‘Marathon Man’ returns to old stomping ground

DICK HOOPER, Ireland’s Marathon Man, will be at his old stomping ground, St Anne’s Park in Raheny, tomorrow to present the prizes for the Dublin City Council/BHAA road races when the programme will be comprised of a men’s four-mile race and women’s two mile race.

Hooper’s club, Raheny Shamrock AC, will have a double role on Sunday when they host the Woodie’s DIY national road relay championships as well as defending the senior men’s title.

Crusaders will provide a big threat with Olympic 800m runner Thomas Chamney and Alan O’Brien included in the squad. Clonliffe Harriers have shown their depth by fielding four teams in the championships, while Lucan Harriers, Ennis Track, Liffey Valley, North Down, Sportsworld and Finn Valley AC are all represented.

Evergreen Annette Kealy will lead the Raheny A Team in the women’s senior race, while Finn Valley, Clonliffe Harriers, Donore Harriers, Sportsworld, Inisowen, Crusaders, North Down and Eagle AC have formidable teams entered.

There will be a big interest in the second session of the Woodie’s DIY Juvenile Championships of Ireland in at the Nenagh Indoor Arena.

Athletics Ireland are sending a Senior High Performance squad to Monte Gordo, Portugal, on April 25 for two weeks of warm weather training. The squad includes walkers Jamie Costin, Robert Heffernan and Laura Reynolds, while, on the track, Thomas Chamney, David Campbell after a spell in the Southern Hemisphere, and David McCarthy will provide excellent training partners for each other. Olympic sprinter Paul Hession and Olympic marathon runner, Martin Fagan, are also included.

Some leading athletes addressed a training camp for 24 of Ireland’s up and coming athletes at the University of Limerick last week. The object of the camp was to develop and educate elite junior athletes and assist in their transition to senior international level.

The speakers included Olympians Jamie Costin (50k walk) and Aoife Hoey (Bobsleigh) while Thomas Chamney also discussed his life as a full time athlete, NCAA experiences and life on the grand prix circuit.

Educational workshops were a key element of the camp with talks from Martin Burke of the Olympic Council of Ireland on upcoming major events, Aisling Keaveney of the Irish Sports Council Anti-Doping Unit and Gareth Devlin on the Athletics Ireland High Performance Plan.

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