Almost thirty years ago I was invited to join a group of cyclists for a spin. My buddy
John Boyle was at a night to celebrate my fortieth birthday and he suggested I might
like to join with a few of them for a spin.This was timely as I had come to an end of a
mediocre career as an athlete with Clonliffe Harriers for ten years followed by Naas
AC.A few wins in club events due to benign handicappers and a good series of
marathons ended and a new sport was welcome.

This was an era when long distance athletes were regarded as odd and influenced by the novel by Alan Sillitoe “The Loneliness of the long distance runner.” however I enjoyed the camaraderie of an athletic club. This was an opportunity to reinvent myself. In a sense I was back at a sport I always interested in. In secondary school I was friendly with the McQuaid family of Emerald Wheelers Cycling Club. I cycled to school on a battered old bike and always tried to pass these lads, Kieran and Oliver. Of course I had no idea of how good these were. They invited me to join the club , alas the family budget did not stretch to buying a racing bike. Instead my father bought me a pair of running spikes and away to Clonliffe Harriers.

In April 1999 I donned the trackies and runners and borrowed a bike and met Tom
Ryan ,Donal Buckley and John Boyle et al and we headed up the mountains. Little
did I know I was meeting my life long friends, whose company I value. I was hooked. It
opened new horizons, new places and faces.We reached Hollywood Glen and I was
spellbound by the fresh sunshine, smell of pine trees and blue bell beckoning in the
spring sunshine

I have found a home in NCC, thirty years on I still have a sense of being at home in
NCC. Thank you whom I have encountered over the years and looking forward to
being part of a special club where friendships are formed and celebrated.

Hugh Durnin