Queen’s record-breaker Stephen Scullion goes for a quick repeat in the 24th Spar Omagh Half Marathon over an attractive three loop course around the town on Saturday.
The event has attracted 2500 runners with Scullion joining a red hot quartet of Stephen Duncan, Sergiu Ciobanu, Joe McAllister and Polish star Radoslaw Dudycz at the front of affairs.
Duncan, from the home Omagh club, and Moldovan International Ciobanu from Clonliffe, have dominated the race in recent years. Duncan won in 2011 from Ciobanu and was second last year and also in 2007 and 2010.
Ciobanu, the reigning Irish cross country champion won at Omagh in 2010, followed Duncan home in 2011 and then took revenge last year by blasting round in a new record of 64:48.
McAllister is the former National 10,000 and half marathon champion. The St Malachy’s runner was second around Ciobanu in the senior cross country and was the winner of the Armagh 10 miles.
Dudycz the 38-year-old from Poland is a very interesting addition to the line-up. He has a best of 63:34 for today’s distance and is building towards a marathon next month where he will be aiming to beat his best of 2:14:52.
Scullion, fresh from smashing the record at the Queen’s 5K on Wednesday has limitless potential over the long distances.
The reigning Northern Ireland cross country champion ran impressively in the European Indoor 3000 and was a runaway winner at Greencastle.
Mieczyslaw Jorochnik is the second Pole in the start list and he leads the M45 group while Dermot Kerr should win the M50 with Willie McCracken and Christy McMonagle will dispute the M65.
The Ladies’ race features former champion Anne Paul from City of Derry against Waterside winner Fiona Stack of Raheny and Enniskillen third placer Helen Stockdale of Clones. Holder Donna Evans from Monaghan may also run.
Jim Corbett and Paul Hannon have been impossible to separate for the last two years in the wheelchairs and a re-run is expected.
The race charity is the Cardiac Assessment Unit at Tyrone County Hospital. The half marathon and 5K fun run start at 12noon with the walkers preceding them at 11am.