Joe McAllister in Larne half marathon frame

Joe McAllister
Joe McAllister

More than 1500 runners of all abilities will be pounding the roads of Co Antrim on Saturday in the AES Larne Half Marathon, which starts at 11am from the leisure centre.

The event, which is promoted by Larne AC, includes the second round of the Pure Running/ChampionChip Ireland Half Marathon Series following last weekend’s Dune Race.

There is a possibility that three-times winner Joe McAllister will compete after his Downpatrick success and the St Malachy’s runner would obviously be favourite if he comes to the line.

Brian Campbell, Andrew Annett, Conor Curran and hopefully Paul Rowan will be among the frontrunners.

Campbell, originally from Larne, was the winner of the race in 2007 and 2008 and took the Senior Cross Country title in three separate occasions while Annett was third in Duncrue last year with Curran sixth in the Belfast Half Marathon.

Rowan - a double winner now on the comeback trail - was an impressive second at Duncrue.

Brendan Teer has entered but the Dundrum and Duncrue winner is expected to go to the Home Countries Cross Country International at Nottingham.

Defending champion Julie Balmer faces a strong challenge from Heather Foley and Fiona Stack in the Ladies.

Julie from North Down was the queen of the half marathon last year following her Larne victory by successes in the Decathlon race Newry, Ards, Dervock and Groomsport.

Heather Foley won the first round of the series at Dundalk/Newry on Sunday while Fiona Stack was the Waterside champion last season.

There are many personalities among the competitors including Sonya Mac from Cool FM and BBC weather girl Cecilia Daly.

The race starts at the leisure centre then moves on the Tower Road and through the town centre before going up the Coast Road to Ballygally and Cairncastle, returning by the Coast Road to finish on the Promenade beside the leisure centre.

As well as the main race the three-person relay also starts at 11am with the walkers who cover the full distance going at 10am.