The 29th running of the Streets of Galway 8K road-race will take place at 7pm on Saturday.
Sponsored by local company Kearney Cycles, the Streets of Galway is once again expected to produce another night of exciting road racing with some strong fields assembled for the event.
In the men’s race, both Seán Hehir (Rathfarnham WSAF ), the current national marathon champion, and national half marathon champion Mick Clohisey (Raheny Shamrock AC ) make their "Streets" debuts and are sure to be involved at the business end of the race. Hehir is shortly due to contribute to the Irish marathon challenge at the upcoming European Championships in Zurich ,while Clohisey has been a regular winner on the local road-racing circuit (Athenry 10K, Craughwell 10M ) over the past couple of years and is also the current national 10,000m champion on the track .
They can expect strong challenges from Ger Gallagher (sixth last year ) and Shane McNulty (both Finn Valley AC ), Paul O'Connell (Sportsworld AC ), and Shane Simcox (Mallow AC . The returning Paddy Hamilton (Annadale Striders AC, Belfast ) finished a strong second in 2012 as well as fourth last year and will surely also be in the mix again this year.
Another debutant, Martin Fagan from Mulligar Harriers AC, is in top form at present.
Local hopes rest on serial winner of the local road-racing circuit and GCH runner Matthew Bidwell, who will be looking to go better than his sixth place finish from 2012.
Other local athletes expected to run strongly include Owen Byrne, John Greaney (eighth last year ) and John Moroney (all GCH ), as well as Jason Broderick of Craughwell AC and Ray Somers Athenry AC.
In the women's race, a very exciting showdown is in prospect with the return of the 2012 champion and Irish Olympian Maria McCambridge (Dundrum South Dublin AC ). With the return also of Teresa McGloin (Finn Valley AC ) to the "Streets" again this year, spectators may enjoy a repeat of the famous sprint finish between the two in 2010 when Teresa claimed first place by the narrowest of margins.
Others tipped include Aoife O'Leary (Sportsworld AC ) and the Crusaders’ Aoife Quigley, Orla Drumm and Ilona McIlroy. The local challenge is likely to come from GCH's Regina Casey and Athenry AC's Jane-Ann Healy.
Last year's course has been retained this year, with race headquarters and the finish at South Park. The start line is just off Fr Griffin Road. Runners are asked to assemble at South Park/Claddagh Hall pre start, from 6pm, where they will be led to the start line.