Ards is set for a racing treble this summer, with the announcement that the area is to host three consecutive running events.
The 2010 Ards Half Marathon has teamed up with two other local races, the Portaferry 10 mile and the Ards Charity Five Mile Challenge, to form the ‘Ards Triple Series’ and between them expect to attract more than 1,000 competitors.
First to be under starter’s orders is the Half Marathon which takes place on Friday, July 2, followed a few weeks later by the Portaferry race on July 20 and the five mile challenge on August 6. The top three male and female runners with the best aggregated times across all three races will be awarded special ‘Ards Triple Series’ prizes.
“Running appears to be a rapidly growing sport in the area and for the council, committed as we are, not just to staging events like the Half Marathon and Walk, but to promoting participation in physical activity and well-being in general, that’s all to the good,” said Mayor of Ards Councillor William Montgomery.
Joe Quinn, organiser of the Portaferry 10 mile race, said: “The Portaferry Gala 10 Mile Road Race has been going from strength to strength in recent years and it is anticipated that last year's field of over 300 runners will be exceeded this time.
“The race also incorporates a relay event, with teams of two runners each doing five miles, to facilitate the novice runners and those who have not yet graduated to a 10 mile distance.”
Dennis Nash, from the five mile charity committee, said: “Newtow
nards and District Charity Committee will be promoting the five-mile challenge for the 26th time and we continue to be very proud of the fact that it is probably the longest-standing event of its kind.
“We are pleased that its profile will be increased by being included in the trio of challenges and we do look forward to being right at the apex of the series.”
The Ards Half Marathon and Walk’s designated race charity is the Northern Ireland Hospice.
For further details and to enter go to www.ardshalfmarathon.info or contact Emma Hingston at Ards Borough Council on telephone 9182 4018.
For information on the Portaferry race telephone Joe Quinn on 07933 214894.
For the Ards Charity Five Mile Challenge contact Dennis Nash on telephone 07773 021585.