Blackrock A.C. Member Highlights of 2022

Blackrock A.C. Member Highlights of 2022

Arguably another fantastic year for Blackrock A.C. in terms of achievements and overall participation at races. The Raheny 5-Mile at the start of the year, as well as Dublin City Marathon and even Run the Line saw record Blackrock A.C. numbers taking part. Below are some of the highlights shared by members recently.


Relays & Team events

Couldn’t narrow it down to one moment so sticking to one theme! For me, 2022 was all about our relay and team events for our u11s group across both boys and girls. We had amazing consistency across both teams through every competition in 2022, starting with the Dublin Indoors in February where our 4 x 200m boys and girls both finished on the podium with the boys victorious and the girls picking up silver.

Our teams then followed up with two golds in the 4 x 100m at the Dublin outdoor Track and Field Championship, with both teams then travelling to the National Championships in Tullamore. The season then rounded off with both the boys and girls teams picking up team silver medals at the Dublin Cross Country Championship and qualifying for the Nationals in Cork. Whilst we had many individual successes in 2022 the fun, excitement and pure joy on the kids’ faces when competing together as a team was and remains unrivaled.

It was fitting that our season closed with our National Cross Country teams enjoying some roller skating together after a tough race in the muddy fields of Cork.

Special thanks to all of the parents and coaches of the 2012 group for their support.

I am hoping for our 2012s, 2023 will be a big year. For the first time, our age group will have the chance to qualify and compete at the National Indoor competition whilst also getting to experience events such as the high jump and shot put that they have not previously been able to enter. We will also transition from competing in the Children’s Games (Pairs) to having individual competitors in the Dublin and National events. My ambition is that we will see even bigger numbers and a wider spread of athletes that get to experience National competitions from our group in 2023 and that we continue to see the fun and excitement in our athletes.

Paul Hunt

Raheny 5 Mile

It was a great club day out. For me who is one of the slower members, it was great that I finished somewhere in the middle and not near the back. Coming home on the Dart with everyone buzzing just filled me with adrenaline. And of course, the night in the pub with everyone sharing their stories of the added 500m was great fun.

Sarah Conroy was a great source of support and inspiration. She is always willing to come out for a run whenever I ask. I will never forget standing on Nutley Ave on Dublin Marathon day and wondering what sort of Sarah I would see. Next thing I see her and she is just so fired up!

This year I had a lot of stuff happening that interfered with my running. 2023 I will get back to running and my aim is to run 25km a week.

Imelda Callaghan

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London Marathon 2022

Managed to get to the start line without an injury. Have been struggling with rib and leg injuries over the past 18 months. Jamie Kennedy was a big source of support throughout the year.

I am hoping to do a sub 4 hour marathon in 2023!!

Dermot Hughes

London, A Weekend of Memories for a Lifetime with Blackrock A.C.

Friday 30th of September 2022 kicked off the London Marathon weekend. Having entered 3 years ago for an April Marathon who would have thought that I was now planning to run two Marathons in one month?

The fun weekend started when Dermot Niamh and Jamie called by to pick up Ian and myself and we all headed to the airport. Grainne, Ger, and Adam were travelling separately. The Melia Hotel in London was full of London Marathon runners – so much nervous tension and running chat. That evening Dermot had booked a wonderful Italian Taormina for pasta and carb loading.

On Saturday we headed to the Marathon Expo. It was such a magnificent event with so much lovely running gear on sale and wonderful talks. I was delighted to catch Martin Yelling who I had been following on social media pre-Marathon. Back at the Hotel we met up with Grainne and Ger for dinner and last-minute tactics. Much of our talk was on weather and we were expecting heavy rain for Marathon Day.

Marathon day was an incredibly early start as we headed to Greenwich for the start of the marathon. We were all in different sections, so I was sad to say goodbye Jamie Niamh and Grainne. After a long wait in my section in the cold, our group h starting pen. Once there, we were underway quickly enough and before we knew it were passing the Cutty Shark. I cannot describe the crowds at the London Marathon – everywhere you turn they are out in their droves screaming and shouting you on. I described it as like being at the rock concert and being in the pit when the music blaring. There is no where in the London Marathon where there is a quite spot!

As we were running the weather was improving and it was getting hotter. I felt particularly good, and I was enjoying my marathon. In my head was Gerry and Donal’s advice about not to go out fast so I was holding back. My pace was to plan at this point.

Running started to get more challenging for me at the 29/30k mark when I started to experience cramping in my right leg above the knee. At this point, the humidity and heat was also particularly challenging and while I was taking on plenty of fluids leg cramp continued. I stopped at St Johns ambulance looking for some Deep Heat but disappointingly there was none to be had.

At this point, I met Jamie, and he too was struggling with a leg cramp. The heat was relentless at this point, and I tried all the distraction tricks of enjoying the last few kilometres as we came up the Embankment. The last 5km were mind over matter and running on heart. The leg cramps developed in both legs, and I was worried if I stopped, I might not get going again. All the Mantras came out in force …one foot in front of the other…this too will pass…I am strong …today you get to run a marathon….At one point I shouted at myself to come on and get on with it! I remember seeing Ian and Barbara my sister-in-law in the last 5km and that gave me such lift. I was not expecting them, but it was a lifeline. Soon I could see the finish line and the tears came as I got my very well-earned London Marathon medal. I later hear Kipchoge was handing out medals at the end of the London Marathon. To be honest, I was so mentally and physically drained, I might not have noticed. At 4:12:52 it was my 3rd fastest marathon and one of the toughest last 10km I have experienced.

After a well-earned “disco nap” back at the hotel, we all headed off to Maggie Jones Restaurant in Kensington for the festivities and celebrations. This was one of the most fun evenings I can recall. After all the hard work on long runs, early morning runs and sacrifices BAC on tour let loose. The food was outstanding, and the wine flowed. Everyone in the restaurant was modelling the BAC London Marathon purple tops and medals and joining in on the fun!

We were almost one medal down when we got to breakfast the next morning but thankfully after some searching the said medal was located safe and sound. A final day in London was a perfect day in Hyde Park with lunch before we hobbled back to the Airport.

Marathon No 12 for me knowing I would be doing it all again in 3 weeks for Dublin Marathon in October 2022. London Marathon weekend is so much more than the marathon – a weekend of memories for a lifetime with Blackrock A.C.

Grateful for the long run Fit4life group and the Blackrock A.C. Strava group but in particular Gerry, Grainne, Dermot, Jamie, Valaria, Charlene, Ger, Seamus and James x 2 kept me training wherever I was!

Aiming for Dublin City Marathon 23 course and another flat marathon to get to 15 marathons. Building Strength to avoid injuries too! Try the track in UCD and a park run PB! To run with the Kenyans 😉

Patricia Forde

Dublin City Marathon

Volunteering for Dublin City Marathon 2022 and supporting Blackrock A.C. on the day!

Having missed out on running DCM 2022 due to injury earlier in the year, I took the opportunity to volunteer in the RDS at registration. A negative was truly turned into a positive! It was such an amazing experience to meet so many first-time and many-time marathoners and feeling the buzz and the nerves!! It was great to support all the Blackrock A.C. runners on the day. An inspiring lot!! Fingers crossed I’ll be back in the singlet for the next DCM!

Speicla thanks to Gráinne Grennan this year for checking in with me during my injury.

Would love to run a marathon PB in 2023.

Katherine Duff

Completing Dublin Marathon

One of the best days of my life. Being part of the excitement and challenge on the day following the camaraderie and support in the lead-up will stay with me always. The club dinner that night surrounded by positivity and congratulatory chats and craic made me so happy to be part of the marathoners’ club.

Gerry Flaherty’s belief that I could run a marathon and his tailored advice in preparing for it was invaluable.

For 2023 I would love to run another marathon and a sub-30 in Cabinteely parkrun.

Sarah Conroy

Record Blackrock A.C. Entrants to Dublin City Marathon

A record 63 BAC runners hit the streets on October 30th for the Dublin City Marathon. Conditions were tough, very warm and humid, in fact, one of the toughest days for running the DCM I have experienced. However, that did not stop many club members from running extremely well. Sarah Conroy, Ayse Aksoy, Janel Gleich, Grainne Deasy, Cristin Scollard and Richie White completed their first ever marathon and 12 people ran a PB.

There were also several medal winners namely Grainne Grennan (Dublin Gold, Leinster Gold, National Silver), Brian Caulfield (Dublin Bronze, Leinster Bronze), Ger O’Toole (Dublin Gold), Fergus Collis (Dublin Bronze), our M50 team (Brian Caulfield, Ger O’Toole and Barry Thornton winning Dublin Gold, Leinster Gold, National Silver) and our M35 team (Fergus Collis, Andrew Flynn and Owen Kelly who won Dublin Bronze).

The support from club members on the route was incredible, making us all very proud to wear the BAC singlet. The club spirit was also very much on display as we celebrated in Ciamei into the early hours that night!

Support came from several sources: all of the coaches who helped athletes prepare for the marathon, the people who entered us into team competitions and appealed results when needed and the many, many people who enthusiastically cheered us on which was a great help in those last tough few miles.

Barry Thornton

Young Athletes Entering their first Competitions

The indoors in February were a super introduction to competition. The buzz in the arena and the excitement with both kids and parents made it really special. Lola got to a final which was a great achievement. In the autumn we had a very successful cross-country league season… we had more than 10 athletes at every meeting, and Darragh and Phoebe just missed out on top 6 finishes.

Within our own group of coaches I would say a big thanks to Amanda, Alina, Cliona, John, Tim, Amy, Darren, Ciara, Christine and Sinéad. From the club Paul Hunt has been very helpful to us, and before Paul we had Ciara. Janice has been helpful in getting new coaches vetted. Audrey has been helpful too. Thanks to all the volunteers.

Participation and Fun are the key ambitions for 2023 and we also need to get more coaches involved!

Brian Murphy

Run the Line – 26km Trail Run

I signed up for this event in order to get back into some distance running. After taking a bit of time away from running, I was hoping that this would be the one to reignite my love for endurance events. Run the Line didn’t disappoint! It was a very tough course (I love hardship!!) – not helped by the fact that I had little to no training done in advance. The atmosphere at the start area was brilliant but out on the course, it did feel a little bit lonely at times. The stand-out moment was the welcome cheers as I crossed over the finish line from fellow BAC members were exactly what I needed after over 4hrs out on the mountains!!!

Ted and Sarah (without knowing it I’m sure) were unbelievably supportive on that day. The whole team that I did the Wicklow Way relay were fantastic too – another great day out with BAC!

Hoping to do my first Ultra Marathon in February 2023 – Donadea 50km.

Georgina Loughry

New UCD Track and Boosted Club Profile

It’s always difficult to pick one so for me it was seeing our new track facility in UCD getting used by both kids and adults. Kids are in awe doing relays and having lanes to ignore 😀 and adults with steam coming off their bodies as they execute their tempo sessions. It’s still early days for us as a club as we make UCD our home away from homes but I’m really looking forward to seeing us maximise the facility. Thanks to the team of Ruth, Audrey & Paul for the work to secure its use working with Jane in UCD.

A close second was our success for our Adults and Juniors / Juveniles at a national and international level. Record numbers partaking in DCM for the club gave rise to medals galore and our selection for our junior athletes to run for Ireland is just brilliant.

I am very grateful for our captains Audrey, Paul, Sinead, Gerry, Patricia and Rob.

Mark Cafferkey

Run for Ukraine, Among Others

My standout moment was the Blackrock A.C. Run For Ukraine during the second weekend of March and the fundraising campaign that it kicked off. It was around that time that I was gradually resuming my running after a prolonged injury, running has helped me cope with numerous challenges that this year has brought.

Barry and I talked a lot in the early days after Russia launched the full-scale military invasion of Ukraine and discussed ways for our club members to support my home country. We decided to set a goal of running 3’024 km, the distance from Carysfort Park to Kyiv and raise 3’024 EUR to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. That weekend Blackrock A.C. and friends covered the full distance and raised over 3x the goal amount. Since then hundreds of club members and the broader community have joined our initiatives to collect several vans worth of clothes and food, which we’ve been sending to shelters, orphanages and impacted families in Ukraine.

The Run for Ukraine weekend was the first big initiative that combined running, the activity I enjoy so much, with a very worthy cause – helping Ukraine. I’ve maintained a rather consistent training routine throughout most of 2022 and benefited greatly from training with the club, particularly from Barry’s newly introduced marathon tempo sessions leading up to the Dublin City Marathon.

The Dublin Marathon was another big moment as my whole family and close friends supported me before the finish line. I ran with a “Ukraine” headband on and heard words of support from many people along the course. 

Barry has been very supportive in my training and humanitarian initiatives.

James has been a great wordsmith helping craft and deliver my numerous messages to the running community.
And many many dozens of fellow clubmates who have extended support all through this year – big thanks to all of you!

In 2023 I plan to resume cross-country, explore mountain running a bit more through shorter races and complete the Dublin marathon.

Igor Pashchenko

Waterford Greenway Half Marathon

Six of us travelled down with Breda’s husband John also running. The conditions were good, with rain for the first few miles which ironically made it easier, keeping us cool. The course was scenic, particularly near the end and best of all was flat! I had the plan to keep within shouting distance of the 1.50 pacers and to my delight, I was able to move ahead of them once we got to 11 miles. I was, as usual, extremely nervous as I had trained hard and was delighted with my fastest half-marathon time in over eight years.

The men’s Tuesday night section lead by Rob have been beyond helpful and patient with the aul dear! David Martin, Ted, Arik and Ger O’Toole in particular have always encouraged and waited for us paddy-lasts to finish the session and made us feel part of the Group. I personally feel my running has come on as a result of the Tuesday sessions as I had lapsed totally with interval training so I hugely appreciate the support.

I would like to bring my half marathon time down in 2023 and improve my time on the longer trail races and stay healthy and injury-free!

Eva Fairmaner

PB Parkrun in Gorey, First 10k in Years and First Cross Country

A lovely crisp cold morning and a flat course gave me a nice surprise finish in Gorey. I had never broken 30 before so I was delighted.

The Roundwood Vartry reservoir run with Carmel and Hilary was great also as I had not done the distance for ages and so was happy to come in just under 1.02. The cross country was fun! Not as muddy as expected and a great team to be with. 

The whole club is a support but Gerry, Patricia and James need special mention for all that they do.

For 2023, a few more races and just keep running.

Helen Collins

Sub-Two-Hour Half Marathon in Bohermeen

The motivation came after the Raheny 5 mile. I continued on with training, but hard training and thankfully this paid off. The achievement was so good, I was disappointed with my sub 2 with Wexford.

My thanks this year to Gerry Flaherty, Jamie Kennedy, James Dowling and Patricia Forde for their support.

Caimin Browne

Spirit Sandyford 5k

The Spirit Sandyford 5k is a super local race – really well organised and right on our doorstep. My favourite thing about it is that they have plenty of team prizes – including men’s, women’s and mixed teams. I was so proud to stand with my BAC legend teammates Katherine Duff, Dee O’Mahony and Caimin Browne to receive our second prize in the mixed teams. They laid on great hospitality after the race too, so there was craic and chats to be had while we waited for the prizegiving. We took home a few 5k PBs that night, including one for me 🙂

Ger O’Toole had a sensational year of running in 2022, which stands as an inspiration to us all. I was privileged to share some brilliant runs with Ger this year, but I’m especially thankful for his guidance on the first few laps of the Barkley Mini Marathons in Wicklow back in April. Without Ger leading the way, they might still be searching for me in the mountains! 😀

2023? Wicklow Way Ultra?!

Ted Burke

Dublin Half Marathon

Phoenix Park, a calm sunny morning, great BAC turnout, and a faster time than expected – what’s not to love??

Barry Thornton was a huge source of tips and motivation for my first marathon this year too, thank you.

For 2023 it would be nice to get a sub 3:30 in Dublin, plus another marathon somewhere sometime somehow!

Peter Bredin

Nice sunny day for the Dublin half, great BAC turnout and I went under 1:30 (1:29:02) for the first time in a few years so was pleased with that. Hope to go faster again in 2023.

My wife Lauren also joined the club so that was good too!

Great support at lots of races from BAC members but a special mention for Gerry Flaherty at the Waterford Marathon. He was somehow in about 10 different places around the course!

David Martin was also doing some serious cheering at Dublin Marathon which was great when I was struggling down Fosters Avenue.

I want to improve my half marathon and marathon times over those set in 2022. I would like to go sub 3:20 for Marathon in 2023.

Darren Keane

Race of the Year, Dublin Half marathon

2023 was a busy year for Blackrock A.C. and especially for the Fit4life group. With membership numbers at an all-time high in the Juvenile and Senior/Masters sections, many people took part in races throughout the year. Among the big events in 2023 were the Dublin Masters cross country, the Raheny 5, the Bohermeen Half Marathon, the Belfast Marathon, the Club 5km, the Leinster 10 miler in St. Anne Park, the VHI Mini Marathon, the Fit4life away trip to Waterford, the Frank Duffy 10 mile, the Clontarf 8km/Half marathon, any parkruns, many overseas and Irish marathons, several ultra and trail races, the Run for Alice, and the amazing Dublin marathon that has 61 finishers.

There were big numbers in all these events with some podium finishes and many personal best times among the members.

However, my favourite event of the year was the Dublin Half Marathon. This was run on a new course in the Phoenix Park in good running conditions. As well as being my first big race after injury, it was a day of great performances from many members in the club. The build-up went well with some lovely Saturday long runs along the Dodder River and towards the city, followed by coffee and chat.

Among the 7000 runners on the day were 44 runners from Blackrock A.C. There was a great buzz in the morning of the race and there was good banter among the club members before the start. I had the company of most of the long-run group for the first few km. I started the race with Janel Gleich, Caimin Browne, Holly Furlong and Martin Conlon, all aiming for a 2-10 pace or under. After a few Km, Janel started to move ahead and had a fine run on the day and broke the magical 2-hour barrier. David Kennedy and Grainne Deasy both had fine runs together and came home in 1-56, their first sub 2 runs also. I ran with Caimin for most of the run and we came home in 2.03. Holly and Martin also had good runs on the day. Janel and Grainne D both went on to completed their first marathon in Dublin,

On the day, fifteen people from Blackrock A.C. ran personal best times and this included Cristín (1-35), Charlene, Valeria, Ayse, Grainne D, Janel, Ted, Tiernan, Sean, Jamie, Dermot, David and Martin. Grainne Grennan was first in her age group on day. For me, this was a memorable day for many reasons and it was great to see so many from the Fit4life Section taking part in this big event and running so well on the day.

Gerry Flaherty

Achieving my Sub-Three-Hour Marathon Ambition in Berlin

I’d entered three marathons in 2022 hoping to finally achieve a sub-three; after a false start in Cork, the second of those was in Berlin. Everything went right – no travel drama, weather perfect, course ideal, felt good on the morning. It was a tough race (all marathons are!) but I managed to hang on to the end and record a 2:59:03, thanks to good training after years of absorbing best practices from fellow BAC athletes and a positive mental attitude on the day. What an honour to share the stage also with Eliud Kipchoge on his world record run – and equally with my BAC friends James and Donal! It was the race of my life.

Thanks also to everyone who I ran with at training, other races or parkruns throughout the year.

For 2023 I look forward to returning to the ultra stage in Donadea (50k) and Connemarathon (63k)- but most of all to stay healthy, uninjured and to have fun.

Rob Asher

Two Half Marathons

I enjoyed completing 2 half marathons this year. One which was much more enjoyable than the other. The Phoenix Park Half was a pleasure to run in the sunshine, while Clontarf was torture in a storm with wind and waves crashing in on me!

Running with others on spring and summer evenings was great company after last year when I had been running on my own. These runs had great chat, with an occasional ice cream, and more than once it included a swim at Seapoint. The sea swim cooled me down and made the final bit home much easier!

Everyone was a great inspiration and company, particularly Gerry, who would bring us on some long runs on Saturdays and have bottles of water hidden along the way. Thanks Gerry.

I am signed up for Dublin Marathon 2023. It will be some stretch if I get there, as it is 30+ years since I last did a full marathon. Some more halves and 10 miles too I aim for.

Martin Conlon

Amsterdam 2022

In October, Cora and Dorit travelled to Amsterdam to complete their first marathon. Along with the marathoners Mary, Fiona, Celine, Aedemar and Karen also travelled over to complete some shorter distance runs of 8km up to half marathon. A fantastic few days was had, enjoying the races and spending time enjoying the city. So maybe in 2023 we can persuade some more people to travel to a nice location, take in the sights, and importantly do some running. 

Dorit, Cora, Aedemar, Fiona, Celine, Mary, Karen

Men’s Group Teddy’s Run on 19th July

This was my only run with the men’s group in 2022. The ice cream was deliciously creamy and the flake was chocolatey. They’re a nice bunch of people to run with. For 2023 I plan to stay fit, enjoy my running and get to the start line for the Dublin marathon as a participant.

Johnny Sheehan

Women’s O/35 Team Winning Leinster 10-Mile Bronze

I decided to enter the race only a week beforehand as I wasn’t sure of my plans for that day. I had participated in the race a number of years ago so I decided to give it a go again.

It was great being part of the BAC Women’s 0/35 team with Lynn McMahon and Charlene Carty winning bronze at the 10 Mile Easter Monday Battle of Clontarf/Leinster Championships. BAC also got bronze in the O/50 team.

Patricia Craddock Smith who runs the Saturday morning training sessions is a great source of support. She is a fountain of knowledge about running and is very encouraging.

For 2023 I plan to build on my running achievements of 2022!

Sinéad Howard

The Barrow Line 30-Mile Race that Turned out to be 50km 

Yes, I was counting and thankfully so was Strava!

2022 was full of memorable running moments thanks to the support of BAC. Some expectedly so (the high expectations I had for the Dublin marathon as a highlight for BAC members did not disappoint and it was an incredible day). Some unexpectedly so. In April this year, I run the Milan marathon with very little preparation with the exception of having run consistently and being nearly religious about my Saturday long runs with the club.

It was over coffee after one of these Saturday long runs a few weeks after Milan that my friend James Dowling convinced me to sign up for a 30-mile race that was taking place only 6 weeks later. I genuinely did not think I was up to the task… plus I knew at that stage that I really liked a city marathon and the amazing support from the crowds… but running a small race in the middle of the Irish countryside? With dropout bags at 2 locations?

As it turns out, I love small non-urban races too, as well as the more challenging 50km distance. It was an incredible experience, genuinely great fun and especially thanks to the amazing friends I made at BAC.

Great sources of support in the club for me come from James Dowling who, with his enthusiasm, commitment to running and the club, as well as his incredible marketing skills has the ability to make you sign up for the most unspeakable challenges (I’m drawing a line at a 90km on another continent… for the moment at least!).

Ted Burke is a constant source of inspiration with his incredible running and his always supportive words. Pat O’Brien, unfortunately, had to pull out of the race that day but that didn’t stop him (and Nuala, his super wife!) from coming to support us. Pat started running with me around 30km in and I will never forget his “now, tell me all about your life!” which made the last 20km feel a lot shorter. Thank you!

Valeria Sofia

Battle of Patricia; Clontarf 10-Mile

2022 has been such an amazing and action-packed year as far as running is concerned. It is so difficult to pick just one highlight so here are some.

The Battle of Clontarf however is one that is pretty special to me. I have never been the best at pacing and decided early on I was going for 5:19/km. Gerry thought it might be a bit of a challenge as I had not been as active as training the previous year by this time. I had managed this pace and better previously at halves, so I thought the ten-mile was achievable. As often happens, Gerry offered to pace me for it. I am very happy he did. 

The race was going well but there were times when I wanted to slack off a little and Gerry kept me on track. Coming to the 10km mark it seemed there was a shortage of water. I took a bottle and squirted a quick sup, then passed it to Gerry. It was the perfect amount we both needed and continued the race together, shoulder to shoulder. Of course, the problem is when running with someone like Gerry, I am not sure there was a person in that race he didn’t know so there was plenty of chatting, which at times I just had to refrain from as my breathing wouldn’t allow!

For a long time during the race, I could see Patricia Forde ahead with some others. I figured they were far enough ahead and was not going to be close to offer a challenge. As the race reached the final stretch in St Anne’s, Gerry told me to go for it, I had kept the pace throughout with him and he wanted me to finish strong. As I did, picking up the pace a little, what transpired was the finish of finishes with Patricia. I knew I was getting very close, so went for it. The realisation then as I passed her, knowing I had peaked too early and was feeling it, seeing her overtake me again – only for there to be inches in the difference, in the end, was just such an amazingly fun feeling that day. This is something I always try to do at the end of a race, jump a few places but going toe to toe with a fellow club member and friend made it all the more special and we smiled for a long time afterward.

The other overarching highlight for me is the amazing team spirit within the club. Support comes from so many sources and I apologise as I will forget some! Unofficial club member Róisín has supported me and others in so many races and I am eternally grateful for this. Arik, Caimin, Gerry, James C, Ted, Valeria and Volkan who I have shared so many adventurous moments with on the road (and canals 🙂 ). Melanie again for being such a huge source of support with Blackrock A.C. digital. Audrey Burns and Paul Hunt for their constant feeding of content from the younger sections. Rob also, always helping out when called upon. 

To everyone else, Dermot, Imelda, Kevin, Monica, Patricia F, Sarah and so many more who really get behind the club, regularly contribute content for our online channels or just organise great get-togethers! Looking forward to building on that for many years to come.

In 2022 I would love to finally get a sub-4-marathon. Above all though I hope to continue to build great relations with others and stay injury free to enjoy running.

James Dowling

Other Highlights Worth a Mention

Run for Alice

Great news from last November’s Run for Alice when the entire Blackrock A.C. community made their mark on Carysfort Park in support of Alice and her family. The club raised over €66,000 to help Alice Beat Cancer, more on that can be read here.

Run for Ukraine

In March we helped organise the Run For Ukraine, an initiative that aimed to raise much-needed funds for people on the ground in Ukraine.

Men’s member Igor Pashchenko is the trustee of the not-for-profit Moral Fiber, which has been set up to raise much-needed funds. They are also in the process of registering as a charity. With direct knowledge of local arrangements, funds go exactly where required. A separate fundraiser was dedicated to Red Cross, which offered people the option to donate their also if they wished.

The Juvenile and Junior sections organised runs in Deer and Carysfort Parks with special cakes and face-painting also taking place. Members of the Fit4Life, Men and Women’s sections also logged their distance as the club strived to hit the target of 3,024km, the distance to Kyiv. In addition, it was hoped that €3,024 would be raised for each of these charities. In the end, just under €13,000 was raised. Needless to say, work continues. More information can be found here.

Comfort Correction

Earlier this year it appeared that Gerry was relaxing at the DC Marathon Expo. I would like to clarify that this was actually a pretty painful process to help with a previous injury and not the relaxing situation insinuated. Sorry Gerry! 🙂

Bryan Water Fountain

As Bryan Shiels gets ever-closer to 100 marathons, this picture from Waterford in June caught the imagination of many. While some called for it to be made into a statue at the clubhouse, others suggested a water fountain is what is needed at the clubhouse and what better structure for one.

Thank You to Our Amazing Volunteers

The Running of Blackrock A.C. relies on the efforts of coaches and members giving up their free timt o make it all happen. While the below post highlights some, there are far more helping out behind the scenes and we say a special thank you to everyone of you who make it such a brilliant club to be part of.

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