The 2014 Hill And Dale Series in the Mournes opens on Thursday night with the Castlewellan Race over 5.5 miles including 1,080 feet of climb.
The 11-race programme with the best six to score has attracted an amazing pre-entry of 387 athletes for the series which was won last year by Steve Cunningham and Shileen O’Kane.
The first three at Castlewellan last year Alan Bogle, Neil Carty and David O’Flaherty should be prominent again.
Bogle was the winner of the British Championship round at Donard.
Glenariff winner Jonny Steede, Seamus Lynch, Ian Bailey, Ed Hanna, Deon McNeilly and Dale Mathers will also be front runners along with David Steel and Ultra specialist Justin Maxwell.
Reigning ladies champion Shileen O’Kane and Glenariff winner Diane Wilson should dispute the victory along with Taryn McCoy and Anne Sandford.
Hazel McLaughlin, Catherine O’Connor and Denise Mathers are all expected to feature highly.
Thursday’s registration is at the car park in the main courtyard with the action starting at 7.30pm.
Also on Thursday night the first round of the Firmus Energy Super 5 Series promoted by Lagan Valley AC is being held at the Mary Peters Track. The competition for minis, U13s, U15s, U17s plus some seniors always attracts huge entries.
The popular series has been the launchpad for many current senior internationals.
The timetable is: 7.00, wheelchairs 100m, all male 80/100m, mini girls shot, U13 girls long jump, U17 and senior hammer; 7.30, mini boys shot, U13 boys long jump, U15 boys javelin; 7.45, all female 80/100m, U17 and senior long jump; 8,00, U15 boys and girls high jump; 8.30, wheelchair 200m and all male and female 1,000/1,500m.