My Club: Raheny Shamrock AC

Mon, Oct 26, 1998, 00:00

Dick Hooper has won a record three Dublin City marathons, in 1980, 1985 and 1988, and represented Ireland in the Olympic marathon on three occasions (Moscow, Los Angeles and Seoul) and four times in the European Championships. He has also won a record five national marathon championships - the most recent coming this year, 20 years after his first title.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the club was founded in 1958 by Paddy Boland, a fervent follower of Shamrock Rovers - and hence the club's name - and is still situated in the old schoolhouse in Raheny village.

Membership: Between juniors, seniors and veterans, both male and female, the number is close to 200.

Status: Our main strength would be in the marathon and road running where we've always been very good and although we once finished second in the national track and field league, we have never been a major force in either track or cross country.

Honours: The best day for the club was probably in 1980 when myself and my brother Pat finished first and second in the national marathon, where the club also won the team event, and then we both also ran the Moscow Olympics that year. Elsewhere, Paddy Noonan and Mick Hearey picked up national titles in middle distance events.

Finest Hour: One moment that stands out for me was winning the 1980 Dublin Marathon when it was really big. It also went through Raheny village that day, somewhere around the 20-mile mark when I was a long way in front, which was a great thrill.

Worst Moment: Everybody remembers John Treacy's silver medal in the Los Angeles marathon, where Jerry Kiernan also had a great run for ninth, but I was the third team member and had the worst race of my life.

Club Hero: A lot of people do a lot of hard work, but the real anchorman has to be my brother Pat. He achieved so much as a runner himself, of course. He's still the soul of the club and organises our five-mile road race every year.

Greatest Rivals: Since the early days both Clonliffe and Metro have always been strong rivals. Jerry Kiernan of Clonliffe provided some great battles in the marathon and we're still rivals today as veterans.