Championship Indoor action this weekend

Eamonn Dunlop, David Doherty and Kealan O'Kane.  (2003JB17)
Eamonn Dunlop, David Doherty and Kealan O'Kane. (2003JB17)

Hot on the heels of last Saturday’s successful 5K in the local Gransha grounds, there is yet another busy weekend of road races and in Nenagh, the first of two weekends of the National Juvenile Indoor championships featuring some top local teenage athletes.

Race three in the Finn Valley 5K Series, which has been attracting big numbers, is in Stranorlar tonight (Friday) at 7 p.m. Entries will be taken in the Finn Valley Centre as usual and another healthy mix of club athletes and joggers is expected.

Tomorrow brings the first major Half Marathon of the year in Larne and this popular event has an 11 a.m. start. Another one which attracts a decent cross section of runners and joggers and a race which is used by many participants en route to a later Spring marathon, such as London next month and Belfast in early May.

Indeed the Omagh Half follows seven days later on Saturday, March 31st and this year the county Tyrone race will host the NI championships.

Before that, however, a group of local athletes will travel this Sunday to Meath for the classy Dunboyne 4 mile road race.

This is a top class event with a very fast course the big attraction and a City of Derry Spartans squad raced there successfully last year.

Most of them will travel south again this Sunday with the likes of Emmett McGinty, Peter Lilburn and Jackie McGinley looking for good runs.

Further south in Nenagh is the destination for a small group of top local juveniles who have qualified for the National Juvenile Indoor championships.

Staged over both Saturday and Sunday the events to be contested at a variety of age groups are; 60 metres; 300 metres; 400 metres; 600 metres; 1,500 metres; 60 metres Hurdles; Long and Triple Jump and Shot Putt. Local medallists are anticipated.

Medal contenders in Nenagh

Among those fancied to medal in Nenagh will be the 10 strong juvenile Spartans squad with the county Derry 2011 All-Star, Mark McGarvey among the favourites in the 60m Hurdles, 60m flat and Long Jump at U19 level.

Ryan McParland goes in the Under-18 age group with medal expectations in both the 60m flat and the 60m Hurdles.

Several more will contest the 60m flat in a variety of age groups; Ciara Armstrong, Jack McCloskey, Anna Barr and Jenny O’Brien with Anna and Jenny also taking on the Triple Jump and the 300m respectively.

60m Hurdlers, Ruaidrhi O’Neill, Michael Cartin and Emma McCay will also see action with Michael and Emma also qualified in the 400m and 300m events.

Claire Dougherty completes the local line-up having qualified for both the High and Triple Jump at U18 level.