Paddy Murray (picutred here wearing the International vest at Stormont, Belfast 2007) was presented with the Hall of Fame Award for 2010 at the Mayo Athletics Awards on 13th March 2011 at the Park Hotel, Kiltimagh. For those who missed the event, this is the citation which was read out at the presentation and which appeared in the Mayo Athletics County Board of AAI booklet.
Paddy Murray commenced his athletic career in 1977 when he took part in Foxford Community Games and went home empty handed. The following year Paddy qualified in the 1,500m finished in third in place the County Final. The next year he did one better by coming 5th. in Mosney in the 1,500m in a time of 4min and 16 secs. In 1980 Paddy competed in the Community Games under 17, 6 mile Marathon.
Paddy joined the Swinford Athletic Club in 1978 and won the Swinford 5 mile Road Race. As Swinford Club was winding down Paddy then moved to Ballina Athletic Club.
He ran his first Dublin City Marathon in 1982 in a time of 2hrs. 43 mins – this was a remarkable achievement for an 18 year old studying for his Leaving Certificate.
During his time in athletics Paddy went on to win 12 Mayo Cross Country Titles in a row and 1990 became the first Mayo athlete to win a Connaught Senior Cross Country Title. It was around this time that Paddy was known as the ‘Road Runner’ because of his dominance of the Road Race Circuit.
(Letterkenny National Half Mar 2005 Paddy won bronze o40 – 77.2, with Brian O’Connor (Athenry AC) 77.01)
Paddy’s favourite distance was the 10 mile to half marathon and in1987 Paddy finished 3rd. in the National Senior 10 mile race in brilliant time of 51 minutes.
His personal best over 10k is 29.44. His best marathon in 1991 was 2.24. In 2006 Paddy won the over 40’s National Half Marathon in a time of 74.50. He ran road races in every county in Ireland taking home silverware from many all different locations.
(In action at Belfast Home Countries Masters International XC 2007)
His parents Mary and Michael travelled the length and breadth of the country supporting him. He instilled the love of running in his sons Daniel and Lorcan.
(Ballina 10k 2008 at Beleek, with son Daniel)
Thirty years from his first introduction to athletics Paddy was given the honour of being selected to represent Ireland in Stormont in the Home Countries International Masters Cross Country. He took home a bronze medal with the Irish over 40 team on that occasion. During his many years pounding the roads he clocked up more than 100,000 miles. Ann is not going changing the model yet.
He spent many hours helping out with Community Games in Foxford, Mayo and Mosney. In 2008 Paddy ran his last race – a 10k in Ballina. He is now doing a Level 2 Coaching Course. When this is completed we hope to see him back in athletics this time relaying his knowledge to the up and coming athletes.
Paddy is a worthy winner of our Hall of Fame Award for 2010