Athlone AC members at last month's Tullamore Harriers Half Marathon, l-r: Benny McNamara, Lisa O'Rourke, Monika De Almeida, Theresa Hughes, Julie Maguire and Paddy Hamilton. Athlone AC will host is own half marathon on Sunday. Photo: Ger Rogers

Countdown continues to inaugural Athlone AC half marathon

This Sunday, September 24 will be a landmark day in the short history of Athlone Athletics Club which will host their inaugural half marathon and 10km races.

Both sold-out races will get underway at 10am and will start and finish at the TUS Midlands running track in Athlone. The Old Rail Trail greenway forms the main part of both race routes.

Both events start on the TUS Athlone Campus outdoor track. Runners will complete one full lap of the track before exiting the campus at the main gate.

Runners will then be directed onto the Old Rail Trail Greenway via the old Garrycastle Bridge. Half marathon runners will continue to the half marathon turn around point, and 10k runners will continue to the 10k turnaround point.

All runners (in both races) will complete a short (approximately 400 metres) add-on section on their return, before proceeding back to the TUS campus, entering by the Garrycastle gate and completing another full lap on the track before crossing the finish line.

Athlone Athletics Club says there will be ample car parking in the TUS campus, with extra car parking across from Smyth's toy store. A bag drop facility will be provided close to the start line. There will be toilet facilities in the college gym, with refreshments in the student hub after the race.

Highly rated athlete John Travers, who has represented Ireland, will be competing in the 10km race. John is a former student of what was known as Athlone IT.

There will be prizes for first, second and third (male and female) and prizes for first O40, O50, O60 (male and female) in both the half marathon and 10km events. And in the half marathon, there is a team event (male and female) for the Brian Garvey Trophy.

Athlone AC has thanked all sponsors for their support for the event, including: Spectrum Signs, Michael Cuddy & Co Chartered Accountants, Specsavers Athlone, Treasures (Irish Art & Antiques), Seery's Cash & Carry, Mark Nestor Property Services, Joe Naughton Auctioneer, Planalife, The Bounty, Kilroy Tyre Depot, Midland Print, Topline Heavin's, The Shack, Lear Beauty At The Sweeny , The Olive Bar, Kilmartin's N6 Centre and Supermac's, Athlone.

The establishment of the Athlone AC half marathon means the Athlone area will host its first such event since 2016, when the Athlone Flatline half marathon was last held. The Flatline half marathon proved a popular event in Athlone for five years and was held from 2012 to 2016.