‘Running – the people’s game’


Sir, – Ian O’Riordan’s excellent piece certainly hit the spot for this life-long runner (“Mind over madness: How running became the people’s game”, Sport, May 16th).

I well remember the hoots and cat-calls assailing our ears as we pursed our running fix in the early 1960s. We had our Oak Leaf Athletic Club runs on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and again on Sunday afternoons from our clubhouse where we changed before and after the runs.

However, a few of us also did extra training and this involved walking about a mile or so from our homes in Derry’s Creggan estate to the country fields towards the Donegal border. We wore our civvies there and back whatever the weather, and changed behind a hedge before and after our session to avoid the inevitable barrage of choice verbal abuse common at the time.

We were far from sensitive souls but the era of mass participation running and universal acceptance of healthy exercise was still a few decades into the future.

Maybe we had a bit of madness about us, but then as now, in this period of lockdown, it kept us sane and healthy!

Keep on running! – Yours, etc,