ATHLETICS: Countdown is on for Derry's Walled City Marathon
The countdown is on for the sixth SSE Airtricity Walled City Marathon.
Hundreds of runners from right across Ireland and beyond are already feeling the burn as they turn up the gears on their training ahead of the race in Derry on June 3rd.
The 26.2 mile track takes runners along the banks of the River Foyle, through the busy streets of the city, across the iconic Peace Bridge, before twisting and turning through the old streets along the City Walls to the finish at the historic Guildhall Square.
Once again they will be joined by hundreds of children in the one mile mini marathon.
Among the runners already signed up for 2018 is Hannah Shields, who, in 2007 became the first woman from N. Ireland to climb Mount Everest. Hannah will be hoping she has what it takes to emulate last year’s winners Dan Tanui and Catherine Whoriskey, and will have to channel the endurance shown in her many impressive feats, others of which include skiing to the North Pole and being one of the few to successfully complete Commander Chris Hadfield’s ‘Astronauts, Do you have what it takes?’ challenge on BBC.
Vicky Boden from SSE Airtricity said: “Every year the SSE Airtricity Walled City Marathon gets bigger and better, and 2018 will be no exception. With the runners-up against a tough track, the support from the spectators along the spectacular route through the city always helps spur them on to the finish line at the Guildhall.
“There’s still plenty of time to go before the big day, so why not get training and see if you have what it takes for this year’s SSE Airtricity Walled City Marathon?”
Noel McMonagle, Race Director, added: “We’ve already had a great response to the 2018 SSE Airtricity Walled City Marathon, and registration is the fastest we’ve had to date. Hopefully the race will also be as fast and exciting as it has been in recent years. And once again we will be looking to the future with the children’s one mile mini marathon.”
Inspired by the 2013 UK City of Culture designation and the long-standing tradition of road running in the Maiden City, a small group of local runners, with crucial support from both SSE Airtricity and the local Council, successfully staged the inaugural SSE Airtricity Walled City Marathon in June 2013.
Since then, each year has seen more and more competitors willing to take the challenge, and the whole City has embraced the event to create a carnival atmosphere.
In preparation for the SSE Airtricity Walled City on June 3rd, runners can take part in a 10m challenge on Saturday, March 3rd.
For full details of the course and how to sign up visit www.thewalledcitymarathon.com.