Weekend Preview: Attention turns to NI & Ulster 10,000m and NIMAA T&F Championships 2017!
After two major events within the last week, namely the IAU 24-hour World Championships and the Belfast International Track & Field Meeting, the local running fraternity would be forgiven for easing into the holiday season… but no, the excellent events continue!
This weekend will bring the Northern Ireland & Ulster 10,000m Championships at MPT – this will be held alongside the Northern Ireland Masters Athletics Association (NIMAA) Track & Field Championships, which should attract significant numbers.
These events will form the basis of our weekend preview, but as always, we’ll take a look at what is happening elsewhere in Northern Ireland and also further afield.
NI & Ulster 10,000m Championships 2017:
After the successful Belfast International Athletics Meet this week, all eyes will again be on the Mary Paters Track this coming weekend, when athletes will battle it out for the NI & Ulster 10,000m title (Saturday 8th July 2017).
The prestigious championship race will form part of what should been an excellent day of athletics, with the Northern Ireland Masters Athletics Association (NIMAA) Track & Field Championships also taking place at the stadium.
Newcastle AC pair Eoghan Totten and David O’Flaherty, and Derry Track Club’s Conan McCaughey will contest the top prize, with the trio all likely to make it onto the podium. Eoghan boasts a 10,000m personal best of 31:01, which he set at the recent Highgate Harriers Night of 10,000m Personal Bests in England – this is the quickest time recorded over the distance by any of the aforementioned men.
David will be keen on bettering his silver medal from this event last year. That day, he finished as runner up to Foyle Valley AC’s Scott Rankin (30:17) in a time of 32:32. Conan was in action at the Belfast International Athletics Meet this week, where he took second place in the 3,000m with a time of 8:43.94.
In the ladies race, Derry Track Club’s Marina Murphy will lead the way. The consistent performer hasn’t quite reached her 10k personal best this year, but recorded 39:05 for second place at the Gortin 10k recently.
Northern Ireland Masters Athletics Association Track & Field Championships 2017:
At the NIMAA Track & Field Championships (Saturday 8th July 2017), those who secured gold at last weekend’s Irish Life AAI National Masters Track & Field Championships are expected to dominate proceedings.
Double gold medallists Cathal McLaughlin (Derry Track Club), Denise Toner (Clones AC) and David Clarke (North Belfast Harriers) will all compete at MPT. Cathal (Vet50), Denise (Vet35) and David (Vet55) will all attempt an 800m / 1500m double as per their outings and subsequent wins in Tullamore.
Other athletes to look out for include Vet55 Joy McAleer (City of Lisburn AC) in the 400m and 800m, Vet40 Catherine Diver (Beechmount Harriers) in the 800m and 1500m, Emma Smith (Orangegrove AC) in the 100m, 400m hurdles and 200m, and Vet45 Shane Smith (St Anne’s AC) in the 400m.
There will be an excellent battle for the Vet35 5,000m title with North West based duo Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC) and Chris McGuinness (Foyle Valley AC) set to go head-to-head, while Glen Scullion (Mid Ulster AC) and Stephen Orr (Orangegrove AC) will also perform well in their respective events. Vet35 Glen will go in the 100m and 200m sprints, with Stephen lining up in the 800m.
Other events taking place in Northern Ireland this weekend…
Friday 7th July 2017: Greyabbey 10k & 5k – Greyabbey Village Hall – 7.30pm (Entries AVAILABLE on race day)
Saturday 8th July 2017: Stairway to Heaven – Marble Arch Caves, UNESCO Global Geopark – 12pm (Entries AVAILABLE on race day!)
Sunday 9th July 2017: The Great Rossa Run HM, 10k & 5k – Ardboe Parish Centre – 10am (Entries AVAILABLE on race day)
Events taking place outside Northern Ireland this weekend…
Irish Life AAI National Juvenile Championships 2017
The Irish Life Health AAI National Juvenile Championships are set for a blockbuster weekend in Tullamore, Ireland (Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th July 2017).
In-form Kate O’Connor (St Gerard’s AC) heads the local charge for honours and the 16 year old star will be backed up by Aaron Sexton (North Down AC) and Lauren Roy (City of Lisburn AC), amongst others. For a link to the entry lists and timetable article click HERE.
Day 1 will be streamed LIVE on the Athletics Ireland Facebook page HERE.
European Mountain Running Championships 2017:
Newcastle AC’s Zak Hanna will travel as part of a strong Ireland team to this weekend’s European Mountain Running Championships in Slovenia (Saturday 8th July 2017).
The tough route will see Zak and his male team mates cover a 12k course which includes 1,295m of ascent. The ladies team, led by Euro XC 2016 team gold medallist Sarah McCormack (Ambleside AC), will negotiate 8k with 1,035m of ascent.
Ronda Del Cims (Andorra Ultra Trail) Race 2017:
Today (Friday 7th July 2017), BARF athlete and race director of the tough Spelga Skyline NIMRA Championship Race, Aaron Shimmons, will have began his 170k journey in Andorra (7am). Aaron will take on the very challenging Ronda Del Cims (Andorra Ultra Trail) Race, which incorporates 13,500 metres of accumulative ascent/descent. The event, which is regarded as one of the toughest 100 (+) mile races in the world, takes competitors to the country’s highest peak and traverses its Peryenean border.
As always, Northern Ireland’s twenty-four parkrun events will take place this weekend, for more information on these, or to locate your nearest event, please visit our dedicated ‘parkrun’ section within our fixtures page.