Home News ‘Champions Return For Belfast City Marathon’

‘Champions Return For Belfast City Marathon’


Monday 5th May John Mutai, winner of last year’s Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon and Joyce Kandie who took the women’s title two years ago will both be in search of a repeat victories in this years 27th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon on Monday 5th May. Many athletics followers will remember the valiant efforts of former Dublin marathon winner Mutai in last years race when he just failed by 30 seconds to break the legendary Marty Deane’s 1985 record. However his 2.16.24 winning time was still the most impressive performance seen in Belfast in years as it was achieved over a new difficult course and represented a 6 minute margin over runner-up Stephen Ndungu.

Kenyan Mutai has impressive credentials; he was a winner of the Great North run in 1999 and took victory in the Dubai Marathon a year later in a PB of 2.13.20. The 41 year old is still producing impressive times as shown by his 2.18.50 time 3 months ago in the Mumbai marathon which took place in 30 degrees temperatures. Joining Mutai will be Ethiopian Abebe Seyoum who recorded a sub 2.18 time in the New Delhi marathon 2 years ago.

In the Women’s race Joyce Kandie of Kenya is another athlete who is well capable of setting a new record in Belfast, Two years ago Joyce’s virtual solo run win of 2.43.11 was the third fastest ever and was good enough to beat all but the first 8 male finishers. When Joyce lost to Newcastle’s Kerry Harty in the warm-up Titanic Quarter 10K (TQ 10K) race two week’s ago, she made her marathon intentions clear. She said she felt stronger than ever following her break from the sport to have a child. Her plan is to attack the 2005 Belfast record of 2.41.33 set by Ethiopia’s Lemma Urge. If she succeeds she stands to gain £2500 for first prize plus an additional £1000 for breaking the course record.

The organisers of the marathon have again been inundated with entries which currently stand at some 1700 for the marathon and 1500 teams for the 5 stage relay. They currently estimate that a record 15,000 participants will be pounding the roads on May Day which also includes the Walk and Fun Run.

With these record entries, the sport is now enjoying a level of popularity not seen since the days of the first running boom in the early 1980s. The governing body of the sport, Athletics Northern Ireland plays a huge role as lead partners offering technical expertise and advice along with officials on race day.

The 2008 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon is sponsored by Belfast City Council, Sport Northern Ireland, Up and Running, New Balance, Reach EPS, Tayto, Translink, Eventsec and Isaac Agnews Volkswagen. Official broadcast partner is U105 and accommodation provider is Premier Inn, which celebrates the first anniversary of opening its first Belfast hotel on the eve of the Marathon.

The 2008 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon is organized by Belfast City Marathon Ltd., in partnership with Belfast City Council, Athletics Northern Ireland, Newtownabbey Borough Council, the PSNI, the Department for Regional Development, Sustrans and Translink.

The official charity of the 2008 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon is the British Red Cross, which is celebrating its centenary this year.

Visit www.belfastcitymarathon.com for full details of the 2008 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon, and to download your entry form.