28/06/2018

Belfast City Marathon To Be Run On A Sunday

Belfast City Marathon will take place on a Sunday in 2019, after Belfast City Council agreed to back recommended changes to the event.

Councillors on the City Growth and Regeneration Committee backed changing the day of the race at a meeting on Wednesday night, where they also heard proposals on new routes, including a city-wide circuit.

Chair of the City Growth and Regeneration Committee and SDLP councillor for Balmoral Donal Lyons said: "The marathon is a fantastic event for both runners and those cheering them on. I'm delighted that the committee tonight agreed to endorse the new route and the change of day.
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"The route has changed quite a bit and spans all parts of the city. Starting in Stormont the marathon will sweep through the city to the Ormeau Road, curve south to include the Lisburn Road and Finaghy. It then heads up to Andersonstown Road, onto the Falls and across the Shankill to the Crumlin Road before heading back to the city centre. Ultimately the marathon will end as before in Ormeau Park and I have no doubt that the Ormeau area will continue to provide the festive atmosphere of previous years.

"As well as the direct benefits the marathon brings in terms of promoting healthy living and athleticism it benefits the city in wider ways. Participants in the marathon raise over £1 million per year for charity and it attracts participants from as far away as Australia and New Zealand.

"Allowing the bank holiday Monday to be set aside for recovery will no doubt be welcomed by local participants but it will also make it easier for people to travel to Belfast, stay the few days and make a weekend out of it. The local shops along the route will also benefit from increased footfall and the festive atmosphere.

"While the final stamp of approval is due to be given on Monday night at the full Council meeting, I have no doubt that this good piece of news will be seen for what it is. The volunteers who organise the marathon do a fantastic job and deliver a world class professional event every year without fail, and I'm confident the Council recognises this."

(MH/LM)

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