Warm up begins for 2015 Waterside Half Marathon

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Elisha McCallion pictured at the launch of the Waterside Half Marathon 2015 along with Council's Festival and Events Manager, Karan Leonard, and Gerry Lynch, Spartans Athletics Club.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Elisha McCallion pictured at the launch of the Waterside Half Marathon 2015 along with Council's Festival and Events Manager, Karan Leonard, and Gerry Lynch, Spartans Athletics Club.

Last year, record numbers lined up to take on one of the city’s biggest sporting challenges – the Waterside Half Marathon – and this year organisers are expecting a bumper entry as the city’s running craze continues.

Today, Derry City and Strabane District Council officially launched the event and marked the welcome return of the Half Marathon to St Columb’s Park on Sunday, September 6, where it first began 34 years ago.

The new scenic riverside route - taking in both the city’s Foyle Bridge and Peace Bridge - is expected to attract even more local athletes to the event - and early registration is advised.

This year, the race headquarters will be based in the new state of the art Foyle Arena, blending the old with the new, as the park was the original base for the half marathon from 1981–2005 before it changed to Gransha Park.

Places are capped at 2,000 to include individual runners, wheelchair athletes and three person relay teams. Entries will officially open on June 1 and close on August 21.

For those hoping for a gentler challenge, there will be a 2k Family Fun Run taking place at St Columb’s Park, opening up the event to runners of all ages and abilities.

Later in the afternoon, the Alzheimer’s Society is hosting its annual Foyle Memory Walk from Ebrington at 2pm in an effort to raise awareness of dementia. Encouraging the public to come out and support the event, Mayor Elisha McLaughlin says the event is for people of all ages and abilities and a great way of celebrating loved ones affected by dementia.

The Foyle Memory Walk will leave Ebrington Square at 2pm on Sunday, September 6, with two challenges to suit all abilities - 2km and 10km.

For a full training schedule and advice on how to prepare for the Waterside Half Marathon event, as well as registration details, go to www.whm15.com.