There is an exciting mix of quality cross country and road race action this weekend.
And it begins tomorrow in Belfast with the NI Masters Open cross country which doubles as the selection race for the upcoming Masters International in Cardiff in mid November.
And on Sunday morning the annual Marty’s Run is expected to attract huge numbers to the Sports Complex for the very popular local 5K road race.
In addition the Donegal Masters cross country is set for Castlefin on Sunday morning and the prestigious Armagh 10 mile road race will make Sunday a busy day indeed for runners.
The Queens University playing fields is the venue for tomorrow’s NI Masters cross country and will see a good contingent of local athletes chasing spots on the various NI age group squads for the November 16th International in Cardiff.
Despite the NI male ‘Master of the Year’, Declan Reed sitting out this one, local masters are expected to push hard for International selection with the likes of James Brown M40, Paul McCafferty M45, F45’s Jackie McGinley and Hannah Shields; Paula McGilloway and Una Gavin both F50, likely to jockey for honours in their age groups.
In the M35 age category Keith Shields may fancy his chances, Peter Lilburn and Malcolm McCausland likewise in the M60’s, Cathal McLaughlin impressed in the M45 group last year and could go well. Dermot Connolly and Gerry Duddy in the M50’s are others and returning to competitive action M65 Gerry Lynch, will dust down his spikes and hope his two year plus injury nightmare can be put to bed.
Marty’s Run on Sunday starts on the Glengalliagh Road at 11 a.m. and should draw a massive entry of club runners and joggers.
Registration is at the Sports Complex between 12 noon and 4pm tomorrow and again on Sunday morning from 9 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. The entry fee is £10 and this one is an excellent event promoted by the Foyle Valley club to commemorate the late Marty Gallagher (pictured) who tragically was killed back in 2009.
While all standards of runners will be in action, the race usually attracts some genuine up front quality and Connor Bradley is reputed to be on the start line on Sunday alongside Scott Rankin and other top locals.
Obviously Saturday’s Masters cross country may rule out Keith Shields for Sunday but be assured there will be plenty of good quality action for spectators to enjoy.