21st Belfast City Marathon launched

The Belfast City Council has announced that next year’s date for the city’s marathon is to take place on May 6, 2002.

The annual sporting event which attracted 7,000 competitors last year, has taken on greater significance with the news that the Irish Marathon Championships will also be held as part of the 2002 Belfast City Marathon.

Danny O’Connor, Chairman of the organizing committee said: “This is going to be a truly exciting year for the Belfast City Marathon. The decision by the Amateur Athletics Association of Ireland to hold its Championships in Belfast for the first time is a tremendous vote of confidence in the event.”

Another major development for the 2002 Belfast City Marathon is a substantial increase in the prize money for female athletes, bringing them into line with their male counterparts. As a result the first female athlete to complete the 26.2 miles will receive £2,000, and the prizes for the other leading female finishers also will be increased incrementally.

“This is an extremely important step as far as the Belfast City Marathon is concerned,” commented Mr O’Connor. “Until now, the difference in prize money has reflected the difference between the numbers of male and female entrants. However, the experience of other marathons has shown that offering parity in terms of prize money attracts more female athletes, and therefore we agreed that this was a route along which we wished to progress.”

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