Sport in Belfast has received a boost with news that the city is to host its first ever half marathon, the event taking place on Sunday, September 22.
The venture is an extension of the hugely popular Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon, which will be staged for the 32nd time on Monday, May 6.
Danny O'Connor, chairman of the marathon organising committee, explained: "We've been considering holding a half marathon for a number of years now and this seemed the appropriate time to launch such an event for the first time.
"Due to the logistics of organising the main marathon, and the associated events on the day, it is not feasible to hold a half marathon at the same time, and so we have decided to hold this event in September.
"This means that it will be the ideal opportunity for those intending to take part in the main event to gauge how their training is going and the progress they are making."
Launching the new Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon yesterday, Lord Mayor Gavin Robinson said: "I congratulate the organisers of the Belfast City Marathon on taking this step.
"I am sure it will be hugely successful," he added.
The Belfast City Half Marathon will start at Belfast City Hall and finish at the newly refurbished Mary Peters Track.
Details of the exact route will be announced at Easter.
Online entry is available now at www.belfastcitymarathon.com