Father and son aiming to set new combined world record

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A father and son from Maghera are hoping to set a Guinness World Record in this year’s Belfast City Half Marathon for a combined finishing time.

Former Irish Olympic marathon runner Tommy Hughes and his son Eoin are aiming for a time under two hours 20 minutes and 33 seconds.

The Deep RiverRock half marathon will take place on September 22, leaving the Ormeau Embankment at 9am.

Organisers are hoping the record can be broken as the 13.1 mile course, which weaves across Belfast, is mainly flat.

The current record was set on March 17 this year in the Reading Half Marathon by English father and son, Paul (46) and Josh (27).

“This is going to be a lot more challenging than the previous record held of two hours 24 minutes but thanks to my recent win in Lisburn, my half marathon PB is currently 69:14,” said 34-year-old Eoin.

“This should set us up nicely for the Belfast Half. My dad is breaking age category records, world records for 59 years old and over 55 Irish records.

“We are confident we can give this the best go possible and break the current Guinness World Record.”

His 59-year-old dad Tommy - once dubbed the ‘Marrakesh Express’ - has an impressive running career and continues setting records as a veteran athlete.

He has a marathon PB 2.13.59; ran for Ireland at the Barcelona Olympics 1992;holds Irish over 50s records for half marathon and marathon; holds Irish over 55s records 5km,10km, half marathon and marathon; holds age 59 world records for 5km, half marathon and marathon.

His recent PB’s are : Rotterdam marathon 2.30.15, Newry half marathon 71.58, Buncrana 5km 16.14.

Running for just over three years, Eoin is a member of Acorns AC and in addition to winning the Lisburn Half took first place in the recent Athletics Northern Ireland NI and Ulster 10,000m Championships.

The pair also hope to tackle the combined finishing time for the marathon world record which currently stands at five hours two minutes 12 seconds.

They are planning to target a marathon in the autumn.

The event organisers wish Tommy and Eoin the very best of luck for September 22 and are encouraging as many as possible to come out and support them on race day.

The event is expected to be a sell out for the third year in a row with a record number of participants anticipated (around 5,000).