Thousands of runners are taking part in the Belfast City Marathon, as it returns to its traditional date during the May Day bank holiday weekend for the first time in three years.

The event was put on hold due to the pandemic but returned last October.

The marathon was first held in 1982 and is celebrating its 40th year.

Traditionally it takes place on the May Day bank holiday Monday but this year is being held on the Sunday.

The decision to change days was made in 2019, after a request from the Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce – it said the first May bank holiday should be a significant trading day and a Sunday event would boost visitor numbers.

However, the Covid-19 pandemic meant this is the first year the spring race is being held on the Sunday instead of the Monday.

The race started from Prince of Wales Avenue at the Stormont Estate at 9 am.

The 26.2 mile-long race will take runners across east, north, west and south Belfast, before finishing in Ormeau Park.

Roads along the route have been closed since 06:00 and will reopen again once all runners have passed.

A relay and wheelchair race is following the same route as the marathon, and there is also an eight mile (12.8km) walk.

Last October’s men’s marathon was won by Irish Olympian Mick Clohisey while while Fionnuala Ross was first in the women’s race.

It was Northern Ireland’s largest mass participation sporting event since the pandemic began and attracted a record number of entrants.

Good luck to all the runners.

Share |

Comments are closed.

BD Top 5
Email Us