Putting best foot forward for Marathon effort

15 Sep 2012 12:00
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Press Release

Entries are already coming in for the 32nd Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon, which gets under starters’ orders next May Day Bank Holiday Monday, 6 May 2013.

“It is hugely encouraging that we already have several hundred people to take this coming year,” said Danny O’Connor, Chairman of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon Organising Committee.

“The huge success of this year’s London Olympics has spurred many people into taking up a sport, a new challenge – and what bigger challenge can there be than to complete a marathon,” 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 2013 event this morning (Thursday 13 September), the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alderman Gavin Robinson, 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 running – especially as a cheap and efficient way of getting and staying fit – we are benefiting from record entry numbers each and every year,” continued the LordMayor.

“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 Alderman Robinson.

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 2013, we will be supporting the magnificent work of Cancer Focus Northern Ireland, as our officially nominated charity,” announced Danny.

Joyce Savage, Head of Appeals and Marketing with Cancer Focus, responded:

“We are absolutely delighted to have been selected as the new charity partner for the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon 2013 and encourage everyone in the community to join in. Whether you walk it, run it or sponsor someone, your help and support are invaluable, so please sign up today.

“Cancer is one of the biggest killers of men in Northern Ireland. Every year 5,794 are diagnosed with cancer – that is 22 men every working day. These men are our dads, husbands, brothers, sons and friends, and sadly 2,000 of them die of cancer each year. We will be spending all the sponsorship money raised from the marathon on our Men’s Health campaign, which aims to raise awareness and reduce men’s risk of developing cancer later in life. So, why not help us and ‘Run it for yer man’?”

John Coffey, Sponsorship Manager with title sponsors Deep RiverRock water, 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 title sponsor of the Belfast City Marathon for the seventh consecutive year. This marathon showcases the very best of what Belfast City has to offer, making it an outstanding community event both for the running world and the people of Northern Ireland, whilst raising money for very worthwhile charities.”

The Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon is also sponsored by Belfast City Council, Podium 4 Sport, Saucony, Sport Northern Ireland, Tayto and Translink. Media partners are the Daily Mirror and U105.

The 2013 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 2013 is Cancer Focus Northern Ireland.

Entries for the 2013 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon have been open since May, with almost 400 participants already registered. For further information, including online entry, training tips and much more, log on to www.belfastcitymarathon.com