Dust off your trainers, entries for the SPAR 26th Omagh Half are now open!
13 February 2015
All runners in the Half Marathon must pre-enter by 21stMarch while 5K participants can register in advance or on race day. Both races start at Omagh Leisure Centre and pass through the town centre before taking in the suburbs of the town in what promises to be a very fast course.
Preparations are at an advanced stage for this year’s half marathon event which is now regarded as one of the most prestigious events in Ireland and the UK. In fact, runners travel from all over Ireland as well as some overseas participants due to the quality and stature of the SPAR Omagh Half Marathon.
Leading female athlete Cathy McCourt, from North Belfast Harriers, is one of the many professional runners participating in the event. She had planned to run Omagh Half last year but was injured, she came back strongly to win Dervock and the Irish masters half marathons later that year. “I am really looking forward to running Omagh and improving my times over this distance. I have heard so much about the event and am now concentrating on Cross-Country and increasing my mileage”.
Race Director Michael Ward commented on the ongoing preparations, “Our event continues to appeal to runners and walkers of all ages and abilities.The popularity of the SPAR Omagh Half continues to grow year on year! Hundreds of people return each year knowing it’s one of the most enjoyable, entertaining and yet challenging events to participate in. I’d like to encourage those who perhaps have taken on some form of fitness campaign in the New Year to set the Half Marathon or 5K as their target and enter today. Anyone who enters before 21st March will be in for a chance to win a Gas BBQ and there will also be over £5,000 in prize money.”
With Technical T-shirts for half marathon entrants, bespoke medals for all finishers, chip timing, race pacers and superb post-race refreshments provided by title sponsor SPAR, it is set to be a fantastic event.
Bronagh Luke, Head of Corporate Marketing at the Henderson Group, owners of the SPAR franchise commented on the sponsorship, “We are delighted to continue our sponsorship of this truly exciting event. As entries continue to soar, I am confident that the 26th SPAR Omagh Half Marathon will be another record breaking year!
“You don’t have to be a seasoned runner to take part, as the 5k run and walk offers a great alternative; making it a perfect event for all ages, sizes and fitness levels.
This sporting occasion is focussed just as much on community spirit as it is on promoting active and healthy lifestyles. It not only attracts top class athletes to Omagh along with inspiring so many local people to be active but also raises much needed funds for extremely worthwhile charities. In 2014 SPAR Omagh Half raised an amazing £4,500 for the Down Syndrome society in the Omagh area and this year’s charity partner is the Royal National Institute of the Blind, Omagh.
“We are proud to be associated with this exciting sporting event and would encourage as many people as possible to take part, get active and keep fit. So good luck to everyone participating and remember… if you’re not in you can’t win! So enter online today!”
With its fast undulating scenic course, upbeat entertainment and vociferous crowds, Omagh is firmly established in the athletics calendar as one of Northern Ireland’s go-to Half Marathons.
Entries have now opened online at www.athleticsni.org and it is recommended to enter early to guarantee participation or alternatively pick up an entry form at Omagh leisure centre, McGales furniture shop or any SPAR shop in Omagh.