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Marathon may be gone but no reason to stop running

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Runners pass St Patrick’s Cathedral during last year’s Dublin City Marathon. Photo: Sportsfile

Runners pass St Patrick’s Cathedral during last year’s Dublin City Marathon. Photo: Sportsfile

Runners pass St Patrick’s Cathedral during last year’s Dublin City Marathon. Photo: Sportsfile

The organisers of this year's KBC Dublin City marathon announced the cancellation of the event and the race series due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

For many, it was merely an announcement of the inevitable, but those who had entered for the big race clung to the slim hope that it might still go ahead.

The race series that accompanies the marathon has also been cancelled.

Many miles have been put in as preparation for the race and the news will come as a disappointment, especially for those who would have been participating for the first time.

So, where do runners go from here? Let's examine some of the key questions...

Why has the race been cancelled now?

Runners had an inkling that the race, scheduled for Sunday October 25, wouldn't go ahead due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. With the phased lifting of restrictions, there was the hope that it might have survived.

However, the decision to cancel the event ultimately boiled down to logistics. Race organisers would have had to order merchandise within the next number of weeks, that's a lot of kit which would have been rendered useless and a waste of money if the organisers cancelled at a later date.

What happens to my entrance fee?

All entrants for this year's race are entitled to use their entrance for next year's Dublin marathon. However, if for whatever reason an athlete can't or doesn't want to take part in the 2021 event, they are entitled to a refund.

When will next year's race be run?

The Dublin marathon has traditionally taken place on the October bank holiday every year. As part of a global marathon calendar, the next Dublin marathon is now likely to be scheduled for Sunday October 24, 2021.

What do I do now?

Keep running! Enjoy what the summer brings and maintain fitness and focus. During lockdown, many athletes have run their own marathons within the allowed 5km radius - some have even ran them in their back gardens.

Writer and the author of 'The Dublin Marathon - Celebrating 40 Years', Sean McGoldrick has this advice for runners: "This summer, Ireland's marathon runners can relax, rest their limbs and embark on what I call 'smell the roses' runs.

"Instead of being pre-occupied with all the readings from your Garmin, take in the view for a change.

"Running is not just about racing and there is most certainly more to the sport than running 26.2 mile. And there's always 2021."

Are there any other offical Marathons I can enter for?

There are normally hundreds of marathons to run worldwide, however, due to coronavirus restrictions, access to these races will be extremely limited. A lot will depend on travel restrictions over the next number of months, but a good reference point to look at what marathons are going ahead is at www.worldsmarathons.com.