Ryan Campbell and Mark McKinstry head the line-up for Saturday’s inaugural Ballyclare Mayfair 10K Race which is organised by County Antrim Harriers.
The event, sponsored by Charles Hurst Renault Mallusk, has attracted a large field and is expected to be very competitive.
Campbell, the triple Northern Ireland champion, comes to the event fresh from victory in the Maghera 10K, while McKinstry placed second in the Senior cross country. Keith Shiels, the Letterkenny winner, is another possibility while Colin James, ninth in the Belfast Marathon will go well.
Geraldine Quigley third in the Les Jones 10K can be the one to watch in the Ladies. Gillian Logan, Lorna Sibbett and former Junior champion Sarah-Jane Guiney can challenge.
There are great prizes covering all age groups plus technical t-shirt and goodie bags. The race is in memory of former club chairman Greg Hopkins with the nominated charity being Cancer Life Line.
The action starts from Ballyclare Rugby Club at 10am.
Meanwhile, Newry will be the focus of athletics enthusiasts on Sunday for the eighth running of the Newry City Marathon, Half Marathon, Relay, Fun Run and Walk. For the first time there will also be a 10K.
The event, which always attracts huge fields in a great atmosphere, is sponsored by Newry Credit Union plus local businesses.
Former Commonwealth fifth placer Teresa Duffy will attempt to follow her Les Jones success with another victory in the half marathon. She came second in the Dune Race over the distance.
Chief opposition will come from Roisin Hughes who was second here in 2013. Diane Watson and Athanasia Sevastaki can be next best.
Eamon White has a great record in this race having made the top four in four of the last five seasons. He can win from Stephen Wylie, Greg Lucy and Gareth Lyons.
Don Travers, runner-up in both 2012 and 2013, can take the full marathon, He was the winner of the Castlewellan 13 Miler. Chris Denton and Phelim McAllister will be looking for medals.
The Ladies’ marathon can go to ultra specialists Gillian Cordner.
There is a huge prize list in all the categories with the races starting opposite or beside Newry Sports Centre and finishing in Hill Street. The marathon goes at 9am, walk 9.05am, half marathon 9.30am and 10K 1am with the fun run going from Hill Street at 9.45am.
Elsewhere, there is a feast of middle distance running at the Mary Peter’s Track on Saturday evening when Beechmount Harriers and the Irish Milers Club promote their meeting.
The Women’s 800 will be a thriller with the last two Irish champions Katie Kirk and Aislinn Crossey face BMC athletes Katy Brown and Alexander Bell. Kelly Neely is going for the Irish Masters record while Amy Hamill goes for the Euro Junior qualification.
The Men’s 800 contains six sub one minute fifty athletes including Eoin Everard and Ruari Finnegan. Euro indoors representative Kristaps Volters from Latvia is pacemaker.
Another Euro indoors runner Danny Mooney will pace the 1500 which includes Andrew Wright and William Crowe going for the Euro Juniors while Emma Mitchell will be worth watching in the Womens 1500.
There is a massive 31 entry in the 3000 which will be paced by John Frazer. The action will start at 5.45pm.