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Athlone Arena ready to launch

For the eagerly awaited Athlone IT Indoor Arena, it's all systems go from January 26, when the country's increasing band of multi-eventers launch the facility at the National Combined Events Championships.

A day later, our top athletes take on an international field at the Athletics Ireland Open Games. Events scheduled for the track are the 60m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 3000m, 60m hurdles and 3000m walk.

In the field, pole vault, high jump, long jump, triple jump, shot and 56lb weight throw for distance are on offer. Entry is just €10 per event. The day ends with a 4x200m relay.

Keith wins Wicklow challenge

Ultra runner Eoin Keith, who had set a new Irish 72-hour record in the USA 12 days earlier, won the Art O'Neill Ultra Challenge in the Wicklow Mountains.

Meanwhile, world jogger Tony Mangan is now in New Zealand, having completed his run across Fiji.

Traynor is the Master in Dublin

Mick Traynor of Raheny Shamrock made it a home victory at the Dublin Masters' Cross-Country in St Anne's Park, beating Davey Byrne of Tallaght. Traynor, who is 48, also won the over-45 category and led Raheny to team victory. Jean Wilson of Sportworld won the women's 3km with Donore's Anne Curley second and Sportsworld best of the teams. Both races attracted record entries.

Ginty takes Terenure victory

Maura Ginty of Sportsworld won the women's Meet and Train Winter League two-mile in Bushy Park, Terenure. This first cross-country in Bushy Park attracted a record 112 runners from clubs all over Dublin and Meath, including newcomers from Metro St Brigid's.

New course record for Hehir

On the roads, Sean Hehir of Rathfarnham WSAF won the Tom Walsh Memorial 10km in Caherconlish, Co Clare, in a new course record time of 30 mins 37 secs. Angela McCann of Clonmel celebrated her 42nd birthday with victory in the women's race.

Enter now for the Raheny 5

Record numbers are expected at the Axa Raheny 5 on January 27. Thanks to a promotion that saw anyone who entered before January 9 getting a personalised race number, the number of early entries is well ahead of last year. The message is clear -- if you want to be sure of a run, enter now!