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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 23 October, 2019
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Runners in Belfast City Marathon run extra 0.3 miles after course mix-up

Organisers of the race have apologised to participants.

Runners pass Belfast Central Station. (File photo)
Runners pass Belfast Central Station. (File photo)
Image: INPHO

THE ORGANISERS OF the Belfast City Marathon have apologised after today’s participants ran a route that was 460 metres longer than the standard marathon length.

Organisers blamed the extra distance on “human error” after a car leading the runners diverted from the official route.

A marathon distance is set at 26.2 miles (42.2 km) meaning that runners in today’s event actually ran 26.5 miles.

Chairman of the Belfast Marathon Organising Committee David Seaton has apologised to participants and said it will not happen again.

A total of 5,000 people took part in the full marathon, which was being run over a new route in the city.

“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,” Seaton said in a statement.

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.”

A number of serious competitors have said that the problems will have knock-on effects for their records.

“Great new course, unfortunately for me, I have missed out on a championship qualifying time for London by 7 seconds due to the extra half mile. Quite early on in the race we all noticed the distance was out,” one wrote on Facebook.

Other races were also taking place today including a wheelchair race, a nine mile walk and a fun run. A total of 18,000 people took part in today’s events across all the races.

Kenya’s Joel Kositany won the male marathon in a time of 2.18.41 while his compatriot Caroline Jepchirchir won the women’s race in a time of2.36.38.

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Rónán Duffy

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