Busy Easter Athletics Weekend

Declan Reed, winner of the Furey's 5K at Bay Road. Included, are Scott Rankin and Emmett McGinty. (2004SL03)
Declan Reed, winner of the Furey's 5K at Bay Road. Included, are Scott Rankin and Emmett McGinty. (2004SL03)

Hopefully the Easter weekend will bring much improved weather conditions as a few days of road races and outdoor track and field action is on the holiday agenda at Tyrone, Donegal and Antrim venues.

First up on Saturday is the 24th staging of the hugely successful Omagh Half Marathon.

The popular 13.1 miler has a noon start and with many runners assidiously preparing for upcoming marathons in London, Belfast and our very own Walled City Marathon, another massive entry is anticipated this weekend. Entries have been pouring in and latecomers will be able to register even now.

Then on Saturday afternoon it’s an event of more recent vintage, the Ballyliffin Coastal Challenge, a testing 10 mile mix of road, lanes and beach running in Inishowen.

Race HQ is at the Ballyliffin Hotel where entries will be taken from 11 a.m. on Saturday morning for the 2 p.m start.

Staying in Donegal and on Sunday the distance drops to 3K for the popular annual Letterkenny Easter 3k road race. Start time here is 11.30 a.m. with entries taken from 10.45 a.m. at the Aura Centre.

The quicker guys look set to come out for this one which usually produces good early season performances but decent conditions of course will be crucial.

On Easter Monday the road race action moves to county Antrim for the Whitehead 5 miler. This race has been revived in recent years, the former Whitehead Cup event was a long standing staple on the NI road racing calendar for decades. Start time on Monday is 12 noon.

Finally on the fixtures front it’s back to Donegal Town for Monday’s Tirchonail AC’s Open Track & Field meeting which starts at 11 a.m. Sprints, Hurdles, Jumps, Throws and some 600m/800m races are all on a comprehensive programme which should appeal to the track and field specialists. Entries taken on the track on the day from 10 a.m.

Chips For Bay Road 5K

With time running down to the opening race in the 2013 Furey Insurances 5K race series, the Bay Road race on Wednesday, April 10th next, it has been confirmed that electronic chip timing will once again be used on the fast river bank circuit.

Entries can be emailed now to furey5kentry@gmail.com

Simply provide your name, date of birth and club if any, to log your entry. The entry fee £6/E7, can be paid on race day when you pick up your race pack at event HQ in the UU Magee Sports Centre, Rock Road.

Race start time is 7.30 p.m. down on the riverside pathway adjacent to the KFC premises and entries and race packs will be available from 6 p.m. in the Magee Sports Centre.