Belfast man Eddie Gallen will lead the Irish team as they take on the world in his home city at the 12th IAU World 24-Hour Running Championships with Schneider Electric on Saturday,July 1 in Victoria Park.

 For Gallen,54, who teaches in Madrid, this will be his 9th World Championship and his 34th 24-hour race.

 He will be joined in the 12-strong team of 6 men and 6 women, by another Belfast man ,architect Tim Brownlie,37, who will be making his international debut. And, he will,in turn, be joined  by his sister Susan McCartney. 

 McCartney,40, is a part-time primary school classroom assistant who lives in Berkshire, and- as part of their preparation - she will be running the Belfast marathon with her brother.

 Competing with McCartney in Victoria Park will be National 24-hr Champion Louise Smart,38. The BT engineer from Newtownabbey will be winning her first vest. It will be only her second 24-hr race. She covered 204kms(126 miles) in her first.

  Making a welcome return to the women’s team is Irish record holder Ruthann Sheahan,41. The quality engineer from Leap in west Cork came agonisingly close to a medal at the last World Championships in Turin two years ago before collapsing just 40 minutes from the end.

 The mens Irish record holder Eoin Keith,48, from Cork will also be there and he’ll warm-up by trying this week-end(April 29) to break the world record for running the 563kms(350 miles) approx from Mizen to Malin in under 4 days.

 Three of the team will travel long distances to take part:  Wexford paediatrician Yvonne Naughton,39 who is based in Seattle ;and Dubliners Daragh O’Loughlin,31, and Malcolm Gamble,49, both of whom live in Melbourne.

 The team is completed by Cork’s Aidan Hogan,44, Kilkenny’s Catherine Guthrie,45, and  Wicklow based Amy Masner,43, who first came to prominence when she ran 218kms(135 miles)in an indoor 24-hour race in Finland last year.

 Team manager John O’Regan says: “ It is very special for us to have the World Championships on our own doorstep in Belfast. And, as a reflection of that, this is the biggest and perhaps the strongest team we have sent to the Worlds - and one I am confident will give a good account of itself.”



Eddie Gallen (Captain),Eoin Keith,Aidan Hogan,Daragh O’Loughlin,Malcolm Gamble,Tim Brownlie.


Ruthann Sheahan,Amy Masner,Louise Smart,Yvonne Naughton,Susan McCartney,Catherin Guthrie.

 Support Crew

John O’Regan (Manager),Kevin Belton,Gary McConville,Liam Tilly,Louis Byrne,Philip Bourke.

 For information on the Irish team contact:

John O’Regan:

 For information on the World Championship contact:

Ed Smith, M: +447740818389






PRESS RELEASE 4: Volunteers sign -up for World 24-Hr Running Champs.

Some 40 volunteers signed up at last night’s(March 13) World 24-hr Championship Open Evening staged in the Skainos Centre in east Belfast close to the Victoria Park race course where the Championship will be held on July 1.

 They had gathered to hear information about the World Championship and to listen to National Champion and record holder Eoin Keith who had travelled up from Dublin to give away some of his ultra secrets on diet,training and racing.

 Local Organising Committee chairman Ed Smith says: “ We were delighted with the response on the night. It’s a great start but we reckon we’re going to need some 200 volunteers in total across all the different roles.”

 Those roles include drivers for the 40 plus nations who will be coming in from around the globe and need transported.

 Also , opening and Closing ceremonies teams; course set-up and clear-up teams; an admin team; a medical team;a media team ;translators; ambassadors and an athletes village team.


 For the first time the World 24-Hour Running Championships, to be staged in Belfast, Northern Ireland on July 1, will include age-groups.

This was agreed at the International Association of Ultrarunners(IAU) Executive Council meeting in Monaco with the World Masters Association(WMA).

 “ The inclusion of the age-groups is sure to increase the interest and intrigue in Belfast this summer,” says Local Organising Committee(LOC) chairperson Ed Smith. 

 “ Because of  a restriction on numbers on the Victoria Park course, the entry will be limited to athletes who will be selected for their national teams or who have already secured a place in the Open Race which will sit alongside the World Championship - but it presents  a great incentive to make it onto the podium and even capture a world age-group title,” he says.

 IAU General Secretary Hilary Walker, who is Project Coordinator for the Championship in Belfast, says: 

“We have held the WMA 100K Championships in conjunction with the IAU 100K World Championships  very successfully for the past few years.We are now extending the competitions to include the equally important 24 hours event as many oustanding athletes have requested this.  This will bring added excitement to the weekend“

 Brian Keaveney, Vice President for Competitions at the WMA says: “The 24 Hour Race is a first for the World Masters. We are excited to be part of the race and thrilled that our masters athletes have an opportunity to win medals in each of their 5 year age groups“.

 Details of how eligible athletes can opt into the age-groups will be announced at a later date . The cost of entry will be £15.

 The 12th IAU World 24-Hour Running Championships with Schneider Electric starts at noon on Saturday, July 1 in the regeneration docklands area of Belfast close to the Titanic Quarter. The Championship is run every two years and the ultra athletes are expected to go beyond 160 miles(257 km).

 2017 promises to be a big year for athletics in the British Isles with the IPC World Championships for Para athletes coming to the Olympic Park in London from July 15-23; to be followed by the IAAF World Championships from August 5-13.

 More information from : Ed Smith +447740818389 or ed_n_smith@


We're having an Open Evening on Monday March 13 from 6pm-8pm to give some detail surrounding the World Championship.

It's in the Skainos Centre,Newtownards Road, Belfast BT4 1AF.

There'll be an opportunity to sign on as a Volunteer and be part of the World Championship.

The guest speaker is National 24-Hour Champion Eoin Keith.

The running shoe experts from Pure Running will also be there to give some advise on footwear.

It's free, there are prizes to be won and you'll even get a cup of tea!


 Eoin Keith is from Cork. He lives in Rathfarnham,Dublin. He runs for the Sportsworld Running Club and is 48. He is the holder of multiple Irish records including the track 24-hour of 245kms(152 miles), the best time for 100 miles(16:05:00) and the Wicklow Way record. 

 In 2013 he became only the 4th person in history to run 300 miles in 3 days (Phoenix,Arizona) setting two new Irish records along the way. In the same year he was an age-group podium finisher at the UTMB(Ultra Tour du Mont Blanc). 

In 2014 he won the Sri Chinmoy 6 day race in New York.He ran 500 miles breaking the Irish 48-hour road record (217 miles/349kms.).

As an adventure racing team member he has placed high up at the Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge,the Eco Primal Quest in south Dakota ,the World Adventure Race World Championships in Tasmania and was second in the Turas Adventure Race. 

In 2009 he finished 5th at the World 24-Hour Championships in Bergamo,Italy. 

In 2016 he won the 268 miles(431kms) Montane Spine race across the Pennine Way. His time of 95hrs 43mins broke the course record by 15 hours. He also won the 190 miles(306kms) Northern Traverse in 51hrs 38 mins and 15 secs. In September he finished 8th at the 152 miles (245kms) Spartathlon from Athens to Sparta in 26 hrs 36 mins,17 secs.

He has won the National 24-Hour title on 3 occasions and is the defending Irish champion . 


Athletes who wish to be considered for the Irish National Team at the 24-hr World Championship in Belfast must fill in the National Team Declaration form as per the attached link.  Declaring an interest does not guarantee selection and those interested must be in possession of an Irish passport and also be a member of an Athletics Ireland / Northern Ireland affiliated club.

Selection criteria for Men is 220K and for Women it’s 200k.  This is in line with the International B standard and must have been achieved in an IAU labeled race.  Athletes must also be injury free and showing good current form.

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