International athletics will be returning to Letterkenny again this year, with the Letterkenny AC Sub 4 Minute Mile Challenge Event set for Saturday 2nd July. This event follows on from last year’s success where we witnessed exceptional performances from a host of world class athletes at the Danny McDaid Athletics Track. This will be the fourth staging of the event, which is going from strength to strength each year, and is sure to be one of the highlights on the Irish and international athletics calendar for 2016. The organisers will be hoping for meeting records, sub 4 minute miles, and qualification standards for the Olympic Games in Rio later in the Summer.
The men’s feature event on the programme will be the iconic distance of 1609m, the Mile. The 2014 race produced the first ever sub 4 minute mile on Donegal soil with double Olympian, Mexico’s Juan Luis Barrios marking his place in history by stopping the clock at 3:59.43. American Jon Peterson won last year’s race, narrowly missing out on breaking the 4 minute barrier with 4:00.41. To put the tough task of running a sub 4 minute mile into context, more individuals have climbed Mount Everest than have run under the magical 4 minutes for the mile. With Ireland’s rich tradition of great milers over the years such as Ronnie Delaney and Eamonn Coghlan, it makes the mile all the more appealing for Irish sports fans.
The womens feature event this year will no doubt again be the 3000m steeplechase. Who could forget the historic night we witnessed last July in Letterkenny when three Irish women etched their way into the history books. It was a night to remember for the trio of Kerry O’Flaherty, Michelle Finn and Sara Treacy with all three securing qualification standards for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Never before had three Irish women qualified for an Olympic Games at the same race meeting. The race, which was won by Jamie Cheever from the USA, also produced the 5 fastest times ever run on Irish soil in the steeplechase, creating an amazing atmosphere helped on by the roaring Letterkenny crowd.
The track and field programme will also feature a mens 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 3000m, javelin and high jump, and a womens 200m, 400m, 800m, and long jump event. European champions & medallists, World champions & medallists, and numerous Olympians have all graced the tartan track in Letterkenny in the past three years. The event would not be possible without the continued support of our sponsors, and it is exciting to look forward to Saturday 2nd July, where athletes from all over the World are set to compete. The action gets underway at the Danny McDaid track at 7pm, and it will be an evening of world class athletics not to be missed.
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