FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mark Ashby
Media Relations Officer
Belfast City Council
(028) 9027 0641
(077) 1114 1992
Marathon continues to break records
Almost 14,000 people will take to the streets of Belfast this coming Bank
Holiday Monday – for the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon.
Entry numbers are slightly up on last year's 25th anniversary event, as the
Marathon continues to grow and to smash records.
And another record could be broken on Monday (7 May) – that set by
Belfast's own Marty Deane more than two decades ago.
Kenya's Stephen Ndungu returns again to defend his title, having produced
an inspired performance just under 2 hours 17 minutes this time last year –
just over a minute longer than Deane's record-setting performance in 1985.
Ndungu will start this year's event as favourite again, although he is
unlikely to approach his personal best time of 2 hours 10 minutes when
finishing runner-up in Los Angeles four years ago. However, he is unlikely
to enjoy a repeat of his five minute winning margin as the evergreen John
Mutai, also of Kenya, also will be taking the start line.
Forty-year old Mutai has proved that age is no barrier to success: three
months ago he ran less than 2 hours 19 minutes time for a top 12 place in
the Bombay Marathon. The 1999 Dublin Marathon winner is probably better
known for his numerous top the finishing positions in the Great North Half
Marathon Run - his most memorable performance being a world ranking sub-61
minutes win in 1999.
All in all, the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon should be a
fascinating contest between the two Kenyans.
In the women's event the field should be lead by Ethiopia's Marashet Jumma,
who recorded a respectable 2:38:4 for fourth place in Bombay in January.
Her personal best of 2 hours 37 minutes should be sufficient to fend off
the challenge of 20-year Ukrainian Kateryna Karmanenko, who was third in
her National Championships last October in 2 hrs 46 minutes.
Race Manager, Seamus Rooney, expressed delight at the continuing huge
interest in the various Marathon events. Last year, the 25th birthday
event attracted almost 14,000 participants, including 1800 five person
"Entries for the Marathon and the Marathon Walk have increased again while
the Relay and Fun Run are comparable to last year. The course changes we
introduced last year proved a huge success. This year there will only be
one minor change, with the event finishing at the Indoor Tennis Centre in
The main Marathon, Marathon Relay, Marathon Walk and Wheelchair Marathon
will start from the front of City Hall at 9am this coming May Day Bank
Holiday Monday (7 May), with all events finishing in Ormeau Park. The Fun
Run will start from the front of the City Hall at 9.20am, and also finish
in Ormeau Park.
The Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon is sponsored by Belfast City
Council, the Sports Council of Northern Ireland, Up & Running, New Balance,
bmibaby, U105, Tayto and Lindsay Cars.
It is organized by Belfast City Marathon Ltd., in partnership with Belfast
City Council, the Northern Ireland Athletics Federation, Newtownabbey
Borough Council, the Police Service, the Department for Regional
Development, Sustrans and Translink.
The official charity of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon is the
Down's Syndrome Association.
For further details on this year's Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon –
including information on the route, pack collection, etc. – visit