A record 6,000 have signed up for Saturday's Lifestyle Sports adidas Irish Runner 5-Mile road race in the Phoenix Park (10am).
With an entry fee of €20 or €50 for the three-race Lifestyle Sport adidas Series, the race limit was quickly reached. This was no surprise -- the series offers superb value for money with AAI-measured courses, chip timing, a technical T-shirt and goody bag for finishers in all three races. There are also prizes for the top 20 men and women and to winners in the usual master's categories.
There is even money over for designated charities, with Aware the beneficiary of Saturday's race, the Capuchin Day Centre for the Frank Duffy 10-Mile on August 21 and the ISPCC for the Dublin Half Marathon on September 18.
All build up to this year's Dublin Marathon on Monday October 25.
Entry for the biggest race in the country costs €70 before August 1, €80 until September 1 and €90 until the closing date of October 4.
Members of the Marathon Mission team, put together by Dublin Marathon race director Jim Aughney, produced good performances at the Woodie's DIY National Track and Field Championships in Santry.
Maria McCambridge of Letterkenny was a clear winner of the women's 5,000m in 16:19.78, with Borrisokane's Siobhain O'Doherty third in 16:59.92.
Gary Thornton of Galway City Harriers led from the start of the men's 10,000m, winning in 29:18.88. He was followed home by KCH's Brian Maher and Joe McAllister of St Malachy's, with Rathfarnham WSAF's Barry Minnock fifth and Greg Roberts of City of Derry sixth. All broke 31 minutes.
Over 5000m, Tallaght's Sean Connolly produced a tremendous burst of speed in the finishing straight to finish third in 14:10.93. The previous evening Connolly had run 14:04 for the same distance in Belgium.
Many of these athletes will be using the series as part of their preparation for an autumn marathon, as indeed will Sergiu Ciobanu, who has been such a force on the roads over the past few years. Last year, Brian Maher finished third behind Josphat Boit and the veteran Gerry Ryan in the 5-Mile, with Annette Kealy first woman.
Boit also won the 10-Mile beating Vinnie Mulvey and Ciobanu, with Maria McCambridge first woman.
With Boit not around, there will be a new winner on Saturday.