Weekend Preview:  Record numbers set for East Coast AC’s Larne 10k and more…


Weekend Preview:  Record numbers set for East Coast AC’s Larne 10k and more…

After the last weekend’s Pure Running Laganside 10k and the Waterside Half Marathon road races, running enthusiasts are again in for a treat, with two major events taking place over the coming weekend.

East Coast AC’s 2nd annual Larne 10k and the Runher Titanic 10k & 5k are arguably the highlights of the weekend.  The Larne 10k will form the basis of our weekend preview – we will list the other races taking place locally.  Hundreds of local athletes will also be travelling to England for the famous Great North Run.

East Coast AC Larne 10k:

On Saturday 9th September 2017, a record field of nearly three hundred competitors will toe the line for the 2nd annual running of the East Coast AC Larne 10k.

The two-lap course will cover a fast route, taking competitors through the atmospheric Town Centre whilst also incorporating stunning coastal scenery.  There is also an associated Junior 800m race and Family Fun Day.  Although entries are no longer available for the 10k race, junior athletes can enter their 800m event on the day.

In 2016, Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) and Rebecca Henderson (Dromore AC) claimed top honours in 32:46 and 36:28 respectively.  Mark is unable to return this year, but Rebecca will take to the start line and could well retain her title.

Last year’s men’s runner up John Black (North Belfast Harriers), a Larne native, will start as pre-race favourite.  John ran 33:37 over the course twelve months ago an his improvement since would suggest that he is capable of smashing that time.  In truth, it’s hard to look past the Newry Half Marathon winner when tasked to pick a potential winner.

However, John will not have it all his own way – his club mate, the fast improving Joe Malone (North Belfast Harriers) and the always impressive pairing of Ben Morrow (Ballymena Runners) and Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC) will be chasing him down.  Other men who will be keen to place well include Andy Gregg, Martan Keane and Thomas Craig, both of whom are part of a large Larne AC contingent taking part in the event.

The ladies race will be a closely contested affair, with the top two ladies from 2016 will return.  Rebecca Henderson (Dromore AC) just edged out Belfast Marathon winner Laura Graham (Mourne Runners) for victory, running 36:28; Laura followed just two seconds later in 36:30.

Rebecca has been working her way back to fitness and is expected to feature strongly at the head of the pack.  Laura recently started racing again following some planned rest and structured training and has emerged victorious at the Dambusters Half Marathon, Frank Duffy 10 mile road race and just last week, the Laganside 10k.  Based on this, Laura will start as narrow favourite for top spot; however, this will be a close race!

Add Rebekah Nixon (Dromore AC), Natasha Henderson (County Antrim Harriers), Nicky McKeag (Newcastle AC) and the host club’s Allyson O’Toole (East Coast AC) to the mix and it makes for an interesting battle for the final podium place.

Elsewhere, Northern Ireland & Ulster 10,000m Champion Marina Murphy (Derry Track Club) will head the field at the highly anticipated Carmen Runners 4 mile Diva Dash in Carrickmore – Suzanne Higgins (Lagan Valley AC) will also race.

At the Runher Titanic 10k, North Down AC pair Jessica Craig and Rachel Gibson, as well as Unattached athlete Sarahjane Guiney, should play a part at the head of the pack.  Entries will be available for the event on race day (at the pack collection point).

Other events taking place in Northern Ireland this weekend:

Saturday 9th September 2017:

  • Tannaghmore 10k – Tannaghmore Primary School  – 12pm (Entries AVAILABLE on the day!)
  • Carmen Runners Diva Dash 4 mile Race – Carrickmore GFC – 11am (Entries AVAILABLE on the day!)
  • Keith Reid Memorial 10k – Back Row Hall, Draperstown – 12.30pm (Entries AVAILABLE on the day!)
  • East Antrim Marathon Series 6 hour Challenge / 50 mile Ultra – Gideons Green, Newtownabbey – 8am (Entries NOT available on the day!)

Sunday 10th September 2017:

  • Runher 10k & 5k – Titanic Quarter, Belfast – 11am (Entries are AVAILABLE on the day!)
  • Tiny Life 10 – The Arches Centre, Bloomfield Road – 9.30am (Entries AVAILABLE on the day!)
  • ALPS Life Run – Strangford Road, Downpatrick – 1pm (Entries AVAILABLE on the day!)

Events taking place outside Northern Ireland this weekend:

Great North Run (England):

In England on Sunday 10th September 2017, hundreds of runners from Northern Ireland will join tens of thousands of fellow competitors on the start line of the world’s most famous half marathon, the Great North Run.

The event takes the seemingly endless field of runners from Newcastle City Centre, across the famous Tyne Bridge and onwards towards the epic finish area in South Shields.  We would expect pretty much every club from Northern Ireland to have a representative amongst the 50,000+ field, which includes Great Britain star Mo Farah. Just one of the many familiar faces set to compete is Stephen Scullion (Clonliffe Harriers).


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.