Weekend Preview: Scott Rankin & Marina Murphy favourites for NI & Ulster 10,000m Championships!

NI & Ulster 10,000m Championships:

Current NI & Ulster 10k (Road) Champion Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC) and reigning NI & Ulster 10,000m Champion Marina Murphy (Derry Track Club) will headline as athletes battle it out for 10,000m gold this weekend (Sunday 5th August 2018).

The will take place as part of the Team Trophy Meet (Round 2) at Meadowbank Arena in Magherafelt.

Scott Rankin picked up the 10k road title at the Seeley Cup in Belfast at the end of 2017.  That day, the Northern Ireland international clocked 30:56 for gold.  Last weekend at the AAI National 10,000m Championships, the Foyle Valley AC man recorded 30:59, a season’s best.

Providing competition for Scott will be Carmen Runners athlete Martin Cox.  Last month, Martin ran a personal best of 15:06 for 5,000m at the NI & Ulster Senior Championships – he finished just outside of the podium place is fourth spot.  In the race for the bronze medal, Andrew McIntyre (Orangegrove AC) should lead the way.  However, Victoria Park & Connswater AC man Gary Dane and Ballydrain Harriers’ evergreen Norman Mawhinney also be contenders.

Marina Murphy should dominate the ladies race, following some good performances this summer.  The Derry Track Club athlete, who won in 38:27, took the runners up spot at the Lifford Strabane Half Maraton in 1:25:23.  A more relevant 38:27 at the TQ10K and 18:05 over 5k at Bay Road shows that Marina is in good form.

Carmen Runners’ Aisling Murray and Armagh AC’s Noreen Fegan are amongst the other competitors in the ladies race.

In the Team Trophy event, City of Lisburn AC will be keen to build on their success in Round 1 when they claimed top honours in male events. Similarly, Lagan Valley AC will want to increase their lead in the female standings.

North Down AC and Derry Track Club will again provide good opposition.  More information about the event can be found HERE.

Elsewhere this weekend…

The inaugural Quarry 5k race will kick off the weekend action tonight (Friday 3rd August 2018) in Carnlough, on the picturesque Antrim Coastline.

The race, which starts at 7pm, will take competitors from Carnlough Village uphill to the Quarry, where participants will cover a slightly more technical section (and take in the stunning views), before descending back down to the heart of the village and the finish line.

Mark Smith (Mallusk Harriers), Emmet McAlister (Glens Runners) and John Neill (East Antrim Harriers) will challenge for the men’s title, while the host club’s Kirsten Montgomery (Glenlough Running Club) should be amongst the leading ladies.

Entry for the event is AVAILABLE on race day at the Glenlough Community Centre.

Also tonight (Friday 3rd August 2018), Sperrin Harriers will welcome athletes from across Northern Ireland to their popular annual Stanley Reid Memorial 5 mile road race which starts and finishes at Loughry Campus just outside Cookstown.

Now in its 17th year the event is dedicated to the memory of Stanley Reid, a fine runner in his own right who organised the first 5 mile classic in 2002. He was also instrumental in the formation of Cookstown Harriers, later to become Sperrin Harriers.

Athlete will cover the scenic rural course around Cookstown.  It is an undulating but fast route, suitable for runners of all abilities, and also ideal for those with ambitions of a quick time. In addition, the course is measured and certified by Athletics NI, and the event will be chip timed.  Entry is AVAILABLE on race day from Race HQ in Loughry Campus.

Eoin Hughes (Acorns AC) and club mate Vincent McAlister (Acorns AC) should play a prominent part in proceedings, while in the ladies race, Cathy McCourt (Unattached) could make use of the on the day entry system.  Reigning Champion Angela O’Neill of Sperrin Harriers could also return, alongside Acorns AC ladies Lisa Simpson and Leanne Sands.

The famous Mourne Seven Sevens Mountain Race will take place this weekend (Saturday 4th August 2018).  The BARF hosted event will see athletes complete a gruelling 19 miles with 8,700ft of ascent.

The race is the ninth event in the Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association (NIMRA) Championships.

This year’s race will be in a clockwise direction taking in the seven highest summits in the Mourne’s in the following order: Donard – Commedagh – Lamagan – Binnian – Meelbeg – Meelmore and Bernagh.  Additionally, runners will have to visit the following marshalled positions at; Donard/Commedagh col, Lamagan/Binnian col, Ben Crom dam, Meel Beg/Meel More col and the Hares Gap.

Champion elect Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC) could come up against Jonny Steede (Glens Runners) and William McKee (Mourne Runners) at the head of the field.  Timothy Johnston (Mourne Runners), Stephen Cunningham (Mourne Runners) and Colm Murtagh (Newcaslte AC) may also be in the mix.

In the ladies race, it’s hard to look past Esther Dickson (Newry AC), should she enter on the day.  Other ladies who could place well include Martsje Hell (North Belfast Harriers), Gillian Wasson (Ballymena Runners) and Jacque Toal (BARF).

The Northern Ireland Youth Development League Final and Age Group Relay Championships will take place at Antrim Forum in Antrim (Saturday 4th August 2018). More information about the event is available HERE.

Other events taking place in Northern Ireland this weekend…

Saturday 4th August 2018:

  • Delamont 10k & 5k: Delamont Car Park – 12pm (Entries AVAILABLE on race day!)
  • Mount Stewart Half Marathon & 10k: Mount Stewart National Trust – 6.30pm (Entries AVAILABLE on race day!)

Sunday 5th August 2018:

  • GymCo Feile 10k: GymCo Cityside, York Street, Belfast – 9am (Entries AVAILABLE on race day!)

Events taking place outside Northern Ireland this weekend…

On Saturday 4th August 2018, Northern Ireland’s Dylan McBride (Willowfield Harriers) and Anna McCauley (City of Lisburn AC) will be amongst the familiar faces in Ireland’s squad at the Celtic Games in Scotland.

Closer to home this weekend, a large Northern Ireland contingent are expected to take on the Carlingford 5k road race.  In previous years, North Belfast Harriers and Dromore AC have been very well represented.

Joe Malone, John Black and Philip Goss could be amongst the NBH athletes competing, while the always impressive Nigel McKibbin may turn out for Dromore AC.  East Down AC’s Gordy Graham will also place well.

NI internationals Catherine O’Connor (East Down AC) and Amy Bulman (Willowfield Harriers) could contest a place on the ladies podium, while Ciara Coffey (Newry AC), Heather Malone (East Coast AC) and Susan Smyth (Dromore AC) will be hoping for fast times.


As always, Northern Ireland’s twenty five 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.