The very sad and untimely death has occurred of the quiet and popular Dunshaughlin athlete Robbie Mathews at just 35 years of age.
Robbie began his running career in his early teenage years in Kells and joined the local club where his highlight was in finishing 3rd in the Leinster Intermediate Cross Country championships in Wexford in 1998.
He drifted out of the sport for a period of time but never lost his love of running and came back into the sport in his mid 20’s where he rapidly started making up for the lost years. Under the guidance of his coach Domo Moran Robbie started to show the form that his early teenage years indicated and the titles soon started to mount up.
He won his first Meath Senior Cross Country title in Dunboyne in 2008 and followed that up with silver medals in the Leinster Novice Cross Country in Rathdrum in 2009 and the Leinster Intermediate in Tullamore in 2011 leading the Meath teams to victory on both occasions.
A cruciate ligament injury threatened to end his career but after almost 2 years of no running and 2 major operations Robbie summoned the will and courage to get running again and in 2013 he won over 30 races on the track, road and cross country. He won 2 out of the 4 Dublin Marathon race series (Irish Runner 5 mile and Dublin Half marathon) and set pb’s in almost every race he ran which ranged from 5k – 14.57, 4 miles – 19.36, 5 miles 24.46, 10k 30.57, 10 miles 50.57 and a half marathon best of 68.08.
He was also crowned Meath 3k track champion, 5 mile road champion and led the club senior mens team to their first Meath Cross country title in 10 years which meant a lot to him.
A quiet but focussed lad Robbie was a true and loyal club man and county man and he wore both singlets with pride and honour right up to the end.
He was also very supportive of the young members in the club and was always on hand to offer advice and encouragement.
He finished 5th in our club 10k last Saturday week going on to take victory in his final race, the Fore 5k last Wednesday evening.
Robbie’s legacy will live on as his organs were donated to many recipients and how lucky are the people that gets his heart and lungs.
Our sincere condolences go to his family and friends at this sad time.
Robbie’s Funeral Mass will take place in Kilskyre Church this Thursday 3rd June at 12pm.
“Running isn't a sport for pretty boys...It's about the sweat in your hair and the blisters on your feet. It’s the frozen spit on your chin and the nausea in your gut. It's about throbbing calves and cramps at midnight that are strong enough to wake the dead. It's about getting out the door and running when the rest of the world is only dreaming about having the passion that you need to live each and every day with. It's about being on a lonely road and running like a champion even when there's not a single soul in sight to cheer you on. Running is all about having the desire to train and persevere until every fibre in your legs, mind, and heart is turned to steel. And when you've finally forged hard enough, you will have become the best runner you can be. And that's all that you can ask for.