One of the biggest events on the local athletics calendar, the Strabane Lifford Half Marathon and 5k, will return for a fourth successive year on Sunday May 14th.
The cross border event has proven popular with seasoned and novice runners alike in recent years with runners from all over Ireland and beyond joining the sizeable local entry in the 1,200 strong field.
Organisers Derry City and Strabane District Council, in association with Lifford Strabane Athletics Club, have opened registrations this week and runners can avail of a special 'Early Bird' discounted rate of £17 until Sunday March 19th.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Hilary McClintock, officially launched the event on Monday night at the Melvin Centre in Strabane where she encouraged local runners of all levels to get involved.
"The Strabane Lifford Half Marathon has firmly established its position as one of the biggest and most popular events on the local athletics calendar since it was first held in 2014," she said.
"Every runner will have set their own targets but whether you are aiming to beat your personal best, place in one of the categories or simply get to the finish line it should be a day to remember.
"The 5k event that runs in tandem with the main race offers a manageable alternative for runners who aren't ready for a Half Marathon, so no matter what your level there's an opportunity to get involved."
Events Officer at Derry City and Strabane District Council, Liz Cunningham, encouraged runners to register early to avoid disappointment.
"The Half Marathon gets more popular every year and, with the Walled City Marathon taking place three weeks later, it is particularly popular with runners preparing for that and other full marathons," she noted.
"There is still time to begin your training no matter what your level and EBA's 10 week Couch to 5k programme is a great way to prepare for the shorter race under the watchful eye of our coaches.
"I'd like to wish everyone taking part good luck with their preparations and we look forward to seeing you on May 14th."
The EveryBody Active Walk, Jog, Run Clubs' Couch to 5k programme starts on February 27th in the Melvin and Templemore Sports Centres.
The Templemore classes are from 6pm to 7pm on Mondays and Wednesdays while the Melvin Centres' will run from 7pm to 8.15pm on Mondays and admission for each class is £2.
All Half Marathon entrants must be 18 or over on the day of the race. Race Packs can be picked up at the Melvin Sports Complex on Friday 12th May 6pm - 9pm, Saturday 13th May 9.30am -12.30pm.
Registrations for the races are now open at www.derrystrabane.com/halfmarathon.
The race will cost £22 when the Early Bird offer ends on Sunday March 19th while the 5k entry fee is £6.
For further Information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or Derry City and Strabane District Council Tel: 028 71 253253.