Athletes flock to Northern Ireland this week in search of quick 5km and 3km times

There will be no love lost between rival runners at the Armagh international road races on Thursday (February 14).

The event is poised to celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2020 and over the years it has forged a reputation as a place to run super-fast times.

The Brooks Armagh 5km in 2018, for example, saw 95 men break the 15-minute barrier, while the Intersport women’s 3km regularly features a host of PBs and quick times.

This year should be no different as the 2018 men’s winner Sam Stabler returns to defend his title.

Stabler (pictured above) faces Charlie Hulson, Jonny Mellor, Kieran Clements, Phil Sesemann, Luke Traynor, Richard Allen and others in a strong line-up, while an international entry includes Matt McClintock of the United States, Krystian Zalewski of Poland and Yannick Michiels of Belgium.

Kate Avery, Steph Twell, Jess Judd and Lauren Heyes will feature in the women’s 3km along with Amy Griffiths, Emma Mitchell, Claire Duck, Alex Bell, Iona Lake, and Katie Snowden.

The races attract 800m runners such as Bell through to marathoners like Mellor, with the latter among several athletes who are using Armagh as part of their build-up to the Virgin Money London Marathon.

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