| 8.9°C Belfast

High temperatures predicted for Belfast Marathon

The 20,000 runners warming up for today’s 30th Belfast City Marathon face a gruelling challenge as temperatures could soar as high as 17C.

But event manager Claire O’Reilly said organisers are ready, whatever the weather, to help keep the athletes, fun runners and walkers cool and on track.

“We’ll have the same contingency plans that we have whether it’s warm or cold, really, with plenty of facilities being provided,” said Ms O’Reilly.

“There are 16 water stations along the route, that’s every one-and-a-half to two miles — and that’s more, at shorter intervals, than any other marathon.

“We’ll also have plenty of Powerade stations at regular intervals for people who are dehydrated, and we also have over 15 first aid stations for people who require that, and there will be plenty of vehicles for people who drop out to take them to the finish line,” she added.

Three-time winner of the local endurance test, Kenyan John Mutai, will be attempting a fourth victory. Last year the 44-year-old was beaten into second place as Urga Negewo of Ethiopia snatched a six-second win thanks to a sprint finish.

This year Ukrainian Andriy Toptun could prove to be the man to beat. Toptun has produced impressive displays over the past year, recording a best time of two hours 12 minutes in Germany.

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The main marathon route follows the same path as the wheelchair race, the team relay event and the marathon walk, with most of the action kicking off at City Hall at 9am before culminating in Ormeau Park.

Factfile

Marathon organisers will provide park and ride facilities for spectators and participants to get to and from the Ozone complex in Ormeau Park in south Belfast. The free bus service, which operates every five minutes, departs from Belfast City Council car parks in Ormeau Avenue and Cromac Street.


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