Marathon Season Fixtures

For the runners among us, brighter days and hints of spring can mean only one thing; it's time to get the trainers as on as marathon season is just around the corner.
Northern Ireland is filled with avid runners, and their healthy hobby becomes more obvious every year as we edge towards the summer months, when it seems everyone swaps the treadmill in favour of the open road and fresh air.
The region boasts multiple races with distances for all abilities, including 5K, 10K, half marathon and that epic 26.2 mile challenge.
Whether you're a fair-weather runner, are hoping for a personal best or simply want to avoid the traffic disruption, our guide to the local running calendar will have you covered.

Spar Craic 10K
Kicking off this year's race season is the sixth annual Spar Craic 10K that sees almost 2,000 runners take to the streets of Belfast on St Patrick's Day.
Leaving City Hall at 9am, this fixture is described as Belfast's first urban run.
Where? Belfast City Hall
When? 17 March, 9am
Price: £25
Online entries close on March 08, with only late registrations accepted after that date by calling 028 90 611 916.
Click here to register.

P&O Antrim Coast Half Marathon
Formerly known as the Larne half, the P&O Antrim Coast Half Marathon is one of the flattest and fastest courses in the UK and Ireland.
The scenic route takes in many prominent features along the Antrim Coast Road, including landscapes used for the filming of HBO's hit fantasy series Game of Thrones.
Where? Larne
When? 21 March 2020
Click here for online registration.

Spar Omagh Half Marathon
The 31st Spar Half Marathon & Fun Run in Omagh will this year be held on Saturday 28 March, another early race that's perfect for those training for a full marathon.
After starting off as a 10 mile race in 1981 it was increased to a 13.1 mile challenge in 1887 and remains a popular event in the Co Tyrone town, with over 4000 runners competing in April 2019.
This year's nominated charity is the Air Ambulance NI.
When? Saturday 28 March
Half Marathon (Run), £30.00
Half Marathon (Wheelchair), £30.00
Half Marathon (Walk), £20.00
5k Run, £10.00
Entries close on Tuesday 24 March at 6pm. Further information and online registration is available online.

Gortin 10k & 5k
Set in the breathtaking Gortin area just outside of Omagh, the 5k and 10k fixture is ideal for those motivated by stunning scenery.
It offers both a running and walking option to cater for all abilities.
When? Saturday 25 April, 12 noon
Where? Beginning from the top of Main Street
10K Chipped Run, £12
5K Chipped Run, £7
5K Walk, £5
Contact Kerry Crawford on 02881648261 or email gortinfunrun@outlook.com for more information.

Belfast City Marathon, Sunday 03 May
The main event for many keen runners or an ideal course for a first marathon challenge, Belfast City Marathon has grown in popularity since it was first launched in 1982.
The race moved to a Sunday for the first time ever in 2019 and also changed to a flatter and faster course, starting at the Stormont Estate and spanning all corners of the city before finishing at Ormeau Park.
It will return this year on Sunday 03 May.
Last year's race saw a record 4,800 marathon entrants while a further 14,000 took part across the team relay, fun run and 8 mile walking events.
The team relay is a popular choice, with around 2,400 teams and 12,000 competitors taking part in 2019. It follows the same route as the main marathon run and wheelchair race.
Perfect for those beginning their running interest, the 26.2 miles are divided into legs spanning 4 miles to 6.9 miles. As the name suggests, it is very much a 'team' based activity rather than competitive, with many groups of friends, work colleagues or schools combining their efforts to raise funds for charity.
Meanwhile, the 8 mile walk is a non-competitive event designed for ramblers and hikers. It follows a similar route as the main marathon, wheelchair race and team relay event. Whether you are part of a walking club or want to set a realistic health and fitness goal for 2020, the buzz of race day and being part of the biggest mass sport participatory event in Northern Ireland is an opportunity many simply can't refuse.
The fun run is around 2.5 miles long and an ideal choice for families to enjoy. Many mums and dads also chose to run with buggies in the short race, which starts at 9am shortly after the main event.
When? Sunday 03 May, 9am
Where? Start line: Stormont Estate
Entries: Registration is now in it's final stages and closes on 10 April 2020.
Marathon: £65
Team relay: £140
8 mile walk: £40
Fun Run: Adult- £16, Child- £14.
Click here to register.

Bob & Berts North Coast 10k & 5k
An evening race in the picturesque setting of Portrush, this year's North Coast 5k and 10k is set to be the biggest yet.
The event began seven years ago to raise money for the Sports Academy George, an initiative that supports underprivileged communities in South Africa.
Participants in the event won't only be taking on an exciting challenge for the good of their health, but will be helping to educate and empower pupils with every step.
When? Friday 26th June, 7.30pm
Where? Watersports centre, East Strand, Portrush
Youth (10+) 5k early bird, £13
Youth (15+) 10K Early Bird, £15
Adult 10K Early Bird, £18
Adult 5K Early Bird, £13
Online entries are available here.

Belfast City Half Marathon
Around 6,000 participants are expected to set off on a 13.1 mile journey from Ormeau Embankment this September in a bid to complete the largest Half Marathon event in Northern Ireland, the 8th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon.
A hugely popular event, this race sells out weeks in advance so those considering taking on the challenge are encouraged to complete their registration as soon as possible.
When? Sunday 20 September
Where? Ormeau Embankment
Entries £32, open until 28 August.
Take the plunge and sign up online.

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