Inside track

Joe Seeley Road Race at Ormeau Park one of the most eagerly anticipated in years

Scott Rankin is the men's favourite for Saturday's Joe Seeley road race   
Malcolm McCausland

SATURDAY’S Joe Seeley 10K Road Race at Ormeau Park is one of the most eagerly anticipated in years.

The race has sold out, with all 1,000 places snapped up by eager participants 10 days before the closing date. It also carries Northern Ireland championship status for the distance.

Claudy man Scott Rankin starts favourite for the men’s title after encouraging performances over the half marathon distance earlier in the autumn. The Foyle Valley athlete has been running over 120 miles per week in training with an eye on a spring marathon.

A good run on Saturday would give the hospital services worker the confirmation that he is on the right track with his training and a marathon spot at the 2108 Commonwealth Games is an attainable target for him.

However, Rankin will not have it all his own way with North Belfast Harrier Mark McKinstry, dark horse Neil Johnston from the Springwell club and Derry Track Club duo Conan McCaughey and JP Williamson also in the field.

Mourne Runners’ Laura Graham is firm favourite to take the women’s title with Cathy McCourt, City of Lisburn’s Judith Lonnen and North Down’s Jodi Smith among those fighting out the minor podium places.

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