Noel Carroll (athlete)

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Noel Carroll
Personal information
Nationality Irish
Born (1941-12-07)December 7, 1941
Annagassan, Ireland
Died October 23, 1998(1998-10-23) (aged 56)
Residence Dublin, Ireland
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 79 kg (174 lb)
Sport Running
Event(s) 400 metres, 800 metres, 4 x 800 metres relay
College team Villanova Wildcats

Noel Carroll (7 December 1941 – 23 October 1998) was an Irish middle distance runner who set European and World Records in the 1960s.[1] He became the Dublin Corporation's first official spokesman, and later the Chief Executive of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, and led the group which founded the Dublin Marathon.[2]


Noel Carroll was born in Annagassan, County Louth in 1941, and left school to join the Army where he began running. In 1962, while competing in the Millrose Games in New York City, he was recruited by "Jumbo Elliott" and attended Villanova University, where he joined the university's athletics team, the Villanova Wildcats and won a number of track championships.[3]

At Villanova, he ran a sub-four-minute mile and in 1964, was the anchor for the team which broke the 4 x 880 yard relay World Record.[1][3] In the same year, he also set the European Indoor record for the 880 yards and competed in the Olympic Games in Tokyo in the Men's 800 metres. When running against Bill Crothers in 1964, Sports Illustrated described Carroll as "one of the best middle-distance runners in the world".[4]

He represented Ireland in the 400 metres and the 800 metres in the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, and continued to win national championships (14 in total) and two further European Indoor Championships for the 800 metres during the 1960s.[5]

In 1972, he became the spokesman for the Dublin Corporation (now known as Dublin City Council), a post he held until 1996, when he joined the Dublin Chamber of Commerce as its chief executive.[3]

Dublin Marathon[edit]

In 1980, Carroll led a group which approached the Business Houses Athletic Association and the Dublin Corporation with the idea for the Dublin Marathon. Carroll was also among the 2,100 people who competed in the race that year.[5] The winner of the Marathon receives the Noel Carroll Memorial Trophy presented each year by one of Carroll's children.[6][7]

Noel Carroll died on October 23, 1998, after suffering a heart attack while training at University College Dublin.[2][3] In 2008, Carroll's four children took part in the Dublin Marathon to raise money for the Noel Carroll Building, the headquarters of a project in Kolkatta run by GOAL, a charity for which Carroll had served as the Chairman.


  1. ^ a b "Noel Carroll Biography and Statistics". Olympics at Sports Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  2. ^ a b Butcher, Pat (1998-10-27). "Obituary: Noel Carroll". The Independent. Independent News and Media Ltd. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  3. ^ a b c d Thomas, Jnr, Robert McG (1998-10-26). "Noel Carroll, 56, Star Runner And Fitness Devotee, Is Dead". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  4. ^ Creamer, Robert (1964-02-10). "Young Druggist's Sure Rx". Sports Illustrated. Time Inc. Retrieved 2009-05-27. 
  5. ^ a b "Upcoming Leinster Cross Country in Avondale: The First Noel". The Munster Express. 2008-10-24. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  6. ^ Bray, Allison (2008-10-25). "Record 12,000 take to streets in long-running city marathon". Irish Independent. Independent News and Media. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  7. ^ "Family of founder Noel Carroll running Dublin Marathon to commemorate father's 10 year anniversary". Waterford Today. 2008-10-08. Retrieved 2009-05-27.