FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Belfast Marathon looks to record breaking year
The Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon is looking forward to a record
breaking year in 2008.
Not only are the race organizers hoping to attract a record entry of more
than 15,000 people on Monday 5 May, but they are openly challenging someone
to smash the record times.
The prize money for the May Day extravaganza also has been restructured, to
make it easier for local runners to go away with a cheque in their pocket…
and there is even an added incentive for those who get their entries in
"Get your entry in before 31 December and we'll knock ten per cent off your
fee," announced Danny O'Connor, Chairman of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City
Marathon Organizing Committee, at a press conference in the city centre
"We've also listened to the views of local athletes, and we've restructured
our prize fund to make it easier for them to get a share of the action, so
to speak," added Danny.
"Obviously, we'll still be seeking to attract some of the elite overseas
athletes, but we're making more money available to the ‘home' side, so
there are going to be more prizes, and so more incentives, for our own
"Our own Marty Deane's record of 2:15:51 has stood since 1986, while the
women's record of 2:41:33 was set just two years ago, by Ethiopian Lemma
Urge. The first runner to break either record in 2008, will go home with
an extra £1,000," said Danny.
Officially launching the 2008 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon, Lord
Mayor Jim Rodgers spoke of his high regard for everyone who has taken part
in the marathon over the years.
"I've always been in strong supporter of the marathon and I'm full of
admiration for anyone who goes out to run or walk for 26 miles through all
parts of our great city - north, east, south and west.
"Personally, even the thought of such an arduous task makes me feel
exhausted and I can imagine the effort everyone is going to put in to this
and congratulate them in advance for the sacrifices they make to do it,"
said the Lord Mayor.
"It is hard to believe that it is some 27 years since Belfast City Council
and Northern Ireland Athletics took the decision to stage the first Belfast
"Over the intervening years, the event has gone from strength to strength.
When other marathons fell by the wayside, Belfast continued to grow. Now,
with the resurgence of interest in marathon running, we are benefiting from
record entry numbers each and every year," continued Councillor Rodgers.
The Lord Mayor also pointed out that the Deep RiverRock Belfast City
Marathon is the biggest single participatory sporting event in Northern
"It is also one of the biggest charity fundraising events, with almost
every runner or walker taking part to benefit their favourite charity," he
The official charity for the 2008 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon is
the British Red Cross. Dr Joan Smyth, President of the British Red Cross
in Northern Ireland, expressed the hope that the 2008 marathon would raise
both awareness of and funds to support the work of the Red Cross here in
"Red Cross volunteers do such a great job day in and day out in our local
communities. The opportunity to be the marathon's charity partner for 2008
is a great morale booster and encouragement for them, and the money raised
will enable us to help even more vulnerable people in times of crisis."
Maire Campbell, Public Affairs and Communications Manager with title
sponsors Deep RiverRock, said:
"We are delighted to support the Belfast City Marathon for the second
successive year. We know that the 2008 event will be the best yet, and we
wish all the participants and organizers the best of luck."
The Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon is sponsored by Belfast City
Council, Sport Northern Ireland, Up and Running, New Balance, Tayto,
Translink, Eventsec and Isaac Agnew. Media partners are the Belfast
Telegraph and U105. Official accommodation partner is Premier Inn.
The Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon is organized by Belfast City
Marathon Ltd., in partnership with Belfast City Council, the Northern
Ireland Athletics Federation, Newtownabbey Borough Council, the PSNI, the
Department for Regional Development, Sustrans and Translink.
The official charity of the 2008 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon is
the British Red Cross.
Visit www.belfastcitymarathon.com for full details
of the 2008 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon.