Friday 23 August 2019

Marathon runners go the distance - and then some

Runners taking part in the Belfast City Marathon. The organisers of Belfast marathon have apologised to its competitors after admitting the route was mistakenly extended. Participants ran an extra 0.3 miles more than they should have. Photo: Cate McCurry/PA Wire
Runners taking part in the Belfast City Marathon. The organisers of Belfast marathon have apologised to its competitors after admitting the route was mistakenly extended. Participants ran an extra 0.3 miles more than they should have. Photo: Cate McCurry/PA Wire

Cate McCurry

The organisers of the Belfast marathon have apologised to its competitors after admitting the route was mistakenly extended.

Participants ran 460 metres more than they should have. It was blamed on human error after the lead car diverted from the official route.

In a statement, chairman of the Belfast marathon organising committee David Seaton said: "On behalf of the organising committee, we would like to apologise to competitors of today's race.

"Approximately 460 additional metres were added to the officially measured course of 26.2 miles (42.16km).

"This was due to human error, with the lead car diverting from the official route. I can assure all participants that protocols will be put in place to ensure this never happens again.

"In the meantime, we are in the process of adjusting runners' times to reflect the correct distance.

"Feedback on the new route has been overwhelmingly positive and we thank the thousands of spectators who lined the route to support 18,000 runners, walkers and wheelchair athletics."

The apology came after Kenyan runner Caroline Jepchirchir ran the fastest ever women's time in Belfast.

The athlete crossed the finishing line after 2:36:38, smashing the record in the city.

This year the course was changed to a faster and flatter route, organisers said.

Irish Independent

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