Two weeks to go...
Two weeks to WHM race day and excitement is building with entries finally closing on Wednesday next 22nd August...if you are not yet signed up get online now and DO IT!!!!
Runners of all abilities will line up, 2000+ of them, 5 minute milers to 15 minute milers, and all with an ambition to deliver big performances as they battle to the finish in St Columbs Park.
So, are the existing course records under any threat?
The current course introduced in 2015 has records which are quite challenging.
Mick Clohisey of Raheny Shamrock, Dublin, ran an eye catching 65m 8secs in 2015 and local City of Derry Spartans star Catherine Whoriskey, posted an impressive 77m 52s in 2016.
Excellent times but both are beatable of course and there have been faster winning WHM clocking down the years since 1981. Remember the course did change a few times but the original out and back course between St Columbs Park and the Airport produced a series of very quick times for the 25 years that course was used. (1981 to 2005)
Eithiopian Fekadu Digefu remains the fastest ever with a brilliant 63m 33s in 1992 and three in a row female winner, the late Ursula Noctor of Dublin City Harriers produced a cracking 73m 16s in 1991.
Who can challenge the current course records this September?
Well Stephen Scullion, former North Belfast Harrier, and Gideon Kimosop, the Project Africa Kenyan who is no stranger to these parts, both have faster PB's and with good conditions and their racing heads on, could push close to a sub 65m run. For the women,Anne Marie McGlynn won in 2013 and 2014, posting a 77m 21s winning time in 2014 and has the ability to get close to that again this time.
This trio is the class of the field so far but with a few days left to enter we may well be adding a few more names to the real sharp end of the race.
Behind them look out for local stars like Scott Rankin, Declan Reed and Mark Long to contest the other male podium places with substantial sub 70 minute runs and the in form Springwell lady Ciara Toner, to go after her first sub 80 minute finish over the distance.