THERE is another busy athletics weekend ahead for local athletes with both road and mountain races on the immediate agenda.
Allan Bogle heads to Newcastle Co Down tomorrow for the 5.5 mile Slieve Donard mountain race and will lock horns with some of the top Irish hill runners as the Donard event kicks-off the five race Irish championship series.
Letterkenny hosts the annual NW 10K on Sunday and a big entry is expected there for the 2 p.m. start.
Bank Holiday Monday brings the Belfast Marathon with a massive entry already announced for the 26.2 mile trek around the streets of Belfast.
The big numbers are boosted by the huge entry for the five stage Marathon Relay and many local runners will be in the thick of the action on Monday.
It’s back to the relative joys of 5K running next Wednesday night with the Lisnagelvin 5k set for a 7.30 p.m. start from the Waterside venue.
This is the second in the popular Furey Insurances race series and after the success of the opening race on the Bay Road, another good entry and hot upfront action is on the cards on Wednesday night.
Entries will be taken from 6 p.m. at the Lisnagelvin Leisure Centre or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Simply send name, date of birth, age on race day and club, if any and your race pack can be collected on Wednesday evening at Lisnagelvin on paying the race entry fee of £7/E8.
Regular participants at Lisnagelvin should note that there will be a slight adjustment to the lap course to compensate for ongoing pipe laying work on the circuit.
The start location remains on Ashburn Avenue but has been moved back somewhat to facilitate the slightly shorter lap, the finish remains the same however.
Due to public demand there will be a Kids 1K run on the night, entry fee £1 with ribboned medals to all finishers. The run will be staged just prior to the 5K start, at 7.20 p.m. It will be completely off road, in the park section of the 5K lap and entries will be taken in the Leisure Centre between 6pm and 7.15 p.m.
Nine young local athletes are off to London this Sunday with the NI selection for the UK Schools Games which are being staged in the brand new London Olympics stadium.
The three day event will bring the top English, Welsh, Scots and NI schools athletes together in a showpiece extravanga on probably the biggest stage the young athletes have ever experienced.
The lucky locals, all City of Derry Spartans athletes are: Megan Devine, Ciara Armstrong, Jenni O’Brien, Amy Jackson, Claire Dougherty, Jack McCloskey, Shane McGowan, Michael Cartin and Ruadhri O’Neill.
Staying with schools athletics the local District qualifiers for the Ulster Secondary schools track & field championships were staged in Antrim on Wednesday last.
Locals were in impressive form and posted some excellent results, more on these when the details are available. However a quick mention of St Columb’s Martin McGeady who followed up his good weekend Young Athletes League outing with yet another Triple Jump PB, getting so close to the 12 metre mark in his winning jump on Wednesday.
As expected, City of Lisburn top the YAL table after round one last weekend in Antrim. The Lisburn squad threw both quantity and quality at the event and emerged with a total of 1,139 points to lead from the Spartans on 915, Regent House on 631 and in fourth spot with 593 is the other local club Olympian.
Lagan Valley on 464 and Omagh Harriers on 416 points complete the top six in the 11 club league and the battle for the six qualifying places would already seem to be between that sextet.
Both local clubs will review last weekend’s performances and the red vests will look at improving their U13 and U15 squads while Olympian will look for an all round improvement to boost their qualifying prospects.