New addition of half marathon makes Cork the most accessible marathon weekend in ireland
Ireland’s greatest track and field athlete, and our Chef de Mission for the 2012 London Olympics Sonia O’Sullivan, swapped sunny Australia for wintery Cork this week to launch the 2011 Bord Gåis Energy Cork City Marathon. Organised by Cork City Council, with Bord Gáis Energy as the title sponsor, this year’s event sees two firsts – the introduction of a half marathon and confirmation that times run in the full marathon for 2011 will count as qualifier times for some of the most famous marathons in the world.
Heading into its fifth year, the ‘marathon for everyone’ continues the tradition of being as open as possible with the addition of a half marathon for the first time. Combined with the existing relay race, it means more people than ever will take part in the event on the 6th June.
Runners competing in the full marathon will now have an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) certified time to allow them to qualify for races such as Boston, New York and Berlin. This will be a draw to marathon runners from all over Europe and further afield.
Cork Lord Mayor Cllr Michael O’Connell said the event has established itself as a major weekend in the Irish sports calendar. “The 2011 Bord Gáis Energy Cork City Marathon will be a major sporting weekend for the city of Cork. The marathon, combined with the annual traditional rowing race, Ocean to City, taking place on Saturday the 4th of June, will see Cork become Ireland’s sporting capital for the June Bank Holiday Weekend.
“The people of Cork have taken the race to their hearts and we’re looking forward to record entries and record support for 2011. With the addition of the half marathon, and the continuation of the 50% discount for those in receipt of benefit, the Cork City event is the most accessible in Ireland.”
John Mullins, Chief Executive of Bord Gáis said: “We’re delighted with the introduction of the half marathon in 2011. The marathon is all about volunteers, runners raising money for charities of their choice and people achieving personal ambitions. The day itself is a fantastic experience that gets bigger and better every year. It is also a tremendous boost for business in the region and showcases the city at its best to runners and their families from all over the globe.”
Bord Gáis Energy Cork City Marathon Ambassador Sonia O’Sullivan said: the event has improved and expanded every year since its re-introduction in 2007 after a 21-year lapse. “IAAF certification is another major boost for the event and puts it firmly in the top bracket of marathons around the world. This will be my fourth return for the marathon. Last year I did fifteen miles of the course and even though the weather was at its worst the experience was all the more memorable for it. I’m looking forward to running again in 2011 and encouraging others to join me in doing so.”
City Manager Tim Lucey said: “As a committed runner myself, I’m delighted that Cork City Council will again organise and host this event and that Bord Gáis Energy have continued as the title sponsor. I am particularly pleased with the continued growth of the City Marathon and with the introduction of a half marathon. The success of the race is down to the support of a number of partners, not least Bord Gáis Energy. We also rely on the support of the Athletics Association of Ireland, the Cork Business Houses Athletics Association, the Gardaí, the Defence Forces, the Health Services Executive and almost 400 volunteers on the day.
“It’s a day when people push themselves to the limit,” continued Tim. ”Having run the marathon in 2010, I experienced the tremendous support from the people of Cork, which makes a huge difference for the runners. As the event continues to grow, that support will be needed more than ever.”
The Bord Gáis Energy Cork City Marathon is open to everyone over 18 and welcomes people from all walks of life and from different countries around the world. Participants can download and post their entry form or enter online at www.corkcitymarathon.ie.
Bord Gáis Energy CORK CITY MARATHON 2011
- Full Marathon (including wheelchair) 26.2 miles/42.195km
- Team Relay (for teams of up to 5 members). Stages are approximately: 5.2 miles (8.3km), 5.5 miles (8.9km), 5.8 miles (9.3km), 5.2 miles (8.4km), 4.5 miles (7.2km)
- Half Marathon 13.1 miles/21km
Details of the half-marathon course and starting times will be released shortly.
The Cork marathon course has always been measured by an Athletics Ireland certified measurer. For the 2011 race, the course will be measured by an IAAF-certified (International Association of Athletics Federation) measurer. This allows the Cork marathon to apply for membership of AIMS, the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races and ensures that times recorded at the Bord Gåis Energy Cork City Marathon can be used to qualify for some of the world’s leading events such as Boston, New York and Berlin.
For the 2011 race, we’ve developed a new online entry system that will reduce the bank and online-management fees from 7.5% in 2010 to 3.5% for 2011. It will now be cheaper to enter online than to complete a hard-copy entry form. Entry fee structure as follows:
|Until 31 March 2011||1-30th April||1-10th May|
|Online||Hard Copy||Online||Hard Copy||Online||Hard Copy|
A 50% discount applies to those in receipt of welfare benefit, not just unemployed, but is only available with the hard-copy entry form and must be accompanied by proof of status.
Sonia O’Sullivan Biog
Sonia O’Sullivan was born in Cobh on 28 November 1969. She is the greatest Irish Female athlete of all time and was one of the world’s leading female 5000m runners for most of the 1990s and early 2000s.
Her crowning achievements were a gold medal in the 5000 m at the 1995 World Athletics Championships and Silver medals in the 5000m at the 2000 Olympic Games and in the 1500 m at the 1993 World Championships. She has also won three European Championship gold medals and two World Cross-Country Championship gold medals.
On 8 July 1994, at Edinburgh, she broke the 2000 m world record, setting a time of 5:25.36. Incredibly, this record still stands today.
Her record is unmatched by any Irish Track and Field Athlete.
Since last year she has been working with the Olympic Council of Ireland in her role as Chef de Mission and is busy planning the preparations for London 2012.
“I have been to visit the Olympic Park and it is an inspiring place to visit for any athlete aspiring to be in the Olympics in London 2012 or beyond,” she says.
“This year I have focused a lot on Charity runs so the aim is always to run for a good cause and not necessarily a fast time, even though I time my runs every day still, but consider the running for enjoyment and just a great kick start to my day.”
“I have run in the Emer Casey fun run in Melbourne in aid of the Emer Casey Foundation which supports Ovarian Cancer research and also the Great North run where I started at the back of the field and passed 25,313 people in aid of Children’s Leukaemia Association. It was an adventure and a half. I ran 15 miles in The Bord Gais Energy Cork City Marathon.”