18/01/2007

Belfast puts on its running shoes for Marathon effort

This year's Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon is to take place on May Day Bank Holiday Monday, on May 7.

The 2007 event – once again supported by Belfast City Council and the Sports Council of Northern Ireland – promises to be the biggest and the best yet, with a record number of runners and walkers expected to take to the city’s streets for the annual extravaganza.

The main Marathon, Marathon Relay, Marathon Walk and Wheelchair Marathon will start from the front of City Hall at 9am on May Day Bank Holiday Monday, with all events finishing in Ormeau Park. The Fun Run will start from the front of the City Hall at 9.20am, and also finish in Ormeau Park.

The main Marathon will continue to cross the city running through east, west, north and south Belfast, with only a couple of minor changes made to the route taken by a record 13,700 participants in 2006.

Danny O’Connor, Chairman of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon organizing committee, said: "There will be an additional half mile or so in Newtownabbey area just before Gideon’s Green and a corresponding reduction at the end of the course.

“Instead of running through Ormeau Park for the last mile, after the Ravenhill Road section we will now run along Ormeau Embankment and finish on the driveway to the Indoor Tennis Arena."

Launching the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon, Lord Mayor Pat McCarthy spoke of his high regard for everyone who has taken part in the marathon over the years – and those who will do so again in a little under three months’ time.

"I’ve always been in strong supporter of the marathon and I’m full of admiration for anyone who goes out to run or walk for 26 miles through all parts of our great city - north, east, south and west.

"Personally, even the thought of such an arduous task makes me feel exhausted and I can imagine the effort everyone is going to put in to this and congratulate them in advance for the sacrifices they make to do it."

Maire Campbell, Public Affairs and Communications Manager with Deep RiverRock, said: "We are delighted to support the Belfast City Marathon and we wish all the participants and organisers the best of luck."

The official charity of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon is the Down’s Syndrome Association.

For further information, including online entry, visit www.belfastcitymarathon.com

(EF)

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