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Saturday 10 December 2016

Almost 20,000 to turn out for capital's 37th marathon

A general view of last year's marathon. Pic: Sportsfile
A general view of last year's marathon. Pic: Sportsfile

A bumper turnout of almost 19,500 runners will tear up the streets of Dublin tomorrow in what will be the first Dublin Marathon to take place on a Sunday.

More than 70pc of runners taking part in the 26.2-mile course will be from Ireland.

However, it's the high numbers coming from abroad that are standing out this year - with organisers revealing that the 5,700 international runners for this 37th race is also a record.

The vast numbers have ensured a wide scope of different start times, with 39 different pace-setters to be used for participants aiming for finish times of between three and five hours.

Race director Jim Aughey said the event is the climax of months of training and the good causes represented will reap the rewards.

Sightseeing

He also said a special thank you to the large international contingent, who he said will get a crash course in Dublin sightseeing.

"You all have worked towards achieving a massive goal - whether it was daring to take the first step, challenging your personal limits, or honouring a special cause or charity - and this weekend we are delighted to see you take on the final 26.2 miles," he said.

Running conditions could not be much better. Temperatures will range from 8-12 degrees, and wind and rain will be at a minimum.

The marathon will begin on Fitzwilliam Square at 8.55am for the wheelchair race, with staggered starts beginning at 9am for the elite field.

The route will run along Patrick Street and down the quays, where it will take in Blackhall Place and Aughrim Street before entering Phoenix Park.

Volunteers

After leaving the park, the runners will move into Fingal and gradually make their way through every council area in the capital.

Up to 1,250 volunteers will be at the ready, with 10 water stations along the route.

Road closures and disruptions began last night, with event organisers putting barriers in place across the city for the bank holiday weekend.

Merrion Square north, the location of the finish line, has been closed to traffic since 7pm last night - and will remain so until 6pm on Monday. The east and south sides of the square are closed until 10am on Monday.

Dublin Bus is advising customers its real-time bus information system will be out of service on the day. More than 20 routes will be affected by the marathon.

Luas will be running a usual Sunday schedule.

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