Belfast Telegraph

McGlynn is the front-runner in stacked line-up for Seeley 10k

 

Ann Marie McGlynn
Ann Marie McGlynn

By Brian Hill

Ann Marie McGlynn is firm favourite to take her second Joe Seeley 10k title in tomorrow's high quality Podium 4 Sport event at Ormeau Park, which has over 1,000 entries once again.

This race, which is now in its 38th year, has again attracted most of the province's top road racers, however, this will be of little concern to Letterkenny's McGlynn, who turns 40 next February.

The Donegal runner has emphatically proved in 2019 that age is no barrier to success with no less than five personal best times.

These have been achieved over five miles, 10k, half marathon and, most spectacularly of all, in the marathon, where she set personal bests twice.

Her last one of 2 hrs 32 mins 54 secs in Dublin a month ago took a huge six minutes off her previous best and ranks her seventh on the Irish all-time list.

McGlynn has also raced five times for Ireland in the Euro Cross Country Championships, taking a bronze team medal. She will be using the Seeley as preparation for a major marathon in the spring in her quest to gain selection for the Tokyo Olympics.

Letterkenny team-mate Nakita Burke won this event last year in a personal best of 34:57. While she ran a similar time in Leeds last month, she will be hard pressed to beat in-form McGlynn.

Others likely to feature are North Belfast's Gladys Ganiel, who ran under 2 hrs 37 mins in Dublin, City of Derry's Catherine Whoriskey, North Belfast's Louise Smith and Roisin Hughes, plus Jodie Smith of North Down.

The men's race is much more difficult to predict, with last year's winner, Ben Branagh of St Malachy's, returning from injury. He was, however, timed at 29:38 in an allegedly short Leeds 10k so is clearly back to top form.

His victory at Ormeau a year ago was after a major and entertaining tussle with North Belfast's Mark McKinstry.

McKinstry, who is racing again, recently destroyed the opposition to successfully defend his UK Masters Cross Country title, however, this time he will be tested to the limit as he faces not only Branagh but other rostrum contenders such as North Belfast's Conan McCaughey, Connal Kirk of Annadale, Lisburn's Chris Madden and Neill Johnston of Springwell.

McCaughey heads the NI list this year with 30:28 from Sterling, while recent Malcolm Cup winner Kirk was third last year.

The race starts at 2.30pm outside the Ozone Centre.

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