GOAL is a humanitarian charity established in Ireland some 40 years ago. Each Christmas Day, one of their fundraisers is the GOAL Mile. Held on athletics tracks throughout Ireland, the concept is simple – pay an entry fee, run a mile (a distance rarely raced in competition nowadays), and everybody wins.
By Christmas 2008 I’d been in Dublin for a year and had embedded myself in the life of Crusaders AC who have their track and clubhouse at Irishtown on the eastern edge of the city. Crusaders host one of these GOAL miles. This year – 2020 – it’s a virtual event for well understood reasons, but in 2008 I was there on Christmas morning to do my bit.
Fortunately it wasn’t just one mad race that morning as Dublin has some seriously good athletes. I jumped into one race in which I stood a chance of not being embarrassed. On the whistle, off we set, two or three of us in running gear plus a couple of Mums pushing prams and trailing slightly older infants. It was a bit surreal, not many spectators as we headed past the clubhouse, down the back straight, around the final turn from where you can see the big cargo boats at Dublin Port and down the home straight to complete the lap. Unfair obstruction as I had to weave between and past scampering children and buggies but my complaints went unheard as they’d paid their entry fee as well.
Fair play to myself, I pushed my body hard if not fast. As I passed the finishing line for the last time I heard the time – 6.58 – which remains my PB to this day.
It might have been short-lived and long ago but I still treasure those days with the Crusaders and still I still wear the club vest whenever possible.
Goal is a great organization. So glad you have embraced it, Roy.
I had the honour of playing mixed doubles with founder, John O’Shea back in the day and also attending amazing tennis exhibitions he organised for Goal with greats like Mats Wilander.
I almost signed up for this year’s Goal mile to prove my ankle was doing great but sadly now restrained myself.
Never too late tho.
Love your pics.
Roy McCarthy said:
Cool, playing with John O’Shea 🙂 He will certainly leave the world a better place for his work. I’m sure there will be plenty more GOAL miles Jean.
Cool indeed! He was an excellent doubles player.
As for Goal, I still cringe when I think of chatting with a gang of friends after one of his Goal tennis exhibitions in Trinity and John said to us: You can be clearing up the litter while you talk.’ We jumped too but shouldn’t have had to be reminded.