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A century of running

The Blackrock Athletic Club (Dublin) Flora Women's Mini Marathon Group was set up in 1983. It is one of the pioneering Women's Mini Marathon training groups, as it was formed for the inauguration of the Women's Mini Marathon in 1983.

Father-and-daughter team, Paddy Craddock and Patricia Craddock-Smith have been there from the very beginning.

Paddy joined Blackrock Athletic Club in 1955 when he was 20 years of age, while Patricia joined in 1969 when she was 11.

Between them, they have given combined voluntary service of 100 years to the club, as long-time athletes, club coaches, club administrators, club delegates and race officials.



The athletic club itself is one of the oldest athletic clubs in Ireland.

It was founded in 1944 when it was a male-only club, and it opened its doors to female athletes in 1969.

It currently has 257 members, which include Meet & Train participants registered for the Flora Women's Mini Marathon. "Ninety nine per cent of our senior and master women will be participating in this year's Flora Women's Mini Marathon," Patricia explains, "including two club members who have competed in all the Flora Women's Mini Marathons in Dublin to date: Mary Butler and Betty Behan."

She continues: "The Flora Women's Mini Marathon is important to the group as our participants enjoy this very special day.



"It motivates them to get fit and they love the whole atmosphere of the day.

"They love the support from everyone as all the streets along the route are lined with people cheering them along.

"They love the fact that they are one of the participants in the biggest all-women's race in the world.

"They also find it much easier to raise funds for their chosen charity by running in the Flora Women's Mini Marathon, as everyone is so familiar with the event, and their chosen cause keeps them going in the race when the going gets tough.

"All kinds of people sign up for the Flora Women's Mini Marathon Training Group, from total beginners, joggers, fast joggers, runners and elite runners.

"We welcome all standards and all age groups."

Patricia believes a Meet & Train Group provides athletes with sound advice, words of encouragement, guidance and the chance to form lifelong friendships.

Plus, the health benefits of all that training for the mini marathon are great.

For more information, see blackrockathleticclub.com