Runners looking forward to new race courses

City of Derry Spartan Declan Reed is likely to run in this year's Waterside Half Marathon.
City of Derry Spartan Declan Reed is likely to run in this year's Waterside Half Marathon.

Two long established and very significant road races, City of Derry Spartans annual Dessies Run and the Council led Waterside Half Marathon are beginning to loom large in the thoughts of local road runners and joggers, as the 25th August and 6th September respective dates draw closer.

The local pavements, parks and greenways abound with runners of all descriptions and many of them have Dessies and the WHM in their sights.

Eight weeks to the Dessie’s 10k and nine weeks to the 13.1 mile WHM and while entries for the latter have been available online since early June, the Dessie’s Run entry process will open this Monday July 6th.

To enter simply send your name, club if any, age on race day and T-shirt size to dessierunentry@gmail.com.

The entry fee is £10 and this can be paid when the race pack is collected on the day at race HQ in the U3A Foyle building in the Gransha grounds between 6pm and 7pm on Tuesday 25th July. With T-shirts on offer to the first 150 entrants early entry is advised.

On the day entries will also be taken there at the same time and the race will start at 7.15pm sharp with a new course set to be introduced this year.

The race will still start and finish in Gransha but will now take in the Greenway between Gransha and St Columbs Park, courtesy of the new Phase 3 extension and there is a guarantee that the currently locked Gate will be open to facilitate the runners on 25th July.

Dessie’s Run of course is an ideal pre Waterside Half Marathon outing and the Council led classic on Sunday September 6th also boasts a new course this year as the race returns to its roots in St Columbs Park.

The Foyle Arena will host the Waterside and the start will be from the adjacent Ebrington site with a finish in the natural amphitheatre of the St Columbs Park running track.

The new route takes in the original Limavady Road opening section, ducks under the Foyle Bridge into Gransha before returning to cross over the Foyle Bridge en route to the Bay Road Park. It’s then up the Greenway from Fort George and onto the road, beyond the Council Offices to head along Queens Quay, the Foyle Embankment and Foyle Road.

A left at Coshowen back onto the Greenway and back past the Railway Museum to cross the Peace Bridge and enter St Columbs Park for the final 300 metres or so on the Track.

A very runnable new course and it has already caught the imagination of many runners as entries have been pouring for the 2015 edition of the WHM, which first burst on to the city streets way back in 1981.

Make sure you get on board early as there is a strict entry limit and a 21st August closing date for both the full Half Marathon and the 3 Person Team Relay with each team member running a leg of approximately 4.5 miles.

For details and online entries go to www.WHM15.com or e-mail halfmarathon@derrycityandstrabanedistrict.com with any inquiries.