ATHLETICS: Roads and mountains on athletes weekend agenda

Allan Bogle.

Allan Bogle.

After a Mayor’s Reception in the Guildhall last night for local clubs, City of Derry Spartans and Foyle Valley, when their recent achievements were recognised, it’s another action-packed weekend with top class 10K road race action in Belfast and Dublin this Sunday.

In addition, local man, Allan Bogle will be on the start line tomorrow for the first race of the British Fell Running championships in Newcastle, Co. Down, and is expected to show well in this challenging event.

It’s somewhat disappointing that, once again, both the Belfast Titanic 10K and the Dublin Great Ireland Run incorporating the National 10K road championships clash as, no doubt, many athletes would have fancied a crack at both. However, both run this Sunday and local runners will be in action at both.

Scott Rankin takes his recent good form to the Titanic race where he will be keen to repeat his podium finish from last year. Defending champion,Connor Duffy, of Glaslough Harriers, and former Annadale Striders star Paddy Hamilton will be among the opposition for the Foyle Valley man.

The testing Phoenix Park circuit will, once again, host the National 10k championship on Sunday and the massive field will include a local Spartans contingent. Personal bests rather than podium places will be the order of the day for the red vests with, perhaps, Dermot McElhinney a contender in the M45 age group category.

Closer to home there is a 5 miler in Beragh County Tyrone tomorrow, a 12noon start out of the local St Marys Park grounds.

Next week is busy with two local 5K road races competing for participants.

First up is the well established Bay Road 5K on Wednesday evening April 13th at 7.30pm.

Race Headquarters, as ever, is the UU Magee Sports Centre on Rock Road where entries will be taken from 6pm.

Pre entry is also available at bayroad5kentry@gmail.com - Simply send your name, gender, age on race day, club if any, and pay the £7 race entry fee when picking up your race pack from 6pm at race headquarters on Wednesday.

Entries will also be taken on the day from 6pm and the usual mix of club and recreational runners are expected to line up for one of the longest standing and popular 5K’s in these parts.

It is also the final scoring race in the 2015/16 NI Masters Winter League and, with some age group categories still undecided, expect some hard core Masters rivalry to feature.

An established flat, fast, lap course with excellent spectator input, an impressive prize list and legendary post race refreshments, the Bay Road race is not to be missed.

The Foyle Arena then hosts the Dental Solutions 5K at 7.30pm on Friday April 15 with this relatively new event moving from its former Eglinton venue. Sporting a new course, it will start and finish in St Columb’s Park and entries at £10 will be taken on the night or online via the ANI website.

It should pull in a decent entry despite the proximity to Wednesday’s Bay Road race.