Anne Marie McGlynn is firm favourite to take her second Seeley Cup title in today’s high quality Podium 4 Sport event at Ormeau Park which has once again over 1,000 entries.
Anne Marie has also raced 5 times for Ireland in the European Cross Country Championships, where she got a bronze team medal. She will be using the Seeley as preparation for a major marathon in the spring in her quest to gain selection for the Tokyo Olympics.
Letterkenny team mate, Nakita Burke won this event last year in a PB of 34.57. While she ran a similar time in Leeds last month, she will be hard pressed to beat a rampant McGlynn.
Others likely to feature are North Belfast Harriers’ Gladys Ganiel who ran under 2 hrs 37 mins in Dublin; City of Derry Spartans’ Catherine Whoriskey; Ultra-Runner Louise Smith and North Belfast Harriers’ Roisin Hughes plus Jodie Smith of North Down AC.
The Men’s race is much more difficult to predict with last year’s winner Ben Branagh of St Malachys returning from injury. He was however timed at 29.38 in the Leeds Abbey Dash 10k, so is clearly back to top form.
His victory at Ormeau a year ago was after a major tussle with North Belfast Harriers’ Mark McKinstry. Mark, who is racing again, recently destroyed the opposition to successfully defend his UK Masters cross country title.
However, this time he will be tested to the limit as he faces not only Branagh, but other rostrum contenders such as North Belfast Harriers’ Conan McCaughey, Conall Kirk of Annadale Striders ,City of Lisburn’s Chris Madden and Neill Johnston of Springwell Running Club.
McCaughey heads the NI list this year with 30.28 from Sterling while recent Malcolm Cup winner Conall Kirk was 3rd last year.
The race starts at 2.30 pm outside the Ozone Centre, Ormeau Park. Find out more here: https://athleticsni.org/Fixtures/Podium-4-Sport-Seeley-Cup-2019
Written by Brian Hill