17 May 2018


A capacity field of 400 athletes will descend on the Mary Peters Track this weekend for the 27th annual Les Jones Memorial 10k, an event hosted by Athletics Northern Ireland (Friday 18th May 2018).

The popular event is organised in memory of late athlete, team manager and Athletics NI Chairman Les Jones who passed away in 1992.

Athletics NI are working with Action Mental Health for the event, as part of the Mental Health Awareness week, which began on 14th May 2018. A donation will be made to the charity from the race entries.

This year’s Les Jones 10k will again provide a fitting tribute, with a plethora of athletic talent due to battle it out over the tough course, which takes competitors onto the Lagan Towpath and towards Shaws Bridge.  Athletes will then negotiate the infamous climb in Barnetts Demesne on their way back to the finish line on the Mary Peters Track.

At the competitive end of the field, the fast improving Vincent McKenna (QUB AC) will come up against fellow Queen’s University student James Smyth, who will represent St Malachy’s AC.

Vincent recently recorded a new 10k personal best at the TQ10K, were he clocked 33:11 for the distance.  James, a 4:14 1500m runner will make his 10k debut and with a 5k best of 16:07, he will challenge for a podium place.

Stephen Wylie will lead a strong Victoria Park & Connswater AC contingent, which also includes Thomas Leitch and Gary Kennan.  David Noble (Larne AC), Turlough Donnelly (Unattached) and David Clarke (North Belfast Harriers) will all place well.

Northern Ireland international Jessica Craig (North Down AC) will line up on the Les Jones 10k start line for the first time and having won the Ballynahinch Lions 10k in 37:39 last month, is sure to play a prominent part at the front.

The track star, who recently clocked 5:00.10 for the Mile, will face Newcastle AC’s Sinead Murtagh, who won the Newry Mayors 10k last week (in 38:09), will also be worth watching – also last week, Sinead impressed with an excellent run at the Slieve Donard Mountain Race, were she led early on and finished in an excellent fifth place.

Amanda Perry (Ballydrain Harriers), Sarah Lavery (Beechmount Harriers), Ann Terek (City of Lisburn AC), Jenny Finlay (Lagan Valley AC) and Jennifer Black (Victoria Park & Connswater AC) should also be considered as podium contenders.

Collecting Your Number/Race Pack & Changing Facilities:

Number/Pack collection will be in the Les Jones Room, upstairs in the Pavilion beside the track. Please use the outside stairs and the side door. 

Those who wish to collect their number/race pack may do so from 10am onwards on Friday 18th May 2018.

There are changing and showering facilities and toilets in the new stand at the Mary Peters Track; however they are limited so if possible please arrive changed.

Elsewhere this weekend…

European 10,000m Cup / Night of 10k PB’s:

Four local athletes have been named in a strong Athletics Ireland team for this weekend’s European 10,000m Cup, which will be held as part of the famous Night of 10,000m Personal Bests in Highgate, London (Saturday 19th May 2018).

Stephen Scullion (Clonliffe Harriers / Stephen Haas), Emma Mitchell (QUB AC / Eamonn Christie), Fionnuala Ross (Armagh AC / Dermot Kerr) and Ann-Marie McGlynn (Letterkenny AC) have been included in the line-up.

Emma, who set a new Northern Ireland 10,000m record of 32:49 at the Commonwealth Games last month, ran an NI record at the Highgate Harriers event in 2017, when she recorded 32:51.  After the announcement, Emma expressed her delight on social media, posting, “Excited to be selected to represent Ireland at the European 10,000m Cup.”

In a similar fashion, Fionnuala also spoke of her excitement, “Can’t wait for my first visit to the #nightof10kpbs, especially since I’ll be back in the green vest with this talented bunch!”

The full Ireland team for the event is…

Hugh Armstrong

Ballina AC

Ray Treacy

Sergiu Ciobanu

Clonliffe Harriers AC

Jerry Kiernan

Mick Clohisey

Raheny Shamrocks AC

Dick Hooper

Stephen Scullion

Clonliffe Harriers AC

Stephen Haas


Shona Heaslip

An Riocht

Niamh O’Sullivan

Ann Marie McGlynn

Letterkenny AC


Emma Mitchell

Queens University AC

Eamonn Christie

Fionnuala Ross

Armagh AC

Dermot Kerr


Inter-Counties Mountain Running Championships:

Also this weekend, a team of mountain runners will represent Northern Ireland at the Inter-Counties Mountain Running Championships which will take place at Lads Leap, Derbyshire, England (Saturday 19th May 2018).

Both the men and women will cover 9.5km is distance, with 518m of ascent on the up and down course.

The teams are as follows:


David Hicks (Newcastle AC) – Team Captain
Timothy Johnston (Mourne Runners)
Gavin Mulholland (Calder Valley FR)
Luke McMullan (Newcastle AC)

U23 – Zak Hanna (Newcastle AC)

Reserve: Ryan Stewart (Shettleston Harriers)


Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) – Team Captain
Esther Dickson (Newry AC)
Martsje Hell (North Belfast Harriers)
Sarah Graham (Mourne Runners)

Reserve: Megan Wilson (Dark Peak FR)

Great City Games (Manchester):

Decorated Paralympic athlete Jason Smyth (Derry Track Club) and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Leon Reid (Birchfield Harriers) will be in action at the prestigious Great City Games on the streets of Manchester this weekend (Saturday 19th May 2018).

The talented pairing will both compete over 150m, but in separate races. The Games will be televised live on BBC 2 from 6pm – 7:30pm.

Since its inception in 2009 the unique event has brought some of the biggest names in international sport to the city-centre including Olympic heroes Usain Bolt, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Greg Rutherford.