A Warm Welcome
Set up in 1944 and now proudly in its 77th year, Blackrock Athletic Club continues to fulfil the athletic ambition of everyone in the community. We respect our history and heritage and place equal emphasis on fun and performance excellence. Blackrock Athletic Club is a welcoming, all-inclusive club which encourages all members of the community regardless of their age or fitness level to join and get involved in the variety of events which take place throughout the year both in Ireland and abroad.
Blackrock Athletic Club plays a key role in the promotion of health and wellbeing in our community, by giving people of all ages and abilities an opportunity to partake in athletics in a safe and enjoyable environment. We also give talented athletes the opportunity to realise their full potential.
We are proud of the safe, respectful, trusted and friendly environment we maintain for everyone involved with the club. Today, Blackrock Athletic Club is home to over 600 members, making it one of the largest athletic clubs in Ireland.
Blackrock Athletic Club: An Epic Journey 1944–2019
Compiled by Tom Kelly
Blackrock Athletic Club has travelled an epic Journey since 1944. From its small beginnings during World War II, Blackrock AC has grown to be one of the biggest athletic clubs in the country and now proudly counts a double European champion among its ranks.
The club evolved from a volunteer military unit and started out with fewer than 20 members – all men – who became involved in athletics through inter-service competition. Joe Hodgins brought the club its first national title in 1950 and since then it has gone from strength to strength.
After 25 years in existence, the club finally admitted women, as attitudes to their participation in physically demanding competitions, began to change. In the intervening years, the women’s section has brought great success to the club, winning at both national and international level.
This charming history of the Blackrock AC brings together the voices of many past and present members. They recall the club’s various homes over the years, including a haunted house; they tell of the Christmas Day toy run to the local orphanage and they remember trips to competitions all over the country on furniture and chicken lorries.
A must-read for anyone interested in the history of Irish athletics, Blackrock Athletic Club: An Epic Journey 1944–2019 will delight and fascinate in equal measure.
Available to buy online or in the clubhouse for €5 each.
Juvenile and Juniors
The ethos of this section of the club is for the athletes to train in a fun and social environment while still allowing them to reach their competitive potential and compete for the club should they wish to do so. We hope to foster a lifelong love for athletics and a long term connection with the club.
Athletes train in their age group which is based on the calendar year January to December. This works well for team competition and for social reasons. As the athletes get older and more competitive or specialised, they can join development squad groups that span age groups but still maintain training contact with their own age group.
Coaching is structured by age group with a head coach and team of coaches for each group. Almost all of the coaching training is voluntary by parents or club members, many of whom are or were athletes themselves. All our coaches are Garda vetted and have completed child welfare training. The club encourages and pays for ongoing athletic training of our coaches with Athletics Ireland or equivalent coaching courses. Parents interested in getting involved in coaching are always welcome but should understand it is a commitment for a number of years rather than months. Learn more about Academy, Juvenile and Junior groups.
Blackrock A.C. Women’s section caters for all adult runners who have some running experience, i.e., all running abilities and ages! Most of our group are able to run at least 5K. We run together four times a week, on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, meeting at 6.30pm at the U.C.D. grounds, Belfield and Sunday mornings (long run), again meeting at Belfield at 10am.
Most of the women enjoy competing or participating in races and parkruns throughout the year. Their focus is mainly on cross country and road races. The most popular race events include the Dublin Masters Cross Country, Raheny 5-mile road race, Liberties 4 mile race, Women’s Mini Marathon, Meet & Train Winter and Summer League, Achill 10k/half marathon and the Dublin Race series including the Dublin City Marathon.
The social side of the Women’s section include the women meeting twice a year for a meal, the option for a weekend away incorporating a race, Club’s Table Quiz and the Rory Byrne Run to the Forty Foot and back after Christmas. The women often meet for a social coffee and chat after the weekend training sessions too. Learn more about the Women's section...
The BAC Men's section is intended for all adult runners who have some existing running experience. We cater to various running abilities up to and including elite level; as a rule of thumb, most of our group are able to run at least 10k. We train together twice per week, meeting in Blackrock village, on a Tuesday evening (training run) and a Sunday morning (long run). We have a friendly and relaxed atmosphere at our sessions, with the aim that everyone enjoys it, but also have an opportunity to push themselves and help achieve their running goals. Our sessions are not exclusively for men – runners of any gender are welcome!
At our Tuesday training, we do some form of intervals, speed work, hill reps or other workouts. Many of our members much prefer to do such a session as a group, not just for the social aspect but also for motivation! The vast majority of these sessions are done in a park or a short circuit such that runners of various speeds can train together while also remaining in one group.
Our Sunday long run is normally done on a coastal route around Dublin bay, usually at about 5 minutes/km pace and typically 15k – with options for shorter or longer routes as we see fit (for example, we often increase the distance in the run-up to the Dublin City Marathon which is one of our biggest target events each year). Learn more about the Men's section...
Fit4Life was an initiative started by Athletics Ireland in 2006 to provide an opportunity for recreational runners/joggers, both male and female, to train under the guidance of specially trained Fit4Life leaders. It was set up to overcome the perception that athletic clubs only cater to fast runners. It allowed runners/joggers to enjoy all the benefits of running in a social, safe and organised environment. In practice, it meant runners could join a club to go for a run and chat with no pressure to take part in races.
The first Blackrock A.C. Fit4life training session was held on June 11th, 2013. In the early days, training was held on a Tuesday evening and the group catered mainly for people who could run a few slow km. The group has evolved over the years and Fit4life now caters for new and up to marathon runners with 4+ training sessions per week. Those who start jogging with the Fit4Life group move from doing 5km to 10km runs over time. Many members have then progressed to running half marathon and marathons.