WHEN members, former members, their families, friends, supporters and guests of Mayo AC meet next Saturday night next, December 1, in the Welcome Inn Hotel, Castlebar, at the club’s 25th anniversary function, they will certainly be reflecting on a momentous quarter of a century.
It all began in early 1988, when the senior sections of a number of clubs in the county amalgamated to form Mayo Athletic Club. This new club’s aims included the greater promotion and awareness of senior athletics within Mayo, which could eventually lead to the club challenging the larger and longer established clubs for national honours.
Soon members wearing the club’s first vest - green one with red hoop, very similar to the Mayo football version of the time - were competing all over the west in road and cross country races and beginning to reap success. A club team was entered in the national track and field league in those early years.
The early ‘90s saw an increase in activity and success. Distance runners like Paddy Murray and Dominic Regan were leading the way in races all over the west and further afield, and the club won the Connaught senior clubs cross country team title for the first time and 1991 was a landmark year for the club which had been all male up to that point.