Thousands participate in virtual Dublin marathon

Thousands took part in a virtual Dublin marathon, completing courses in their own locality. Picture from RTE
John Monaghan

THOUSANDS have taken part in a different kind of Dublin Marathon this year, with a virtual race involving participants covering the miles in their own local area.

The annual showpiece in its traditional form - with 35,000 people having applied for 25,000 slots - was cancelled earlier this year.

More than 13,000 runners competed in the rescheduled virtual event during the weekend, with participants in the Republic restricted to a 5km limit of their own home under the current coronavirus measures.

Those who are registered have until later today to complete their course.

Using an app, runners were able to track their progress and record their times, as well as be notified as to where they would be on an equivalent distance on the traditional Dublin City route.

Around 6,000 people ran the full marathon, while the remaining number engaged in half marathons, five mile and 10km runs.

Runners will receive a medal in the post later this year.

Jim Aughney, race director, told RTE: "A number of runners had to change their route in the last week or so, and it was a challenge for them, but they rose to it.

"We are hoping we will never be able to compare 2020 with any other year in the future. We want to get the crowds back, the big numbers, and our own volunteers out greeting people.

"To be able to hand (runners) their medal and T-shirt at the end is a unique experience, and let's hope that in 2021 we'll be able to all return to that."

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