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  • Southside

Athletic club remembers a local legend

Wednesday, 1st November, 2017 6:00pm
Athletic club remembers a local legend

Olympic gold medallist Ronnie Delaney with the late Paddy Craddock’s wife, Patricia, and members of his family.

Athletic club remembers a local legend

Olympic gold medallist Ronnie Delaney with the late Paddy Craddock’s wife, Patricia, and members of his family.

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A BENCH to commemorate Paddy Craddock, who was a life member of Blackrock Athletic Club, was formally unveiled at a function outside the club house in Carysfort Park recently.

The bench was unveiled by former international runner, Catherine O'Loughlin, to mark the life of Paddy who competed in the first 30 Dublin City Marathons, founded the Senior Women's section of the club and was a coach for many years. 

As well as Paddy's wife, children and extended family, the function was attended by Olympic gold medallist Ronnie Delaney, and Olympians Pat and Dick Hooper, who is also a three-time winner of the Dublin marathon.

The father-and-daughter team of Paddy Craddock and Patricia Craddock-Smith spearheaded the club over many years.

Paddy joined Blackrock Athletic Club in 1955 when he was just 20.

In a tribute to Paddy, his club wrote that over many years he delivered sterling service as a coach, administrator, club delegate and race official.

“Paddy was a well seasoned marathoner with a personal best of two hours, forty-five minutes, which he achieved at the age of 45,” the club stated.

“He also completed the first 30 Dublin marathons and competed for Ireland internationally at numerous master’s international cross-country competitions.

“Paddy was always a man of good humour and generosity of spirit.

“He will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by all who knew him.”

In October 2005, Paddy was interviewed by the Irish Times where he outlined his love of running.

“I have been doing it for so long now, it wouldn't seem right for October to come along without me running the Dublin Marathon,” he said.

“I ran two hours 45 minutes for the marathon in Tullamore when I was 45-years-old and I came in the top 100 of the first Dublin Marathon in 1980. I have also run various road races over the years.

“Running gives me energy,” he explaind to the paper. “It's strange really but I find I can do so much more in the day if I have been for a run in the morning. I just love the long distances.

“When I was a kid I did everything - boxing, GAA, gymnastics - but in 1955 I got married and decided that I could not give up so much time to sport so I decided to concentrate on the running.

“I suppose you could say I have been running long distances for 50 years.

“I love it,” he added. “I have always found the longer distances easy. I seem to be able to go on and on.

“I ran the first Dublin Marathon in 1980, in two hours and 51 minutes and came 96th overall.

“However, my best time was two hours and 45 minutes in Tullamore in the 1980 National Marathon Championship.”

 

The plaque on the bench commemorating the late Paddy Craddock who died in June of last year.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here