Continuing to build on its tradition of being the most open and accessible marathon in Ireland, the Bord Gáis Energy Cork City Marathon today unveiled the route for its inaugural half marathon. The new half-marathon route will allow more people than ever to participate in one of Ireland’s premier running events.
The 13.1-mile route starts on Skehard Road in Mahon and runs with the main marathon course along Ringmahon Road and Castle Road, as far as Blackrock Castle. Just before the castle, the half marathoners split from the main field and continue along Castle Road, into Blackrock Village and onto the Marina. The two fields merge again on the Marina and run the rest of the course together, taking the same route as last year to the finish line on St Patrick’s Street.
Speaking at the launch of the half-marathon route, Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Michael O’Connell, said that the goal of Cork City Council was to encourage as many people as possible to take part. “Finishing a marathon is an incredible achievement, but for many people, running, jogging or walking a half marathon or a leg of the relay is their personal goal. Together with our partners in Bord Gáis Energy, we’re looking to make the 2011 event the most accessible yet, and the addition of the half-marathon route opens up the marathon to a much wider audience.”
Ger Cunnigham, Bord Gáis Energy Sports Sponsorship Manager, said that the half marathon route acted as a step up for people who wanted more of a challenge this year. “The relay section of the event has become hugely popular, but the feedback from some runners was that they were looking for a step up in distance. The half marathon allows those people to take on more of a challenge, and for some to maybe build for the full marathon in 2012. It’s a great opportunity for people to test themselves before they get ready to take on the full 26.2 miles!”
Tim Lucey, Cork City Manager, said that the response to the half marathon was already ahead of expectations. “There has been a lot of excitement about the half marathon. We’ve already seen a surge of interest on the website, www.corkcitymarathon.ie, before we’ve even announced the route. This is a real indication that the new half-marathon section will be a very popular addition.“
People wishing to enter the full marathon, the half marathon or the relay can visit www.corkcitymarathon.ie. Participants entering before the 31st March can avail of the early bird entry fee. Concession fees are offered for those who are unwaged and in receipt of benefit. Further information is available on the website.
· 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
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.