The history of the Irish Milers Club
The idea for the Irish Milers Club started in the summer of 2000. Brendan Hackett, then a middle distance coach, had been a regular visitor to British Milers Club races for a number of years and witnessed Irish athletes run personal bests at each meeting.
The BMC is now a large organisation of over 1,000 members and has been very influential in the development of British middle distance talent since the sixties. Some notable performances in BMC races include Sebastian Coe’s first sub 2 minute 800m in 1972 and Steve Ovett’s first sub 4 minute mile in 1974. These two Olympic Champions were very committed BMC members from early in their careers. From humble beginnings in the 1960’s, an acorn planted by Frank Horwill has become a giant oak.
In the summer of 2001 Brendan watched an increasing number of Irish athletes travel to the British Milers Club races in search of quality fast paced races. At one meeting there were 50 Irish athletes while in the Watford Grand Prix 2000, the women’s’ 1500m featured eight of Ireland’s top ranked runners at the distance. An examination of the Irish middle distance rankings at the end of the year showed that up to 70% of the top 20 ranked middle distance athletes had competed at BMC races. There was clearly a desire among Irish athletes to run in fast paced races with a designated pace maker. After discussions with some middle distance coaches and enthusiasts Brendan Hackett and Paul Cummins decided to hold an open meeting in March 2001. At this meeting, fellow enthusiasts, Liam Moggan, John O Connor, and John Chamney among others, together with Brendan Hackett and Paul Cummins discussed the state of Irish middle distance running and the need to raise the standards if Ireland was to maintain its tradition of producing top class athletes in the middle distance events.
After the meeting an interim committee was established to set up the Irish Milers Club. This committee included,
Chairperson Maeve Kyle
Vice Chair Bro. John Dooley ( originally Dick Hooper)
Secretary Brendan Hackett
Treasurer Paul Cummins
Registrar Liam Moggan
Members Sean Kyle, John O Connor and John Chamney.
The staging of fast paced races for Club members is a priority. Since 2001, the Club has very successfully staged each year a number of paced races resulting in a very large number of personal best times for individual athlete members. Also there has been reciprocal arrangements in place between both Clubs whereby members of the IMC have raced as members in BMC events and vice versa.
The second priority of the Club is the dissemination of knowledge to coaches and athletes. The Club has held a number of very successful seminars facilitating the exchange of ideas about training and featuring a range of national and international speakers.
With this is mind it is pleasing to note that the IMC has got off to a good start. A number of races were sponsored in the 2001 season including the senior boys and girls 1500m at the Irish Schools Championships and our aim of improving standards got off to a great start when our first race, the women’s 800m at the Morton Meet, produced five pbs. The reports from each of these races can be viewed on the front page.
The Irish Milers Club hopes to build on the rich tradition of Irish middle distance running. There are many role models for young Irish athletes to emulate. In recognition of their impact on Irish middle distance running, the IMC invited Ronnie Delany, Eamonn Coghlan, Ray Flynn, Marcus O’Sullivan and Sonia O’Sullivan to be our first patrons. It is a tremendous honour for the Club to have their support.