The ‘best small marathon in the world’ is back!

The Mayor of Derry Colr. Martin Reilly launches the 2014 Walled City Marathon with, from left, Gerry Lynch, Athletics NI president, and marathon officials Noel McMonagle, Scott Galbraith and Charlie Large.
The Mayor of Derry Colr. Martin Reilly launches the 2014 Walled City Marathon with, from left, Gerry Lynch, Athletics NI president, and marathon officials Noel McMonagle, Scott Galbraith and Charlie Large.

IT may seem an awful long way away but already the excitement is building after the official launch of the 2014 Walled City Marathon at the Guildhall this week.

It was one of the biggest and most successful sporting events in the City of Culture calender this year as 1,300 runners made their way through the historic streets of the city.

And next year’s marathon promises to be just as popular as the race organisers have gone to great lengths to market what has been dubbed ‘the best small marathon in the world’.

The race has been scheduled for June, 1st 2014 after race organisers confirmed substantial Derry City Council financial support with a major sponsor to be announced in the near future.

And Race Director, Noel McMonagle is confident that it can be a long term project.

“Depending on sponsorship it could be an annual thing because there’s certainly an appetite there for a marathon in the city.

“And there’s an appetite from the race organisers to see this as a long term project.

“This is the best small marathon in the world and that’s the way we marketed it in Dublin. We spent two days marketing it in Dublin and the response we got was absolutely brilliant and we expect this marathon to sell out in weeks, not months.

“We were absolutely over the moon to get it back,” he added.

“Once we put the legacy plan to the City Council they bought into our plan and they’re backing us 100 per cent.

“We also have a major sponsor coming on board and they will be announced in the coming weeks.”

Last year’s race generated huge interest with 18,000 entries.

This year entries, which open on Monday, November 11th, have been capped at 1,500.

“We see the 2014 marathon on June 1st being bigger and better. We over-shot the entries last year and we can’t do that this year. We have a limit of 15,000 and that’s where it stops.

“The entries will open on Monday, November 11th and I would say to anybody out there who is thinking about doing the marathon, don’t wait and get in early.”