With the 2012 Olympics about to get off the blocks, now’s the time to dig out those trainers and hit the pavements in preparation for one of the city’s most popular sporting events. Local athletes are being encouraged to get in training, as the annual Waterside Half Marathon fast approaches.
Sunday September 9 will see thousands of local runners and walkers take to the streets for the 31st staging of the event. And this year runners can expect to see some major changes to the 13.1 mile route, which reverts to the old familiar territory of the Old Clooney Road leading out to the City of Derry Airport. It’s hoped that the new flatter, faster course will suit runners of all abilities.
And you don’t have to be the next Daly Thompson to take part, why not join forces with some friends and complete the run as part of a three person relay team?
Or participants can take on the 10mile challenge walk, which leaves from Gransha following the Half Marathon route before turning near the White Horse Hotel for the return trip.
Families are also being encouraged to join in the fun, with a 2km fun run, which takes place at 10.45am, and plenty of activities will take place at the Gransha Grounds between 10.30am and 1pm.
Speaking ahead of the event the Mayor Alderman Maurice Devenney said he hoped to see even more local people turning out to support the event, with a whole summer of inspirational Olympic sport ahead: “As always the event will benefit two very worthy local charities the Foyle Branch of the MS Society, and the Foyle Branch of Parkinson’s UK, who do invaluable work locally,” he said.
“I’m hoping that on the back of our extremely successful Olympic Flame Weekend, we‘ll see plenty of budding athletes taking inspiration from their sporting heroes and taking up the challenge. Whatever your level of fitness, there is a race to suit you on the day, and as always it’s the taking part rather than the winning that counts.
Thanks go out to our sponsors Seagate and Autobar, for providing essential funding towards staging the event.”
For those of you however who might be interested in the winning, the generous £6000 plus prize fund is retained this year, offering a comprehensive range of cash awards for the more competitive Half Marathon participants, who range from under 20 to over 70!
Full details of the exciting new course will be revealed shortly and runners of all abilities should put the date in their diaries.
For more information about the event, or to enter online, go to www.derrycity.gov.uk/half marathon