Belfast Telegraph

New 2019 Belfast City Marathon course too long, organisers confirm

Runners times to be amended to reflect correct distance

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - General view of the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast.
Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - General view of the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Runners and spectators at Finaghy crossroads during the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Relay runners and walkers from Co Down raising funds for Tiny Life. Photo by Brian Little / Press Eye
Belfast City Marathon. Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye
5/5/19 PACEMAKER PRESS The Belfast Marathon leaves from Stormont and works its way through the city. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS
5/5/19 PACEMAKER PRESS The Belfast Marathon leaves from Stormont and works its way through the city. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS
5/5/19 PACEMAKER PRESS The Belfast Marathon leaves from Stormont and works its way through the city. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS
5/5/19 PACEMAKER PRESS The Belfast Marathon leaves from Stormont and works its way through the city. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS
5/5/19 PACEMAKER PRESS The Belfast Marathon leaves from Stormont and works its way through the city. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS
5/5/19 PACEMAKER PRESS The Belfast Marathon leaves from Stormont and works its way through the city. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS
5/5/19 PACEMAKER PRESS The Belfast Marathon leaves from Stormont and works its way through the city. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS
5/5/19 PACEMAKER PRESS The Belfast Marathon leaves from Stormont and works its way through the city. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS
5/5/19 PACEMAKER PRESS The Belfast Marathon leaves from Stormont and works its way through the city. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS
5/5/19 PACEMAKER PRESS The Belfast Marathon leaves from Stormont and works its way through the city. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS
5/5/19 PACEMAKER PRESS The Belfast Marathon leaves from Stormont and works its way through the city. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS
5/5/19 PACEMAKER PRESS The Belfast Marathon leaves from Stormont and works its way through the city. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS
5/5/19 PACEMAKER PRESS The Belfast Marathon leaves from Stormont and works its way through the city. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS
5/5/19 PACEMAKER PRESS The Belfast Marathon leaves from Stormont and works its way through the city. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS
5/5/19 PACEMAKER PRESS The Belfast Marathon leaves from Stormont and works its way through the city. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - Runners from the Michaela Foundation at the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - Runners at the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - Una McNeill and Mags Mathieson at the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - Darren McDowell, Gavin Dines, Richard Thompson and Keith Noble at the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - Orsolya Toth and Nicole Enache at the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - Ruth Lipsett and Kevin Crossley at the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - Runners from the Stroke Association at the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - Runners from the Michaela Foundation at the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - General view of the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - Angela Scanlon and Una McMahon-Beattie at the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - Experiment 26.2 Group at the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - Pacer volunteers at the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - Nadine and Neil Mercer at the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - Ben Scott and Ivan Stringer at the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - Siobhan Robinson, Ursula Warke, Carol Torrens, Mary McKendry and Adam Warke at the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - Alan Bailey, James Stinson and Patrick Jack at the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - Simon Ridgway and Jason Lythgoe at the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - Declan Skelton, Clarke Fennelly, Darren Scullion and David Millar at the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - Volunteers at the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - Kathryn Kavanagh, Shirley Currie, Lorraine and Suzanne Enfield at the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - General view of the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - General view of the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
5/5/19 PACEMAKER PRESS The Belfast Marathon leaves from Stormont and works its way through the city. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS
5/5/19 PACEMAKER PRESS The Belfast Marathon leaves from Stormont and works its way through the city. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS
5/5/19 PACEMAKER PRESS The Belfast Marathon leaves from Stormont and works its way through the city. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS
5/5/19 PACEMAKER PRESS The Belfast Marathon leaves from Stormont and works its way through the city. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - General view of the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - General view of the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - General view of the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - General view of the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - General view of the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - General view of the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - General view of the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - General view of the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - General view of the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Jonathan Bell

By Jonathan Bell

The 2019 Belfast City Marathon was too long, organisers have confirmed.

They blamed human error  saying they will work to correct runners' times with protocols in place to ensure it doesn't happen again.

This year saw the route change to a new "faster, flatter" course.

There has been praise for the new route as it did not have the same hills of the previous course and runners have said there is more spectators out lining the route to encourage them on.

Veteran runners said they felt more support especially in the absence of the docklands section which was often considered a lonely experience adding to their struggle.

There has also been criticism of the change of day to a Sunday. But organisers have said it has increased participation and spectator numbers.

Scores of runners took to social media at the finish line on Sunday claiming the route was too long. Some said it was up to half a mile longer.

Organisers admitted the course was too long and will be carrying out a review. It is understood cones placed in the wrong location through Ballyhackamore causing it to be 0.4 of a mile longer, or just over 640metres. It should be 26.2miles.

Organisers said the lead car diverted from the official route.

"We're holding our hands up and we're addressing it. We wish it hadn't happened," organising committee chair David Seaton told the BBC.

"It was a new course and there were lots of things to take in consideration including new legislation which we had to work around.

"This will be an issue for the marathon purists and we understood that but the vast majority of participants have gone away from today's race - where we had 60% more entries than last year - very happy with their experience."

Kenyans Joel Kositany and Caroline Jepchirchir took victory in the elite race coming in 2:18:40 and 2:36:38 respectively.

Mr Seaton acknowledged some will be frustrated if their time was just outside their target given the extra distance ran.

He added: "It's a hiccup that we obviously could have done without. But I don't think it should overshadow what was a very successful day with the numbers up significantly because of the new Sunday date.

"People have been coming up to us congratulating us on the day and saying it was a great event with the spectator number also well up on previous years."

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - Nadine and Neil Mercer at the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast.
Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - Nadine and Neil Mercer at the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - Experiment 26.2 Group at the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - Pacer volunteers at the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2019 - Ben Scott and Ivan Stringer at the start of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon at the Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph