Countdown is on for 2017 International Road Race

Thursday, 9 February 2017

WITH just nine days until the 27th Armagh International Road Race, the organisers have confirmed that they have attracted another world-class field of athletes for the 2017 event.

Athletes from across the world will run in 11 different races on Thursday, February 16, with the three showpiece categories: the Brooks 5K for men, the Intersport 3K for women and the Linwoods Open 3K for men, attracting athletes who have competed in the European Championships, the World Championship and the Olympic Games.

One of the favourites for the Women's 3K title will be Olympic athlete Laura Weightman, who is coached by Steve Cram. She finished in a highly creditable 11th place in the 1500m at the Rio Olympics and she took a bronze medal in the European Championships in 2014.

Previous winner of the 3K race, Laura Whittle is expected to be in contention and in 2016 she took gold in the European U23 5000m race.

They are joined by a host of top Irish, Scottish and English athletes and 2009 winner Kerry O'Flaherty, who competed in the 3000m steeplechase in Rio could be pushing for top spot.

Polish athlete Mariola Slusarczyk and Hungarian orienteer Fanni Gyurko are also among a quality field of over 150 entrants.

A quick glance at the entry list of the Men's 5K race could lead to speculation that the eight year record held by USA athlete David Nightingale (13 mins 54 secs) could go this year.

Over 250 athletes from across the world have signed up and 2016 champion Charlie Hulson from England will have his sights set on winning back to back titles.

Former 3000m steeplechase champion Krystian Zalewski continues a long tradition of Polish participation in Armagh and he is expected to be in contention once again.

There is a strong American presence in the Men's 5K and Brandon Doughty is a man in form and his personal best at 5000m is 13 mins 39 secs.

Scottish athlete Jake Wightman has plenty of experience around the famous Mall circuit and the Edinburgh based runner is one of the in-form 1500m runners in the UK.

Orienteering trio Kiwi Tim Robertson, Oystein Kvaal from Norway and Yannick Michiels from Belgium will all have their sights set on finishing in the top three.

In addition to the two international races, there are no less than 9 other races including the hugely popular Linwoods Open Men's 3K race, with the entry list currently sitting at over 200 plus, with athletes from France, Norway and across the UK and Ireland all taking to the start line.

There are eight juvenile races in total and over 1000 aspiring athletes will be looking to make their mark around the Mall.


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