Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Winning Mile?

A word of warning to any ageists out there - never say that Maurice Ahern is too old to be running for the Dail!

Any whipper-snapper out there who believes that at the age of 70, Maurice should retire any thoughts about a Dail career is invited to meet up with him and ‘run it off’ over ten miles to see who is right and who is wrong!

My money is on Maurice!

Canvassing can be gruelling for many politicians but Maurice is taking it all in his stride in the Dublin Central by-election - after all, he is a master of 12 marathons.

And the Flying Drumcondra man was also shortlisted to represent Ireland in the Olympics in 1968.

At a stage in life when most people start to feel the pangs of wear and tear, Maurice is like a whippet out for his daily run every day.

“I do five miles most days of the week. Friday is my doss day - I only do about a mile just to keep it up,” he told this column.

“Naturally, I have had a few injuries down through the years but I have been very lucky that none of them have been serious.

For years we have known that sport has been as important as religion in the Ahern household in Drumcondra. So you can imagine that an Olympic medal would have shared pride of place with the Child of Prague on the mantlepiece there.

But Maurice - who coaches members of Clonliffe Harriers every Saturday - has no regrets.

“I came sixth in the Olympic trials and the first three went on to compete in the Olympics. I wasn’t that disappointed. That is the thing about running - sometimes you can have a good race and other times you don’t perform as well,” he said.

His place in the Olympics made have eluded him back in 1968 but he is hoping that his place in Dail Eireann will be in his hands when the votes are counted on June 6.

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