10 years of cycling in Meath!

The Sport Ireland Meath Heritage Cycle tour returned for its 10th year over the weekend of the 28th & 29th July. The ever popular event, run by Meath Local Sports Partnership continues to attract big cycling numbers not only to Trim over the weekend to the entire county. In the 10 years that the tour has been running, over 30,000 cyclists from the very young to the very old, from the elite cyclist to the beginner have all participated in the cycle tour.

With over 2500 cyclists participating between  the 11k family spin, the 50km Tara Loop and the 100km Royal Challenge – the Meath Heritage Cycle tour remains one the most enjoyable sportifs for all participants irrespective of age or cycling ability

The success of the 10 years would not be possible were it not for the continued support of the 300 volunteers who once again turned out in force to take registrations, man junctions, serve tea, provide directions, collect cyclists out along the routes, provide medical and mechanical support and most importantly extend a welcome and a word of encouragement to all those cycling over the weekend. The committee of the Meath Heritage Cycle tour extends a massive thank you all those volunteers who gave of their time freely on Sat 28th & Sun 29th July.

In addition to the voluntary support, a number of community and sporting facilities opened up their doors to provide refreshment stops and comfort breaks to all the participating cyclists. From Mary & Jack Quinn in Jack Quinn’s public house (11k food stop), to Senchalstown GAA club, Wilkinstown community centre, Kiltale GAA club to Michael Maguire and staff on the Hill of Tara – all played their part in extending the unique Meath welcome to the cyclists. In lieu of their efforts, a small donation is made either to the participating centre or a charity of their choice by Meath Heritage Cycle tour.

As with all large events, success would not be possible without the continued support of the Gardai, in particular Sgt Tom Mahon of Trim Garda Station and Sgt Pat Dowd of the Road Traffic Division and their respective teams. Medical support is provided by Meath Civil Defence with a number of ambulances, stationary medical stations, emergency medical technicians, paramedics and first responders all located out along the routes with the Control Centre based at the event HQ in Trim.

Special thanks to the mechanics who delivered much needed repair to bikes – Gary Sheehan – Bike Fit, George Allen of Feel Good Cycles in Virginia,  Michael Kennedy & Dave Webster of Spun Cycle in Trim and Thomas McElroy, Navan cycle Centre.

The motor bike marshals, support crew (lead, broom and pick-up), members of Trim Cycling Club, Physios (David Murphy, Frank Foley & Aodhan McEntee),  Trim Tidy towns, Aura Leisure centre, Meath County Council, Trim Municipal District, Trim Castle Hotel and the OPW all played a part in ensuring that the Meath Heritage Cycle tour ran smoothly.

The Meath Heritage Cycle tour is an established and well regarded, recognised event in the national cycling calendar.  Mary Murphy (Event Coordinator) attributed the popularity of the tour to the countless hours of preparatory work undertaken by a dedicated team of people all intent on providing professional and expert service to all who participate in the Meath Heritage Cycle Tour. Further thanks were paid to sponsors Sport Ireland and Dunnes Stores; and to LMFM, Meath Chronicle, Trim Tourism Network and Meath Daily for their extensive promotion and coverage of the cycle tour.

Special mention to our ambassador Meath Rose, Saoirse McGrath who also took part in the 50k distance. On behalf of everyone involved with the tour, we wish Saoirse well in the upcoming Rose of Tralee contest.

The nominated charity for the event was Enable Ireland (Meath branch) who provides early services for children with disability in Meath. Sophie Deegan (fundraising officer with Enable Ireland), expressed her delight with the amount of funds raised over the weekend. With donations still coming, she was looking forward to seeing the full total of all monies collected in due course and ensured that all monies would be put towards  enhancing programmes for children with disability in Meath.

Finally, particular thanks to the remarkable and entertaining MC – the legend that is Eamonn Duffy. To the sounds of U2`s “Where the streets have no name” is the memorable voice that counts down the start, welcomes the different cycling clubs and cyclists and sends all off on their journeys and is the voice that sets the scene for epic encounters at the finish line.

Date for 2019 diary – Meath Heritage Cycle tour, July 27th & 28th… be part of it!!!

 

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