FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Belfast Marathon looks to record breaking year
With just over three months to go, the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon
is looking forward to a record breaking year in 2008.
Not only are the race organizers expecting 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.
"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," Danny O'Connor, Chairman of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City
Marathon Organizing Committee.
"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
Among the local runners signed up is veteran marathon competitor, Peter
Ferris, from Coleraine, who has run some 296 marathons. This year, he has
set himself a new challenge, as May Day will see Peter and his friend,
Robert Robb, taking part in the first of six marathons in each of Northern
Ireland's six counties in just six days.
In addition to more money for local runners, there is an added incentive
for an elite athlete to break the existing course record in just over three
"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 in their pocket," said Danny O'Connor.
"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 – and we're looking at doing even
better this year."
The 2008 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon is sponsored by Belfast City
Council, Sport Northern Ireland, Up and Running, New Balance, Reach EPS,
Tayto, Translink, Eventsec and Isaac Agnew. Official broadcast partner is
U105 and accommodation provider is Premier Inn, which celebrates the first
anniversary of opening its first Belfast hotel on the eve of the Marathon.
The 2008 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon is organized by Belfast City
Marathon Ltd., in partnership with Belfast City Council, Athletics Northern
Ireland, 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, which is celebrating its centenary this year.
Visit www.belfastcitymarathon.com for full details of the 2008 Deep
RiverRock Belfast City Marathon, and to download your entry form.