Excitement builds ahead of Victoria Park spectacular:
Irish record holder Keith Whyte, 38, will make a welcome return to racing next month at the Energia24 100km in Belfast’s Victoria Park on Saturday 23rd June 2018.
Persistent injury has kept the Ennis Track athlete away from racing for nearly 2 years but he’s feeling good again and delighted to be back:
“I’m really looking forward to making my competitive racing comeback in Belfast in June. It will have been 21 months since I last raced, which was Spartathlon in Greece in 2016,” he says.
“The 100km has always been my favourite distance and my goal over the last few years was to run under 7 hours as I’ve come so close twice running 7hrs 3mins in Belgium and a 7.02 in France. But for the moment I’m just happy to be back running pain free after 3 hip surgeries.
My aim in Belfast will be to achieve the qualifying standard for the World Championships in Croatia in September and who knows maybe get closer to that 7 hour mark!”
The Irish selectors will be watching the Belfast race closely before naming a team for Croatia and another hoping to impress will be Willowfield’s Tim Brownlie ,38.
The Belfast ultra-runner caught the eye last year running for Ireland at the World 24-Hour Championships in Victoria Park where he registered a huge PB of 243kms (151 miles) but this time he drops down to try and make the team for Croatia.
The course record in Victoria Park currently stands to Dutchman Jan-Albert Lantink who, two years ago, ran 7hrs, 7 mins and 26 secs; although when Energia24 was held on the Mary Peters’ track, London-based New Zealander Paul Martelletti ran 6hrs 57mins and 22 seconds – believed to be the quickest time run in Ireland.
The 100km in Belfast sits within a 4-race programme which includes the Energia 24-Hr Race incorporating the National Championships, a 12-hr race and a 24-hr team relay – each team consisting of 4 runners, including at least one woman, each doing three stints of two hours. There are still a few places left with entries closing on Sunday 3rd June 2018.
For the 9th year in a row the races are sponsored by Energia, one of Ireland’s leading energy suppliers, and supported by Belfast City Council through their Support for Sport scheme.