All eyes on Antrim on the Weekend of Half Marathons

August 24, 2023

Eight athletes with sub-60 minutes times have signed up for the men’s race at Sunday’s Antrim Coast Half Marathon - the big race of the weekend.

Leading the entry is 25-year-old Daniel Mateikoe from Kenya who has a time of 58 mins 26 secs from 2021 to his credit. He’s followed closely by the Ethiopian Jemal Yimer who won last year’s race in 60:30 and has a best of 58:33 for the distance. From closer to home, Callum Hawkins from Scotland who in 2017, ran exactly 60 minutes for the distance. He’s had a quiet few seasons since then.

Leading the local entry is Stephen Scullion of Clonliffe Harriers, who’s had a quiet few months but ran 61:08 when finished fourth in the 2020 Antrims race behind Mo Farah, who won in 60:27. Last year, Scullion finished tenth in 63:54.

Scullion is part of the Northern Irish team that will take on the Republic and a regional English squad. Also running for Northern Ireland is marathon man Kevin Seaward of St Malachy’s AC.

Leading the Irish men’s team is Fearghal Curtin from Youghal AC who has a PB of 61:11. Also entered are David McGlynn of Waterford AC and John Travers of Donore Harriers.

Genzebe Dibaba from Ethiopia who has run 65:31 for the ‘half’ and 2:18.05 for the full marathon is just one of a strong entry for the women’s race, which was won last year by Yalemzerf Yehualaw of Ethiopia in 63:44. Former Irish marathon champion Aoife Cooke of Eagle AC is in good form at the moment and would hope to improved her half marathon best time of 71:06. Also entered is Shona Heaslip of An Riocht AC , while leading a strong Northern Ireland entry are Fionnuala Ross of Armagh AC and Ann-Marie McGlynn of Letterkenny AC, who finished almost together last year in times of 71:10 and 73:13 respectively.

Anyone looking for a half marathon this weekend is spoiled for choice - as well as Larne, there’s Tullamore on Saturday and Longford on Sunday as well as half marathons in Clonmel, Co Tipperary. Letterkenny, Co Donegal and Oylgate, Co Wexford. For those who prefer a handy 5km, there’s the Coillte 5km in Castleisland, Co Kerry.

Off-road, the Warriors Run in Strandhill, Co Sligo sold out months ago as did the Rathlin 10 mile, off the coast of Co Antrim.

Meanwhile, as the track season winds down, an NI and Ulster team will take on Wales U20, Scotland, Wales schools and three English regional teams at the Welsh U20 Track and Field International in Cardiff on Saturday.

Saturday August 26

Tullamore Harriers Half Marathon, Tullamore, 10am. AI Permit. Incorp All Ireland and Leinster Championships. Entry €40 (plus charges). Prizes senior, masters, teams (Quinlan and Phyllis Delaney Cups)

Cork Athletics T-F Championships, Day 1, MTU track 10am.

Knock ME Down Adventure Race, Newcastle, Co Tipperary (38km/62km) run, cycle, kayak).

Warriors Run, Strandhill, Co Sligo, 3.15pm. Entry closed.;

John McLaughlin Rustard Malin GAA 5km, Malin, Co Donegal, 12 noon. Facebook.

Rathlin Run10-Mile/5km, 1pm. Entry closed for this year!

Antrim Coast Half Marathon Street Mile, Larne. ANI Permit. Entry £5 kid’s race,£10 adults race; plus fees. C: Ruth McIlroy 07929333982;

Last One Standing, Florence Court, 12 noon. ANI Permit. C: Adrian Daye 07876560045;

Hills: Two Towers, Happy Valley, Mourne Mountains, Co Down, 11am. C: D. Bell 07716133985; [email protected]

Sunday August 27

Longford Marathon and Relay, Half Marathon and Ultra (63.42km) 9am (ultra 7am). Also Streets of Longford 5km, 9.15am. Entry fees from €20 (5km) to €70 (ultra).

Boston Scientific Half Marathon, Clonmel, Co Tipperary, 10am. AI Permit. 500 entry limit; sells out every year. Online entry only; €30-35 plus charges. C: Facebook;

Oylgate Half Marathon and 10km, Co Wexford. AI Permit. Also 5km fun run. Online entry €15-30 plus charges. Facebook.

Cork Athletics T-F Championships, Day 2, MTU track 10am.

Coillte 5km, Castleisland, Co Kerry, 12 noon. Over €1,000 in prize money. Online entry €10 juvenile; €15 adult, plus charges.

Antrim Coast Half Marathon, Larne, 9.30am. ANI Permit. Online entry £38 ANI, £40 non-ANI; £42 international. Plus fees. C: Ruth McIlroy 07929333982;

Donegal Half Marathon, Aura Leisure Centre, Letterkenny, 9.20am. AI Permit. Online entry €30 plus charges. Also U16 children’s 1km races from 10am.

Let’s Go Hydro 5km, Carryduff, 10am. CL Glenn Grant [email protected]

Hills: 35th Challenge Stellina (14.3km, 1630m) , Susa, Italy

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