‘All Kinds of Everything’ in athletics this weekend

THERE is lots of competitive action again this weekend with the World Indoors in Poland kicking off today (Friday), cross country, trail running and road action tomorrow and even more local road running on Sunday.

Sunday’s action is, of course, headlined by the latest addition to the local scene, the SSE Airtricity 10K which is expected to bring around 300 runners to Ebrington Square.

More on that later, but two Irish athletes with North West connections, Mark English and David McCarthy, will wear the green vest in Sopot, Poland at the World Indoor Championships.

Letterkenny man, English, goes over 800m and at his best should make the final, with a medal then not out of the question. The four lap indoor 800m can often be reduced to a tactical battle and if English gets it right a place in the final and a shot at glory could be there.

David McCarthy will have his uncle Declan of the local Spartans trackside this weekend as the Dungarvan man trys his luck in the 1,500m. Getting out of the heats could be tricky but like English, McCarthy is in great shape and will hope for a good one.

Back home and down to Cork for tomorrow’s Irish Schools cross country championships with four locals qualified from the Ulster Schools Championships.

Amy Jackson in the Senior girls race starts as Ulster runner-up and is in good shape for a big run. Michael Melarkey and Matt Doherty both go in the Senior boys race with solid top 10 Ulster placings behind them and in the Junior girls it’s Clodagh Laverty flying the local flag.

Also tomorrow the annual Carmen 10K road race has an 11 a.m. start in Carrickmore while it’s 11.30 a.m. for the opening event in the popular Roe Valley Trail Run in Limavady tomorrow morning.

The latest in the Finn Valley 5k series is in Ballybofey on Sunday morning and this will compete for attention with the Walled City Marathon warm-up 10K, start time 11 a.m. out of the Ebrington site on the Limavady Road.

Big Race Sunday at

Ebrington Square

Billed as the SSE Airtricity 10k this will be the first of two warm-up races for the June Marathon - the second is a 10 miler on Sunday, April 27th, also out of Ebrington. Pre-entry can be done by emailing the following details to info@thewalledcitymarathon.com

Name, gender, age on race day and t-shirt size and contact details are the requirements and pre-entry will close at 5pm tomorrow (Saturday), March 8th.

Entries will then be taken on race day at Ebrington from 9am to 10.30 a.m. the race starts at 11 a.m. and will finish back in Ebrington after an out and back jaunt through St Columb’s Park, over the Peace Bridge and along the Riverside Walk to the turn point at Bay Road. A scenic and challangeing course awaits.

The entry fee for the 10K is £8 or E10 and if both races are entered and the combined entry fee of £18/E22 is paid on Sunday, a commerative T-shirt is guaranteed. Entry and payment for the April 27th 10 miler (£10 or E12 euro) after Sunday will not guarantee a TShirt but a limited additional number may be made available so keep an eye on the www.thewalledcitymarathon.com website and facebook for updates.

The pre-entry figures for Sunday are very encouraging with over 200 already committed and this will be boosted by the usual on the day surge.

Intending participants therefore are asked to arrive in good time to either pick up pre entered race numbers or sign up on the day, this will help both the race admin. folk and the runners stay calm!