Thousands of runners head to Lisburn for annual road race events

Gladys Ganiel-O'Neill
Gladys Ganiel-O'Neill

Upwards of 5,000 runners will hit the roads around Lisburn on Wednesday night for the Coca Cola Half Marathon, 10K and Fun Run.

Dublin marathon winner Sean Hehir, from Rathfarnham, will be hot favourite for the Half Marathon. He is a former national champion over the 13 miles distance and placed second last year. His 2:18:19 in Dublin suggests he can go close to 66 minutes.

Andrew Considine sixth at Ards and seventh at Belfast, Desi Foley the winner at Banbridge, Michael Fitzpatrick and Nigel Grier fifth and seventh last year and possibly Enniskillen’s Conan McCaughey will be disputing the medals.

Gladys Ganiel recently selected for the Commonwealth Games in the marathon looks to follow her Edinburgh victory with another success here. She ran just over 77 minutes in the Scottish capital.

Defending champion Donna Evans has been going well with third at Craigavon and fourth at Omagh, Heather Foley won the Dune Half Marathon and also came first at Ballynahinch, Marina Campbell was second in the Derry Marathon after winning in Banbridge while Anne Paul came second at Magherafelt.

Eddie McGinley looks a class act in the 10K. The Annadale Strider won at Omagh ran 66:53 in Gothenburg Half Marathon and then took the senior 5,000 title at the Mary Peters Track.

Scott Rankin was second in that 5,000 after winning at Stormont, Gransha and Lifford. He will push McGinley hard.

Brendan Teer came first at Duncrue, Balllynahinch and Upper Malone.

Conor Magill is a former Ards winner, Eamon White placed third here last year while Paul Rowan was runner-up in both the Les Jones and Ballynahinch 10Ks.

Pius McIntyre, Chris Madden, Paul Barbour and Thomas Leitch all have credentials to take high positions.

The Ladies 10K race will be disputed between Patricia O’Hagan, Judith Lonnen, Denise Logue and Lisa Treacy although there is still a chance that Breege Connolly or Cathy McCourt will make a late entry.

Patricia won at the Les Jones, Runher and Enniskillen with Judith placing second in the Les Jones. Denise was second in the Jimmy Murray 10K while Lisa has been third at Lisburn in the past.

There is a generous prize list with £500 for the Half Marathon winners and £250 for the 10K plus £200 bonus for a new course record. The existing men’s record is 64 minutes 10 with the women trying to beat 74 minutes 59.

The action starts at 6.30pm.