Belfast City Marathon : Putting best foot forward for ‘Olympic’ Marathon effort

13 Sep 2011 09:16
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Press Release

Belfast City Marathon
Credit : Belfast City Marathon
Entries are already coming in for the 31st Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon, which gets under starters’ orders next May Day Bank Holiday Monday, 7 May 2012.

“This year was a record-breaking one for us in every way – but we’re not resting on our laurels,” said Danny O’Connor, Chairman of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon Organising Committee.

“We’re determined to build upon the huge success of our 30th birthday event to make 2012 even bigger and better. After all, it is the year of the London Olympics – so what better way to get into the Olympic spirit by taking part in the Belfast Marathon: as the Olympics motto goes, it’s all about the taking part,” enthused Danny.

In the past six years, we have more than doubled the number of people taking part in the event, and in 2011 entry levels in some of our events once again were up by between 20 and 33 per cent, resulting in a totally fantastic, record-breaking 20,000 people took part in the 2010 Marathon and all its associated events.”

Launching the 2012 event this morning (Tuesday 13 September), the Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile, spoke of his high regard for everyone who has taken part in the marathon over the years.

“More than 30 years ago, Belfast City Council, took the decision to stage the first Belfast City Marathon – and, over the intervening years, the event has gone from strength to strength,” he said.

“When other marathons fell by the wayside, Belfast continued to grow. Now, with the resurgence of interest in marathon running, we are benefiting from record entry numbers each and every year,” continued the Mayor.

“While the marathon is undoubtedly a serious business, especially for competitive runners, it is also about having fun and enjoying yourself – whether you are a serious runner, or taking part in the relay with a team of friends or just cheering the runners along.

“Belfast, quite rightly, is regarded as one of the world’s friendliest marathons, and runners from near and far are always encouraged by the warmth of the support they find in all four corners of our city. Once again, I would urge the people of Belfast to turn out and support the runners on May Day – whether it be by offering a glass of water or a slice of fruit, or merely an encouraging word,” concluded Councillor Ó Donnghaile.

Danny O’Connor also pointed out that the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon is the biggest single participatory sporting event in Northern Ireland.

“It is also one of the biggest charity fundraising events, with almost every runner or walker taking part to benefit their favourite charity. And I’m delighted to announce that, in 2012, we will be supporting the magnificent work of the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, as our officially nominated charity,” announced Danny.

John Coffey, Sports Sponsorship Manager with title sponsors Deep RiverRock, said he was delighted that the water brand was continuing its partnership with one of Northern Ireland’s premier sporting events.

“We are delighted that Deep RiverRock is supporting the Belfast City Marathon as title sponsor for the sixth consecutive year. This Marathon is a well established event and we continue to work closely with the organisers to build on the success of previous years.

“It is fantastic that the race attracts world class athletes to Belfast along with inspiring so many local people to be active, whilst raising much needed funds for extremely worthwhile charities.”

Dominic Walsh, Chair of Sport Northern Ireland, is confident that the 2012 event will be even bigger and better than ever.

“Every year, the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon grows in strength and stature and Sport Northern Ireland is once again delighted to be able to support it. The event has secured its place in the hearts and minds of the community as one of the biggest in the sporting calendar that can be enjoyed by all – no matter what ability.

“It continues to be a great day out for all involved; competitors and spectators alike. And I would also like to pay tribute to the unsung heroes of the event, the volunteers. It is a definitely a step forward in creating a healthier and more active society. I look forward to another superb event, and would encourage as many people as possible to take to the streets of Belfast, helping us to break last year’s participation records.”

The Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon is also sponsored by Belfast City Council, the Donnelly Group, Sport Northern Ireland, Tayto, Translink and Up and Running. Media partners are the Daily Mirror and U105. Official accommodation partner is Premier Inn.

The 2012 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon is organised by Belfast City Marathon Ltd., in partnership with Athletics Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council, the Department for Regional Development, Newtownabbey Borough Council, the Police Service of Northern Ireland and Translink. The official charity for 2012 is the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.

Entries for the 2012 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon have been open since May. For further information, including online entry, training tips and much more, log on to www.belfastcitymarathon.com