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Olympianlaunches Western marathon

Athletics fanatics in Galway are attempting to follow in the footsteps of Dublin and Cork with a new marathon in the city.

Organisers have planned the gruelling 26.2-mile run for Sunday, August 29 and are aiming to attract up to 10,000 amateur and professional competitors.

Two-time Olympian and world indoor medallist in the 1980s and 1990s, Paul Donovan, put together the plan with his ultra-runner brother Richie.

Paul said: "This is a very exciting time for running in Galway. It is going to be a huge event for the city."

The course will cover two loops of the city passing Eyre Square, the cathedral, the university, the Salthill promenade and the Claddagh before finishing at the harbour.

The marathon weekend will also see a series of one-mile road races on the city streets.

And the organisers have also secured a world athletics 50km final race with two champion runners planning to compete at the same time as the marathon.

Registrations can be made online at www.galwaycitymarathon.com.