ATHLETICS: Jonny Steede is the man to beat at Slieve Bearnagh Mountain Race in the Mournes

Jonny Steede
Jonny Steede

Jonny Steede is favourite for Saturday’s Slieve Bearnagh Mountain Race in the Mournes.

The event over 3.8 miles including 2860 feet of climb starts and finishes at Trassey Car Park and covers the peaks of Meelmore, Bearnagh and Meelbeg,

Steede has already clinched the NIMRA title with victories including Annalong, Flagstaff and Spelga and should win again with Seamus Lynch, Alex Brennan, Neil Carty, Deon McNeilly and Sam Herron all prominent.

Diane Wilson has won at Commendagh, Annalong and Flagstaff and should take the Ladies from Catherine O’Connor and Hazel McLaughlin.

The action starts at 11am.

Meanwhile, Saturday’s track action is at Templemore Sports Complex where City of Derry Spartans host the Northern Ireland and Ulster Relay Championships.

There will be championships events at 4x100 for all groups, 4x300 for U15 Boys and Girls and U17 Girls, 4x400 for U17 Boys and Seniors and 3x800 for all groups. There will also be Swedish relays for U15, U17 and Seniors plus mixed 4x200 races for all groups to conclude the programme.

Top clubs are expected to be City of Derry, City of Lisburn, North Down, Ballymena and Antrim, Lagan Valley and Lifford.

The first event is at 10.30am.

Elsewhere, all ferries to Rathlin Island are fully booked on Saturday as NI Running and Belfast Activity Centre promote the Rathlin Run 10 Miles and 5K over the very spectacular varied terrain course.

Former winner Phelim McAllister will be hard to beat along with medallist Thomas Leitch, Andrew Guy and Eoin McQuillan. Una Gavin, Martina McMullan and Janice White can be top Ladies with Gemma Turley and Liz Leitch fancied in the 5K.

The event starts at McCuigs Public House at 1pm.

Also, Ulster runners are expected to be prominent in the Frank Duffy 10 Miles Race in Phoenix Park, Dublin on Saturday. Paddy Hamilton and Eddie McGinley can take medals in the Men’s with Breege Connolly capable of the same in the Ladies.

FInally, Roseanna McGuckian placed third in the 200m semi-final at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

The City of Lisburn girl clocked and impressive 24.77 behind winner Dzhois Koba of Ukraine.