FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Anne Donegan
Media Relations Officer
Belfast City Council
Tel: 028 9027 0646
25 years on the run – Belfast City Marathon
Belfast City Marathon is setting off on its silver anniversary run this
Mayday (Monday, 1 May 2006) and is calling for the community to get on
board the celebrations.
A new route takes the marathon back to the heart of the community, and onto
city streets to provide a sporting spectacle that it is hoped will be one
of the biggest birthday parties ever both for runners and spectators.
The marathon begins at Belfast City Hall at 9am on Monday, 1 May and this
year finishes at Ormeau Park where there will be entertainment, food,
funfair and an open air market. There will also be music at various points
along the route to lift the spirits of runners and spectators.
Belfast City Marathon Committee Chairman, Danny O’ Connor, said: "We want
this to be a major community event and are expecting more than 13,000
people to take to the streets in the marathon, relay race, fun run and
marathon walk so there will be plenty to keep people occupied and
"We have really taken on board what the community and competitors said to
us after last year’s event and implemented a number of changes to reflect
that. We have done a lot of work to provide a course that is safe for
runners but also accessible for spectators who are an important element in
keeping up the spirits of those on the 26 mile course.
"The new course is through city streets and Ormeau Park offers plenty of
space for spectators to cheer people on that last important mile. It also
offers opportunities for runners to shower and change.
"This is not just a Belfast event; it is one in which participants come
from far and wide and it is good for those who travel into the city on the
day to have opportunities to make it a fun day out for the whole family."
Another first for the marathon is a number of workshops being offered prior
to the event so people can seek advice on how best to prepare themselves,
plus there will be displays on the day of running paraphernalia.
Among the guests at the launch was the first ever woman to finish the
Belfast Marathon, Susan Boreham, the ladies winner in 1982. Belfast Lord
Mayor, Councillor Wallace Browne, who welcomed her said: “It is a year of
celebrations for Belfast with the City Hall Centenary and the Marathon 25th
anniversary and it is a pleasure to welcome someone who was in at the start
of one of those important events.”
This year’s prize list too has been increased with the first individual
across the line receiving £2,500 and with prizes then decreasing to £100
for 8th place; a £250 bonus prize is available to any male who breaks
2:14:00 and to any lady breaking 2:40:00 in the marathon.
The Fun Run event, which in 2006 benefits the charity, Northern Ireland
Mother and Baby Action, pushes off 20 minutes after the main event @ 9.20am
and is also likely to draw thousands onto the streets to support it.
The closing date for entry this year is Friday, 7 April and any entries
received after this are subject to a £10 late entry surcharge and no
entries will be accepted after 21 April, 2006.
More information, entry forms and advice can be found on the website