Don Travers will be going for his third successive victory and his fourth in all in Sundays 10th Newry City Marathon which is sponsored by Newry Credit Union and local businesses.
The former cycling International from Newry City was third in the Dundalk-Newry Half Marathon, came first at Carlingford over the same distance and had a strong run in the Belfast Marathon.
Geoff Smith came fourth in Newry in 2012 while Jonathan Godfrey from City of Hull is an interesting entry. He has a best of 2:50:41 and is a regular Parkrun winner.
Defending champion Diane Watson and Louise Smith look the pick of the ladies entries.
Diane from City of Lisburn took silver in the Les Jones 10K last year while former Masters champion Louise came second at Cookstown and third at Ards over the 13 miles distance.
John Black from North Belfast, second at Larne and Ballydrain’s Gareth Lyons third in the Les Jones can dispute the Half Marathon at the same meeting.
The promoters are still hopeful that last year’s winner Laura Graham, the Belfast Marathon winner and National champion will make an entry.
The organisers expect over 1,000 competitors in the five events of the day. The nominated charity is PIPS Newry and Mourne Suicide Prevention.
The Wheelchair and Walk start at 8am, the Marathon goes in two waves at 8.15 and 9 with the Half Marathon at 9.45 and 10K at 9.50. There is also a Fun Run.
Meanwhile Seamus Lynch and Susan Smyth took the major honours at the 11th Bann 10K which was part of the Novosco Grand Prix.
Lynch from Newcastle took control after half way and won by almost two minutes from Dromore pair Stephen O’Gorman and Nigel McKibbin who repeated their rostrum placings of last year. Mark Cornett of St Peters came fourth.
Susan Smyth from Dromore confirmed her favourites ranking as she took the ladies by over a minute from Lagan Valley’s Julie Murphy with Newcastle’s Patricia McKibbin third.
Brogan McComiskey was first in the Fun Run with Bethany Nixon continuing with family tradition by taking the ladies.