13 April 2018


IUAA Track & Field Championships 2018:

Queen’s University of Belfast will host the Irish Universities Athletics Association (IUAA) Track & Field Championships at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast this weekend (Friday 13th and Saturday 14th April 2018).

Queen’s University last hosted the two-day inter-varsity competition in Northern Ireland back in 2011 and following its success, it is expected that this year’s event will prove popular with both athletes and spectators alike – a record number of athletes have entered the Belfast based event.

QUB AC themselves boast a wealth of athletic talent – just this week, their club member Emma Mitchell bettered her own Northern Ireland 10,000m record at the Commonwealth Games in Australia.  This will no doubt inspire the host team as they go on the hunt for silverware.

Recent NI & Ulster 5k (Road) Champion Neil Johnston will compete in the 5,000m and should challenge the gold medal.  Emerging talent Sinead Sweeney will also race over 5,000m, as well as the 1500m.

NI & Ulster Intermediate XC Champion, Craig McMeechan, will line up alongside fellow NI man Jonny Whan (DCU) in the 1500m.  In the 400m competition, Andrew Mellon will be worth watching.

Another Northern Ireland university competing will be the University of Ulster and they also have a significant interest on the Gold Coast in the form of sprinter Amy Foster.  Strong background work by coaches at the University of Ulster will mean that they will be taking their biggest team to the Championships in 10 years.

Anna McIlymoyle will race in the 100m hurdles and the impressive 4x100m relay team of Craig Newell, Ronan Bloomer, Justin Bloomer and Aaron McKendry should play a major part in proceedings.

Outside of the local talent, there will be some big stars in action, with Irish internationals Phil Healy (WIT), Una Britton (DCU) and Marcus Lawler (Carlow IT) all due to compete.

A full programme of events is available HERE.

Elsewhere this weekend…


The Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association (NIMRA) will welcome top class athletes from across the UK and Ireland to the Mourne Mountains as they host the Mourne Highline Mountain Race, which is the opening round of the 2018 British Fell Running Championships (Saturday 14th April 2018).

A plethora of talented is expect to take on the 15.3k course, which includes 300m of ascent.

The main contenders in the men’s race are likely to be Rob Jebb (Helm Hill), Carl Bell (Keswick AC), Rob Hope (Pudsley and Bramley AC), Danny Hope (Horwich RMI Harriers), Kim Collison (Borrowdale FR), Rhys Findlay Robinson (Dark Peak) and Joshua Jardine (Helm Hill), amongst a few other notables.

Calder Valley Fell Runner Ben Mounsey, Martin Mikkel-Barron (Borrowdale), the speedy Sam Stead (Keswick AC) and veteran Karl Gray (Calder Valley FR), as well as Northern Ireland men Jonny Steede (Glens Runners), Seamus Lynch (Newcaslte AC), Gavin Mullholland (Calder Valley FR), Zak Hanna (Newcastle AC) and Ryan Stewart (Shettleston Harriers) will also be at the sharp end of the field.

The ladies race will see top mountain stars, such as the Carnethy Hill Running Club’s Jasmin Paris and Helen Bonsor, Eryri Harriers Bronwen Jenkinson and Miranda Grant, as well as the experienced Mercia Fell Runners duo Mel Price and Emma Gould battle it out against the evergreen Sharon Taylor (Helm Hill). 

Other top ladies set to start include Caitlin Rice (Ribble Valley Harriers), Judith Jepson (Dark Peak Fell Runners) and Michelle Foxwell (Ambleside AC).

Northern Ireland athletes Shileen O'Kane (Lagan Valley AC), Ciara Largey (Lochaber AC), Esther Dickson (Newry AC), Megan Wilson (Dark Peak Fell Runners), Martsje Hell (North Belfast Harriers), Jackie Toal (BARF) and Mourne Runners pair Sarah Graham and Charlene Haugh, amongst others, will ensure the eventual victor will have to work hard for it.

A full preview of the event is available on the Northern Ireland Running website HERE.

Athletics NI Open Track & Field Meeting:

On Sunday 15th April 2018, Athletics NI will host an Open Track & Field Meeting at Mary Peters Track in Belfast.

This is a Senior Event. All athletes must be 16 in the year of competition. Senior UKA implements only. The new UKA rule regarding time taken for trials will be enforced. Athletes will be allowed 30 seconds to complete their jump or throw from the moment the official indicates that the trial may commence.

Entries are AVAILABLE on race day and a provisional timetable is available HERE.

AAI National 10k (Road) Championships 2018:

Rio Olympian Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle AC) will head the local charge for honours as thousands of competitors take on the AAI National 10k (Road) Championships this weekend (Sunday 15th April 2018).

The event will take place as part of the Garmin Great Ireland Run in the Phoenix Park, Dublin.  Chesterfield Avenue will be full of colour with club vests lining up for the National 10k Championships - an Irish select team take on England as part of the race.

Northern Ireland’s Kerry O’Flaherty will join Shona Heaslip (An Riocht), Laura Shaughnessy (DSD) and Bethanie Murray (DSD) as they go head-to-head with England’s Gemma Steel, Jenna Hill and Naomi Taschimowitz. Steel should provide a good test for the Irish women as a former European Cross Country champion and winner of the event.

The Irish women will, of course, also be battling for National gold. Alongside Kerry, on the start line will be fellow NI athlete Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers), who finished as runner up at the recent T10K.

In the men’s race, North Belfast Harriers are well represented, with John Black and Philip Goss likely to place well.  Carmen Runners man Martin Cox, winner of the Omagh 5k last weekend, will also run well.

Check out the full entries HERE and timetable HERE.