Harriers back on track with works progress

by James Hendicott

Lucan Harriers long-running issues with their new track look to be coming to an end, with the tarmac laid and the successful athletics club closing in on getting access to their new facility.

Development around the surface of the track in particular will continue until the summer, as the final surface work requires consistent temperatures above five degrees, and then there’s a waiting list to add the track markings.

But club registrar Marie Collins, who’s at the heart of developments, says use of the tarmac for the juvenile section might come by late this month.

“It’s fantastic news,” Collins told the Dublin Gazette. “We have a waiting list of around 60 kids who’d like to come and run with us.

“Junior Park Run has just started out in Lucan and you see a lot of kids running there who don’t have a club. I hope we can bring in that waiting list in the next few weeks and have them training on the tarmac under the floodlights.”

The lack of access for young people in the area, who can’t run on the road during the winter evenings, has been just one consequences of the delays that hit Harriers last April.

The track laying had started but the company involved went bankrupt and work had to halt immediately. It only resumed in November after a process that required a new company to be able to sign off on the work already completed by their predecessor.

“It looks great down there now,” Collins said, describing how the surface is now finished and fencing is currently being erected this week.

“Fortunately there weren’t financial consequences for the club with the first company, as we hadn’t paid out yet when they went bankrupt, so we weren’t out of pocket.

“We did have to hire other facilities for the juvenile section, though, and obviously that had a cost.

“It’ll be a huge improvement for the club when it’s finished; the old track was a grit, shale style surface. If you Google ‘Lucan Harriers puddles’, you’ll see the problems we had if it rained. This will be a competition level surface, and a great facility.

“There needs to be a bit of a tidy up to make it safe and secure before we can move in fully but I hope that can be done in the next couple of weeks,” Collins continued.

“The track is done until the top surface is laid; it’s just the area in general and I hope we’ll have it back in our hands in the next couple of weeks until the contractors come back to finish the job in April or so.

“Running for a couple of months under the floodlights on the tarmac will be perfect for the juvenile section and it’s important as we get ready for the Juvenile Indoor Championships in June.

“We have some really good junior runners, including the Irish Under-12 cross country champion and several Irish record holders. It’s important we get them back on the track.”

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