Thursday, February 25, 2010

TOMORROW: Armagh International Preview

A host of international athletes will be racing in this Thursday's 20th anniversary Armagh Road Races(6.30pm at the Square) sponsored by Armagh Council and Puma.

The main 5k Men's event has built up over the years to feature many top track and road names and this year is no exception.

Individuals likely to feature include British 1500 metres runner Nick McCormick and the Irish trio of Mark Kenneally, Mark Christie and David McCarthy. Kenneally was one of the few Irish athletes to perform well in last December's Euro Champs where he had the race of his life to finish 8th. Christie is returning from injury while 800 metres specialist McCarthy will be using the event as a sharpener for the coming track season.

The international flavour is enhanced by US and Polish athletes any of whom could feature on the podium finish. Ben Bruce was 4th in the recent US Cross Country Champs while Lucas Meyer was in the top 10 in this month's US Half Marathon. Poland's Gizynski and Kozlowski were 4th and 7th respectively in Armagh last year while Finland's Ultrainen was 6th.The line up also includes Poland's Bartoszak who won in record time 6 years ago.

Local interest will centre on recent NI cross country bronze medallist Eddie McGinley and North's Stephen Scullion if he has recovered from injury.

In the Ladies 3K event Newcastle's Kerry Harty starts favourite to successfully defend her title from last year. Ireland's Hazel Murphy has also entered- her recent winning time in the AAA's 3K Champs qualified her for next months Worlds in Doha.While she easily defeated Harty in that race the Newcastle girl is a formidable road racer who will not easily surrender her title.

Others in contention are Andrea Whitcombe and Amanda Moss who were 2nd and 4th in 2008. Carly Jones from Wales(7th last year) will also be vying for a share of the individual prize awards