 3pm start.