Thursday 18 October 2018

Honouring noble son

On November 18, hundreds of runners and walkers will descend on a seaside village to remember a true Olympian. Hubert Murphy looks back on the life of Noel Carroll

On Saturday November 18th next, hundreds of athletes and walkers, of all levels, will take to the roads around Annagassan in celebration of a great son of the region, the late Noel Carroll.

A huge advocate of athletics and keeping fit, Noel was one of the country's foremost runners, but was also a wonderful organiser, PR man and community leader.

His untimely death, in late October 1998, suddenly, while out running, sent shockwaves around the country.

Bom on December 7, 1941, the second eldest of four children to Patrick and Bridget Carroll, Noel learned to live with loss early in life, his mother passing away when he was just 13.

A student at St Finian's School, there was something inspiring about the man, joining the army in 1959 before heading to Villanova University in the USA.

As an 18-year-old in 1960, he ran the fastest 800m in that age bracket in the world.

America brought him stardom. In 1964 he was on the college team that created a new world relay record. That same year he competed at the Tokyo Olympics and four years later at Mexico City. He won three European indoor titles and went on to win his last Irish title in 1977. In 1980 he was a founder member of the Dublin City marathon and away from sport, was the face of Dublin Corporation for two decades, the man whose foresight brought us the Luas and the Port Tunnel. In 1996 he moved to head up the Dublin Chamber of Commerce and create a model that exists to this day.

He was involved in numerous high profile incidents as the PR man for Dublin Corporation back in the late 1980s - trying to solve a Dublin Fire service strike just one moment.

Noel did a lot of charity work and was chairman of the 3rd World charity 'Goal' where he organised the Christmas Day Goal Mile that still takes place in lots of towns and villages the length and breath of the country.

Saturday's race is Athletics Ireland permitted and accurately measured and every competitor will be chip timed.

You can enter the race through the Athletics Association of Ireland (A.A.I) website fixture list and also on Primo-Events, or follow the link on the Facebook page 'Annagassan 10K Run' where you will find all the details regarding this year's race.

The price of entry is €15 if you register online before 6pm on Friday 17th November, or you can register the evening before the race between 7-9pm or the morning of the race at the Club Rooms of Naomh Fionnbarra G.A.A for €20.

Any running groups out there who want to avail of the early bird offer of 10 or more runners at the price of €12 per runner please contact email as this offer will not be available on the morning of the race.

There will be parking, showers, and toilets available in the G.A.A grounds afterwards, but the awards ceremony will be held at the finish line at the rear of Slans Pub.

The winners both Male and Female will receive cash prizes and they will be awarded the Noel Carroll Memorial cups presented to them from one of the Carroll Family. There will also be category prizes for over 40's, 50's, 60's male and female followed by post race refreshments.

It is also the seventh annual race -billed the Annagassan Viking 10k Coastal Run, and is organised together by and Togher Fit to Run. The race starts at 11am.

Drogheda Independent