Seventy-five-year-old Bohermeen athlete Tommy Durcan won his first 5,000m national title when he romped home in the M75 race at the Athletics Ireland National Masters Track & Field Championships at Santry Stadium on Sunday.
The father of seven, grandfather of 19 and great-grandfather of four, achieved his success in the impressive time of 22.06 minutes.
A resident of Newline, Bohermeen, the ageless athlete runs in the colours of the local club and in recent years has resurrected his running career with some impressive results achieved along the way.
The winner of a JFC medal with Marty in 1964 Durcan eventually gave up football to focus on athletics.
“I was a bit accident-prone as a footballer, I broke a few bones so I gave it up,” he told the Meath Chronicle on Tuesday. He won a number of national titles as a sprinter, but eventually stepped away from sport as life became busier – until relatively recently when he resurrected his running career.
“I started back four years ago with the park runs held in Blackwater Park in Navan,” he said.
“I enjoyed the experience and decided to keep it going,” he added. He worked for 12 years in Navan Carpets and 24 years in Tara Mines and last January decided to broaden his horizons in more ways than one when he took part in a half-marathon in Spain. “It was the first time I ever ran past 10k, but I was very pleased with my time, I clocked up a time of 1h:49m which I was very pleased about,” he said.
Since returning to competitive running Durcan has won Leinster titles, but he stepped up to the national stage on Sunday and did himself, his club and has family proud. His longer term aim is to run in the Seville half-marathon early next year.
“I would like to run in that race, Covid-19 allowing, of course,” added a man who has made light of the passing years.
Another Meath athlete to show up well at the Masters Championships at Santry was Trim AC’s Moira Groome who claimed victory in the W55 100 metres in a time of 14.98.
The Trim club was well represented in the distance events with Mick Counsel running 4.41.99 to take fourth place in the M50 1500m.
Tom Feeley set a 5,000m best time of 16.49.98 to secure 10th place, Ulrike Strubing took part in the W55 3,000m finishing a very good eighth place in 12.11.78 in a highly competitive field. Dunboyne AC also enjoyed a great day at the championships with some impressive results. Roisin Bell and Phelim Glynn led the charge with notable triumphs, Bell won gold in the W55 200m while Glynn took silver the M55 1,500m.