Seamus Lynch will be the one to watch in the Lisburn Cross Country at Moira Demesne on Saturday.
The Newcastle man was eighth in the event last time but has improved tremendously.
He won the Turkey Trot at Christmas then took a medal at the Castlewellan Cracker before finishing an impressive 3rd in the Glenariffe race.
Brilliant young Beechmount star Christy Conlon was second last year. He is the reigning Ulster and Ireland U16 and U17 champion and has the capability to go all the way.
Defending champion David O’Flaherty can be prominent along with Annadale Masters Paul Carroll and Mark Wright .
Catherine O’Connor of East Down also came eighth 12 months ago but is showing brilliant form on all surfaces and can take the victory.
Mountain stars from Lagan Valley Shileen O’Kane – second last time – and Hazel McLaughlin will go well along with team-mate Ursula Daly while Debbie Matchett, Geraldine Quigley, Ruth Magill and Mel Minshull can take high places.
The 10-race programme sponsored by ChampionChip Ireland and promoted by City of Lisburn AC and Lisburn City Council starts with Primary Schools at 11.45am with Senior Women at 1pm and Men at 1.25pm.
Also on Saturday the new Acorns AC promote their first ever cross country meeting at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena in Cookstown.
North Belfast star Mark McKinstry – runner up at Glenariffe – can be favourite. Team-mates Alan O’Hara and Andrew Considine can go close if they compete along with Aaron Meharg from the host club.
Karen Alexander from Acorns won at Moira last year but is more likely to compete in her home race. She has had a string of victories and will be hard to appose.
Cathy McCourt of North Belfast will go close if she enters along with Rhian Pegram of Acorns and Pauline McGurren from Sperrin.
The action starts at 12 noon with U11, U13, U15 and U17 races for Boys and Girls with the Senior Ladies 3 Miles at 2pm and Men at 2.45pm.
The 2015 indoor season also opens on Saturday at UU Jordanstown with the Athletics NI Open Track meet.
The event which provides ideal opportunities to check on winter progress includes 60m sprint, 60m hurdles and shot, There are competitions for all age groups plus Senior Men and Women. The U18s and Seniors will each have two 60m sprints.
The competition will last from 2pm to 5pm.