First formed in 1972, Trim athletic club was called The Yellow Steeple athletic club.
People like Larry Tobin ( Rip) Larry Daly ( Rip) and Michael Farry were the backbone Of the club during the early days. It always had an active juvenile membership, taking part in County track and field, cross country and events like the annual Community Games.
The club was affilliated to the BLE, one of the two athletic bodys in Ireland during that era,
The other been NACAI.
There were some senior athletes but to my knowledge it was never strong in the senior department.
I will always remember when i returned to live in Trim in 1994 after spending several years in London, my horror when i first learned that Trim A/C had only 3 active members.
(I had just left Thames Valley Harriers in London with 750 active members)
I wanted to race National cross- country and road and i simply could not enter without a team.
So Joe Mcnally and myslef joined Paddy Mangan, Domo Moran, Robbie Matthews ( rip ) and Tommy Maher my old pal at London Irish to run with Dunshaughlin. We had a successful 8 years, we won numerous County, Leinster and National titles.
We started to hear rumours that Trim A/C was been reformed by Ciaran Tobin, Moria Aston and Moria Grume.
They were running on the track at vet meets so i was hopefull the rumours were true. I knew Ciaran Tobin i loved his passion and drive and he loved athletics and so did i.
Within months a new juvenile club was formed in Trim.My eldest Daniel joined and i liked what i saw.Soon after i was to begin helping out with some coaching and i was asked to do a level one coaching course and in a matter of a few weeks new members Brian Cully, Bren Gilligan,
Sean o Neill, Tony Aston and that great Trim athlete Pat Comey was back from Australia.
It was time to return to run with Trim, Paddy Mangan understood and wished us all the best.
I will never forget my first race for Trim,
I was handed a vest like the Sunderland jersey,
I made a comment to mr Tobin, i cant wear them colours,
As quick as a flash he replied sure you wont be looking at yourslef will ye?
Several new members joined the club and the club began to steadily grow.
I joined the clubs committee and i was even Chairman for a year. Further coaching courses were attended and we hosted County cross- country championships in the Porchefields.
I was really impressed with the passion and drive that Ciaran had, he was like an Alex Ferguson, Brian Clough rolled into one,
He lived for the club and you could see the way he supported even the kids, it didnt matter if you were first or if you finished last, he had that way of making them feel extra special and all the kids loved him and some would run through a wall for him.
Raising money was important in the early days and we had several flag days where Tobins shop on Market Street was always the clubs HQ. I aways said Ann Tobin had great patience.
It was after all a buisness premises not a meeting point for an athletic club.
In 2004 i had the honour of wearing the red and white vest around the streets of Dublin.
I will never forget Ciarans face at 23 miles when he spotted me coming in, he was beaming with pride. I certainly heard him before i saw him, his support is first class and that voice of support can be heard at various races all over the country, especially in Dublin on marathon day.
Now fast forward 13 years and there maybe 20 or more Trim athletes running in Dublin on marathon day, long may that continue.
In 2005 the club was invited for a weekend trip to Etrepagny in France, so 12 club members made the trip to race a 10km race.
Trim Athletic club were going international ,
And we won first team prize.It was a great trip,
The first and last time i would ever race while hungover
Since those early days the Trim colours have been seen in all the major marathons in the world, Boston, Chicago , New York, London ,
Rotterdam, Berlin, Rome and as far as Tokyo.
Showing just how far this club has gone, brilliant.
The red and white vest has also been spotted all over Ireland at road, track and country races.
Success has also been enjoyed by the club at local and national level, new kids on the block have worn the vest with great pride at National track and field championships.
Athletes like Harry Purcell, Shane Aston and David Tobin have represented the club in track and field in Santry and in various European events.
Ciaran always talked about Trim having its own road race, if Dunshauglin can have one why can’t Trim he often asked me.
My reply was always the same, Dunshaughlins 10km race is well established and they have a great race commitee , let our club mature and maybe down the line we will see.
After all Trim had had a 10 km road race in the
1980’s but it didnt last ( mainly due to the fact that the vast majority of the work and preparation was been left to one man Pat Comey).
Trim A/C finally got its own race The Braveheart 5 km trial race in early June and it has steadily grown in popularity over the last 7 years.
Mr Tobin still wasnt happy, yes the 5km race was huge success but it was ran in the Porchefields, the same venue we used for county cross- country for years, he still had that , dream and would not be happy until that dream came through. So that special race committee was formed and his dream became a reality The Trim 10 mile Road was born, and is now firmly established in the Irish race fixture list in early February.
It is a very popular race now in its 4th year and is growing rapidly. One of the best in the country.
People come and people go in athletic clubs,
The more members you have i always felt the easier the workload becomes, as the work can be delegated out to several members instead of the same few and you will find people highly skilled / talented in various fields will be present in your clubs membership.
People like IT expert Paul Hegarty joined and helped lighten the load off the chairman.
You will always need to raise money for clubs so it is always a great bonus if you have a club member who has that gift of getting sponsorships and raising money with chruch gate collections ect people like Don Mahon.
People have often asked me would there be an athletic club in Trim if Ciaran Tobin was not involved? Maybe
Would it be as well established as it is today,
One of the best Athletic clubs in Ireland?
Yes there are lots of great people doing brilliant work, coaching, race planning, administration fund raising and most important, running in competition.
But every really top club has that special one
Driving everyone on, the engine room.
Encouraging and most importantly supporting
Yes the Phoenix has risen from the Ashes.
Take a bow Ciaran Tobin
Thanks for all you have done for me and for all you have done for Meath athletics over the years.
Wishing you good health in the future and keep up your great work.
God bless you always.