TOP club athletes chasing fast times and a nice pay day are spoiled for choice on Sunday, with two great races on offer – the 30th Raheny 5-Mile in Dublin and the John Treacy 10-Mile in Dungarvan.
Winners in Raheny last year were DSD's Joe Sweeney and Mary Cullen of Sligo, but as yet, neither have signed up for Sunday's race.
One athlete who will run is Michael Mulhare of Portlaoise, fresh from a string of strong cross-country performances, most recently in Edinburgh where he finished fifth. Also back in good shape is Tomas Fitzpatrick of Tallaght, who was second last year.
Raheny athletes could well figure up front, among them Mick Clohisey, winner of the Fields of Athenry 10km a few weeks ago, and Conor Dooney, winner of the Leinster Cross-Country in Co Laois last weekend.
With the European Clubs Cross-Country coming up, members of the Raheny women's squad, led by Aoife Talty and Elish Kelly, first and second at the Leinsters, are using the race as a final blowout.
Last year's race attracted over 2,000 runners to Raheny and a record-breaking number is again expected, with three juvenile races (2.0) as well as the main event on offer. Organisers are requesting that runners take public transport to the race – the DART stops in the village and there are numerous buses. Online entry closes at 6pm on Saturday, with no entry on the day.
Irish marathon champions Maria McCambridge of DSD and Rathfarnham's Seán Hehir, who set course records two years ago, are making return visits to Dungarvan. Hehir ran 49 mins 25 secs in 2012, while McCambridge, who ran 55 mins 58 secs, had hoped to defend her title last year, but was forced out by injury.
She will take on previous winner Siobhán O' Doherty and Clonmel master Angela McCann, along with Cathy McCourt and Gladys Ganiel from North Belfast Harriers.
In for the men's race are Clonliffe's Sergiu Ciobanu, Paddy Hamilton of Annadale Striders, winner of the Tuam 5km last weekend, and locals Sandis Bralitis, Philip Harty and Raivis Zakis. Entry for the race is closed.