Press Release

Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon launches its "Virtual Marathon Distance Run"

05 May 2020 16:00
Jean-Loup Fenaux

This morning, over 12,000 people should have gathered along the start line at Stormont Estate to take on their Marathon Run, Team Relay, 8 Mile Walk or Fun Run challenge. However with COVID-19, the organisers had to reschedule the event to Sunday 20th September 2020 which they are very excited about.

In its absence and for the first time in 39 years, Belfast City Marathon Ltd have decided to “run” a Virtual Marathon Distance Run, where everyone can get involved by walking, jogging or running the 26.2 miles safely.

Online entries will open on Thursday 7th May* 2020 at and participants will have less than 9 weeks to complete the challenge, following local Government Guidelines for exercise and social distancing, before submitting your results on or up to Wednesday 30th June 2020.

*Final date for registration is Friday 19th June 2020.

John Allen (Chairman of Belfast City Marathon Ltd) said:

We are delighted to launch our first virtual run which will enable everyone to get involved safely. It is important at this time that we try to keep some type of routine and we believe that this event can help motivate people physically and mentally. Our Official Charity, Cancer Focus NI are feeling the pressure of COVID-19 and it is important therefore that they continue to receive donations to keep their services “running”. As such, proceeds from this event will be donated to them but we also ask for everyone to try and donate some monies for them, regardless of how small or big it is all needed.

Roisin Foster, CEO, Cancer Focus NI, said:

Our income has plummeted to a critically low level due to COVID-19 and we are worried that we will not be able to keep afloat. We fear we might not be here to continue to support thousands of people at one of the toughest times of their lives. For each day of lockdown, another 36 local people get cancer, and cancer figures are rising year on year.

We are still providing greatly reduced counselling and family support services to as many vulnerable people as possible. But we urgently need the help of the general public. We are delighted that Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon are launching this new Virtual Marathon Distance Run and we would hope that everyone at home will get involved and make a donation to Cancer Focus NI to save our services.

Every donation is vital to us at the moment and every penny raised stays here in Northern Ireland.

The entry fee for the event is £15 and all participants will receive a medal and a complimentary Cancer Focus NI T-shirt. There is also an option for participant to purchase an event tech t-shirt at £5.

Ready to take on the challenge and mark yourself down as a virtual competitor?

Entries can be made via mobile or desktop at Final entry will be on 19th June 2020.

The Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon is sponsored by Deep RiverRock, Athletics Northern Ireland, Daily Mirror, Belfast City Council, Decathlon, Better, Cool FM (Downtown Radio and Downtown Country), Translink, SPAR, Belfast Live, Framar Health, Tayto and Four Star Pizza. This year’s official charity is Cancer Focus Northern Ireland.