Athletics: A lot of Lotto will do for Marathon
This year's Dublin Marathon has been boosted by a new title sponsor and the securing of live TV coverage for the first time in over 20 years.
The National Lottery are the new sponsors of the so-called 'Friendly Marathon' on the October Bank Holiday Monday (October 31), which will also have a new later start time of 10.0 to facilitate RTE's new four-hour TV coverage.
It will also have 'wave starts' for the first time in its 32-year history, which already apply in the three preparatory races in the Phoenix Park which the Lottery will also be sponsoring on July 16 (5-mile), August 20 (10-mile) and September 17 (Half-Marathon).
The Dublin Marathon already doubles up as the national marathon championship and is an IAAF accredited event.
Race director Jim Aughney said "there is a fantastic opportunity this year for Irish athletes to use our race to get Olympic qualifying and we would be very hopeful that the first Irish man and woman across the line will be representing Ireland in London 2012.
"There were times that the Dublin Marathon's existence was in question but not any more. Getting the National Lottery and RTE on board is a huge endorsement of what we have achieved to date, and how we can develop it further."
The recent road-racing boom saw a record entry of 13,500 last year and the organisers believe it will be 15,000 this year.