Donadea Running Club host the National 50k championships again this year. The Kildare venue has a Forest Park setting and there are expected to be over 100 participants on Saturday morning next (Feb 16th). John Byrne will be on the start line to defend the title he won last year in 3:07:54. His other brilliant 50k last year was a 5th place finish (3:09:54) in the World Trophy on a very hot day in Italy last October. And a 2:36 finish in Dublin just over a week later. Training has gone well as he focuses on retaining his title. John will travel to Kildare just a few hours after the Western People Sports Star Awards on Friday night where he is due to be presented with the ‘Endurance’ award. He will face a formidable line up on Saturday morning. Among the starters will be Barry Minnock (Rathfarnham AC), second last year. He has had a brilliant 2012 which included four marathons including 2:17:40 in Hannover and 2:18:45 in Dublin where he was third Irishman. The Tullamore man will be hard to beat but the extra few miles (31.1) will test all marathoners especially early in the season. They will be joined by some of Ireland’s top ultra runners and it should be a fascinating contest. The course consists of ten 4.97k laps, plus a little bit extra at the start. But who will have that little bit extra at the finish? Best of luck, John!