THE 27th SPAR Omagh Half Marathon and 5k Fun Run was launched this week with organisers hoping for another record breaking year. Almost 4000 runners took to the streets of Omagh last year, to walk or run in either race and this year’s event on Saturday 26th March, is anticipated to attract even more runners than ever before.
All runners in the Half Marathon must pre-enter by 20th March 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 County 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 this athletics fixture.
Early indications show that many of the leading females are already considering the Omagh event, some of which will be in their final preparations for the Olympics in Brazil this August.
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! We are amazed to see the same people back every year and many seem to bring others with them which is a great testament.
” The Half marathon course is regarded as one of the fastest in Ireland with many runners achieving their coveted PB’S and in 2013 the male course record was broken by Stephen Scullion of Clonliffe Harriers in an amazing time of 64.46 minutes. 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 20th March will be in for a chance to win a Calor gas BBQ.”
With over £5,000 in prizes, Technical T-shirts for Half marathon entrants, newly designed 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 Henderson Group, owners of the SPAR franchise commented on the sponsorship, “We are delighted to be the title sponsor of the Omagh Half Marathon and 5K Run. At SPAR we are strong supporters of healthy lifestyles and we see our involvement with the Omagh Half Marathon as an embodiment of what SPAR stands for in relation to supporting local community initiatives.
“ We are proud to associate the SPAR Brand with what has become such a prestigious and well looked forward to event. As entries open, we would encourage people of all ages to get involved, whether it’s in the 5K fun run with family and friends or in the Half Marathon which will put your fitness levels to the test! Sign up today!”
In 2015 Omagh Half raised an amazing £4,500 for RNIB Northern Ireland, supporting people with sight loss. This year’s chosen charity will be Foyle Hospice who provide palliative and end-of-life care for patients suffering from Cancer.
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. Please note this year’s race will start at 11am since it is the busy Easter weekend.
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.