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Entries open for 2020 Belfast Marathon

December 2019 - South Side Advertiser

 At the launch of the 2020 Belfast Marathon are (from left): Kathryn Holland (Outdoor Events Manager of Cancer Focus NI), Rebecca McKinney (Cool FM Breakfast Show), May McFettridge (Ambassador for Cancer Focus NI), Paolo Ross (Cool FM Breakfast Show) and Louise Gilbert (Deep RiverRock)

The event organisers of the Belfast City Marathon have opened entries for the 2020 event, which will celebrate its 39th year on Sunday 3rd May. 

The event was launched in October by John Allen, chairman of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Olympia Leisure Centre in Belfast.

This year the marathon saw a record number of participants – an increase of more than 60% on 2018 - the launch of a new route, a new start location on the grounds of the iconic Stormont Estate and history was made by moving the event to a Sunday for the first time ever. 

Following this year’s race, the marathon organisers apologised to competitors after an extra 0.3 miles was inadvertently run due to “human error”, with the lead car diverting from the official route.

The event will take place on a Sunday again with a full line up of events to suit all levels of fitness including the Marathon and Wheelchair Race, the Team Relay, 8 Mile Walk and Fun Run.  

The same marathon route will be back with a few revisions, including a new Team Relay changeover point. 

A Fun Run of approximately three miles will start and finish in Stormont with transport provided for those wishing to go to the Ormeau Park finish. 

All other events will start in Stormont and finish in Ormeau Park.

The 2020 event will be working with Eventmaster who also provide an online registration service for the Dublin Marathon.

The marathon has been announced as a qualifying event for the first time in the AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Rankings, giving runners the chance to earn ranking points ahead of the world championships taking place in the spring of 2021.  Details can be found at

A new marathon development initiative has also been introduced in partnership with Athletics Northern Ireland called Marathon Potential 2024. 

Designed to feed into the ANI Podium Potential Programme and the Dublin Marathon Mission, it aims to identify athletes with marathon potential and will provide training and competition support.

John Allen, chairman of the Belfast City Marathon organising committee, said: “This was a record year for the event with around 5,000 taking part in the marathon alone. 

“With all the positive changes ahead and continuation of a popular Marathon Sunday option we look forward to seeing the event grow from strength to strength, attracting a wider audience from across the globe.” 

Hilary Hughes, marketing manager at Deep RiverRock, which is sponsoring the marathon, said: “We will be distributing our new 100% Recycled and Recyclable water bottles which are made to make a difference. We will work closely with Belfast City Marathon to ensure that all bottles used on the day are collected and recycled to reduce the impact on the environment.”

The official charity partner for 2020 is Cancer Focus Northern Ireland. 

Roisin Foster, chief executive of Cancer Focus NI, said: “Cancer Focus NI is delighted to have been chosen as the sole charity partner for the next two years for the Belfast marathon. All the money raised will stay in Northern Ireland and will fund a new research project looking at the treatment of esophageal and pancreatic cancer – two cancers which at present have very low survival rates.”

Entries are open at and can be made via mobile or desktop with an early rate available until 30th November. Details of the route can be found on the website.


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