Around 2,000 athletes will converge on Derry~Londonderry for the third annual SSE Airtricity Walled City Marathon, taking place on Sunday 31st May.
Race entries are now closed and the final preparations are underway for the event, which has become an annual highlight in the city’s calendar.
Runners from across the globe will compete over a stunning 26.2 mile course, taking in all the sights and sounds of the city along the way.
The race will take the runners through buzzing neighbourhoods and rural villages, along the banks of the River Foyle and over the city’s famous bridges, before finishing in the historic Guildhall Square.
As with previous years, the 2015 marathon promises to be an exciting event for the whole family.
There will be plenty of entertainment for all ages, including the popular one mile SSE Airtricity Kids Mini Marathon for local children aged 9-17.
SSE Airtricity Walled City Marathon Course Director, Scott Galbraith, has confirmed that the course is ready and waiting for thousands of busy feet to make their way around it come the end of May. He said: “Everything is in order. It’s the same course as in previous years, taking the runners along both sides of the River Foyle, through busy neighbourhoods, and showcasing some of the city’s iconic landmarks, such as the Peace Bridge and Free Derry Corner, with a spectacular finish in Guildhall Square.”
“We’re looking forward to once again welcoming runners from far and near. We can guarantee another fantastic reception from the people of the Maiden City, who are sure to turn out in huge numbers to support the runners every step of the way.”
Donal Gormley, SSE Airtricity, said: “The race was a roaring success in its first two years, and it looks set to be just as enjoyable this time around.
“It’s a real party atmosphere on the day, thanks in no small part to the enthusiasm of the volunteers and entertainers, who make the event what it is. At SSE Airtricity, we’re delighted to be involved with an event that creates such a buzz in the city. Personally, I’m looking forward to taking on the course once again. The route is spectacular and the support from the spectators is always fantastic.”
Prominent Derry~Londonderry runner, Greg Roberts, has confirmed his participation in this year’s race, and will lead the hometown charge once again. Roberts finished runner-up in the inaugural SSE Airtricity Walled City Marathon in 2013, and will be competing just five weeks after running in the London Marathon. He commented: “I wasn’t happy with my run in London. I got the early pace wrong, so I’m looking forward to putting in a strong performance in my hometown on 31st May.”
In anticipation of the main event, two warm-up races have been held in the city recently.
The SSE Airtricity 10k Challenge took place on 8th March and the SSE Airtricity 10 Mile Challenge was held on the on 19th April.
The SSE Airtricity Walled City Marathon 2015 begins at 8.30am at the Everglades Hotel on Sunday 31st May.
For more information on the big race, go to www.thewalledcitymarathon.com