Last Chance for NI & Ulster Athletics Clubs to enter Road Relay team event
Orangegrove AC is gearing up for the club’s 7th annual hosting of the Festival of Running at Victoria Park, Belfast on 7 October. With the extended entry deadline of 5pm on Saturday 30 September looming, athletics clubs who have yet to enter teams will need to move quickly to get a piece of the action in the Relay and Junior events.
Building on the success of last year, when the Belfast club welcomed 148 teams from across the province, the club’s massive volunteer effort is once again being deployed to deliver a fantastic day out for runners and spectators alike.
Hundreds of Ulster’s top club runners are expected to compete in the Senior and Master’s relay races over a fast 3380m course in the verdant setting of Victoria Park. As well as competing for this year’s championship titles, the fastest teams will be chasing the £200 cash prize up for grabs for any team which sets a new course record, generously sponsored by O'Reilly Stewart Solicitors.
The Masters Ladies’ (35:55) and Senior Men’s (39:22) record were set last year by City of Lisburn and Derry City Track Club respectively. Derry City took the victory last year during a hotly contested battle, with North Belfast Harriers and Letterkenny taking 2nd and 3rd place.
Last year the Newcastle AC Senior Ladies maintained their title from 2015, but failed to break their 2015 course record of 34:30. No doubt they will be looking to bag the hat trick on Saturday. The Masters Men’s record (41.51), was also set in 2015 by Willowfield Temperance Harriers.
The Festival also incorporates individual races for Junior and Primary Schools. 200 children competed for individual prizes across eight age categories in last year’s event, and next Saturdays competition is sure to generate similar interest.
Orangegrove is keen for clubs and supporters to join in the festival atmosphere, and clubs who wish to set up their own team tent or gazebo in the park for the day are encouraged to do so.