Scul­lion starts as favourite in mas­sive half marathon field

Belfast Telegraph - - SPORT - BY BRIAN HILL

STEPHEN Scul­lion, who was the first win­ner of the Deep River Rock Belfast City Half Marathon, is the mar­ginal favourite for Sun­day’s event (Ormeau Park, 9am) which has a huge en­try of 3,500.

Four years ago, Scul­lion dec­i­mated the op­po­si­tion to record a clear vic­tory by over a minute from An­nadale’s Ed­die McGin­ley.

How­ever, this week­end he faces a se­ri­ous chal­lenge from last year’s win­ner Freddy Sit­tuk of Kenya, who also took the ti­tle in 2014. The re­sult of this fas­ci­nat­ing bat­tle is hard to pre­dict but, on re­cent form, 28-year-old Scul­lion should have the edge.

In the three years prior to last spring, Scul­lion rarely raced and in­deed had con­tem­plated giv­ing up the sport. How­ever, the highly tal­ented ath­lete then came back with a vengeance to record an im­pres­sive per­sonal best of 2 hrs 18 mins in April’s London Marathon. Then last month he won the Frank Duffy 10 miles in Dublin in a fast 50 mins 36 secs.

Scul­lion main­tained this ex­cel­lent form with a su­perb 14th place in last Sun­day’s Great North Run in 65 mins 52 secs, which is his sec­ond fastest ever be­hind his Omagh Half win in 2013 of 64.46.

Sit­tuk is no stranger to the prov­ince with a Belfast Marathon vic­tory in 2014 plus those two wins in the Belfast Half.

In the ladies race Wil­low­field’s Amy Bul­man starts as favourite.

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