THERE are now less than two weeks to the big race and it looks like there will be over a 100 competitors in the third running of the O’Brien Challenge 26 Kilomathon on September 15. Christopher McPeake is still the favourite, having won it for the last two years, but he may find it a lot harder this year with a few very strong athletes committed to the race.
Karen Alexander who missed last year’s race, having won it the first year, will start as favourite in the women’s category but last year’s winner Denise Mather from Newry City Runners will not be letting her have it her own way, while third position is up for grabs between 3/4 athletes.
Back in the men’s race The Legend Tommy Hughes has said he could be a starter so that could make it a good race to watch. Alistair Steel could be another man to watch and there could be a surprise couple of runners from down South having there first outing in the Sperrins.
The Hi-tec t-shirts are looking good, goodie bags are ready, medals and trophies are in, and Charis house is ready to go. Registration will start at 11am at Charis house with the race starting at 1pm down at Lough Fea and will head out onto the Slaght Road and then take a left to the Spawell Road, where you will run just over 2 miles over rolling hills and then take a right into Davagh Forest where you will run just over 10 miles on Mountain Bike Trails and walking trails.
There will be refreshments afterwards up in Charis House. Organiser David O’Brien said he hoped to see a good crowd of athletes. He thanked his three main sponsors - Steelweld Fabrications Ltd, Performance Nutrition >Plus and Small & Hyland Chartered Accountants, without whom there would be no race.