FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Marathon heads to big 'Three-O'
The Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon will celebrate its 30th birthday
when it takes its starters' orders next May Day Bank Holiday Monday, 2 May
And to mark this very special anniversary, organisers are looking forward
to another record-breaking year.
"We have gone from strength to strength over the past decade, with our
entry numbers increasing every year," said Danny O'Connor, Chairman of the
Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon Organising Committee.
"In the past six years, we have more than doubled the number of people
taking part in the event, and in 2010 entry levels in some of our events
were up by between 20 and 33 per cent. A record-breaking 18,500 people
took part in the 2010 Marathon and all its associated events – and we're
very confident that we can break the 20,000 barrier in 2011."
Launching the 2011 event in the City Hall this morning (Tuesday 22 June),
the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Pat Convery, spoke of his high regard
for everyone who has taken part in the marathon over the years.
"It is hard to believe that it is some 29 years since Belfast City Council,
and our partners, took the decision to stage the first Belfast City
Marathon," he said.
"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 the Lord Mayor.
"While the marathon is undoubtedly a serious business, especially for
competitive runners, it is also about having fun and enjoying yourself –
whether you are a serious runner, or taking part in the relay with a team
of friends or just cheering the runners along.
"Belfast, quite rightly, is regarded as one of the world's friendliest
marathons, and runners from near and far are always encouraged by the
warmth of the support they find in all four corners of our city. Once
again, I would urge the people of Belfast to turn out and support the
runners on May Day – whether it be by offering a glass of water or a slice
of fruit, or merely an encouraging word," concluded Councillor Convery.
Danny O'Connor 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.
Such has been the huge success of the Marathon's fundraising efforts over
the years that, last year, we decided to support not one but two official
charities – and I'm delighted to say that we're doing that again in 2011,
with Macmillan Cancer Care and Transplant Sport UK," announced Danny.
John Coffey, Sports Sponsorship Manager with title sponsors Deep RiverRock,
said he was delighted that the water brand was continuing its partnership
with one of Northern Ireland's premier sporting events.
"We are delighted that Deep RiverRock is supporting the Belfast City
Marathon as title sponsor for the fifth consecutive year. This Marathon is
a well established event and we continue to work closely with the Marathon
organisers to build on the success of previous years.
"It is fantastic that the race attracts world class athletes to Belfast
along with inspiring so many local people to be active, whilst raising much
needed funds for extremely worthwhile charities."
Dominic Walsh, Chair of Sport Northern Ireland, is confident that the 2011
event will be even bigger and better than ever.
"Every year, the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon grows in strength and
stature and Sport Northern Ireland is once again delighted to be able to
support it. The event has secured its place in the hearts and minds of the
community as one of the biggest in the sporting calendar that can be
enjoyed by all – no matter what ability.
"It continues to be a great day out for all involved; competitors and
spectators alike. And I would also like to pay tribute to the unsung
heroes of the event, the volunteers. It is a definitely a step forward in
creating a healthier and more active society. I look forward to another
superb event, and would encourage as many people as possible to take to the
streets of Belfast, helping us to break last year's participation records."
The Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon is also sponsored by ASICS
sportswear, Belfast City Council, Charles Hurst, Sport Northern Ireland,
Tayto, Translink and Up and Running. Media partners are the Daily Mirror
and U105. Official accommodation partner is Premier Inn.
The 2011 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon is organised by Belfast City
Marathon Ltd., in partnership with Athletics Northern Ireland, Belfast City
Council, the Department for Regional Development, Newtownabbey Borough
Council, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Sustrans and Translink.
Entries for the 2011 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon have been open
since May. For further information, including online entry, training tips
and much more, log on to www.belfastcitymarathon.com.