Contact: Mark Ashby
Tel: 028 9027 0641
Fax: 028 9043 8075
NEW START FOR BELFAST CITY MARATHON
The 22nd Belfast City Marathon will start from in front of City Hall at
9.30am on Monday May 5 2003.
Organizers have decided to give the Marathon the biggest facelift in the
event’s history, bringing it into the City Centre by moving the starting
line from Maysfield Leisure Centre, and bringing forward the start time
from 12 noon to earlier in the morning.
The new look Belfast City Marathon, sponsored by Belfast City Council and
the Ulster Pork and Bacon Forum, will start against the backdrop of the
City Hall at 9.30am on May Day Bank Holiday (Monday May 5 2003). The
associated Wheelchair Marathon, Team Relay and Marathon Walk, will start at
the same time as the main event.
Runners will undertake a "lap" of City Hall, leaving Donegall Square North
into Donegall Square East, Donegall Square South, Howard Street, College
Square East and Wellington Place, back into Donegall Square North. From
there, the Marathon will go along Donegall Place, Royal Avenue and York
Street, where it will rejoin the old course at the junction of Great Patrick
Street. A few other minor adjustments are being made to the route, most
notably around the Lisburn Road/Malone Road stages, before the runners
return to the traditional finishing point at Maysfield Leisure Centre.
"This is perhaps the most significant development in the history of the
Belfast City Marathon," commented Danny O’Connor, Chairman of the Belfast
City Marathon Organizing Committee. "Bringing the Marathon start into the
City Centre is a hugely positive step forward, not only for the Marathon
itself, but for the City of Belfast as a whole. The change in time also
brings Belfast into line with other major marathons, such as Dublin and
London, which traditionally have enjoyed morning starts."
Another key element of Marathon Day is the Fun Run, which this year is in
aid of the Special Olympics World Games Host City Programme. The Fun Run
also will start from the front of City Hall, this time at 10am. The Fun
Runners again will pass around City Hall, via Donegall Square East and
Donegall Square South, before turning into Bedford Street, where they will
follow the old course to Stranmillis Road; at the bottom of Ridgeway
Street, the Fun Run will turn on to the Stranmillis Embankment, cross the
Ormeau Road and follow the Lagan Walkway to finish at Maysfield Leisure
Details on how to enter the 22nd Belfast City Marathon, sponsored by Belfast
City Council and the Ulster Pork and Bacon Forum, can be obtained from the
Marathon Office on Belfast +44 (0)28 9027 0345. Online entry also is
available at www.belfastcity.gov.uk/marathon.