Irish athlete Aoife Cooke, launching the 2021 KBC Virtual Dublin Marathon, pictured at Blarney Castle Gardens in Cork. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile.

Plans for 2021 Dublin Marathon announced

Dublin Marathon organisers have today announced that the KBC Dublin Race Series which leads into the marathon will be virtual for 2021.

Distances of 4 miles, 10kms, 10 miles and half marathon will be available to run from June through to September.

Entry is also open for the KBC Virtual Dublin Marathon which will take place over the October bank holiday weekend.

For runners who have secured a place for the 2021 KBC Dublin Marathon on Sunday, October 24, it is still too early to say definitively if the event will go ahead due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Entrants will receive official confirmation by Friday, June 25. Event organisers are cautiously optimistic that there is still potential for it to proceed.

Race Director Jim Aughney said: “We are still working towards holding the 2021 KBC Dublin Marathon in October. The detailed planning by the organising committee is on-going and we continue to engage with the relevant authorities.

"We wanted to be transparent with runners to let them know the date we will make the final decision while also offering runners who have not secured a place, an option to enter our virtual marathon.”

He added: “We are making the final decision as late as possible so we can review the state of play while also ensuring we can start the critical event management needed to provide the quality of race for runners that we pride ourselves on delivering.”

Entry for the KBC Virtual Race Series is €10 per race and €15 for entry to the KBC Virtual Dublin Marathon.

All finishers of the KBC Virtual Dublin Marathon and Race Series will receive a commemorative medal. Runners can sign up at http://kbcdublinmarathon.ie

Stephen Scullion, who has secured the Olympic marathon qualification time, spoke at the launch. He said: “For runners of all abilities it is important to remember whether it is virtual or real it helps to have a goal to aim towards. By signing up to one of the races it will give you the motivation to get out the door and enjoy your running in the brighter, longer days of summer.”

Aoife Cooke delivered the performance of her life to run 2:28:36 at the recent Cheshire Elite Marathon, running well inside the required Olympic qualification time of 2:29:30. This improved on her personal best time of 2:32:34, she set when winning the national marathon title at the KBC Dublin Marathon in 2019.

Cooke stated: “A distance longer than 10km can be intimidating for some but if you take a stepped approach, which is offered through the KBC Virtual Race Series, you can build up to the longer distances with confidence. And women should know they have an edge over men, as research has shown they slow down less than men as race distances increase so there are no excuses not to give it a try.”

Sean Hehir was the winner of the 2020 KBC Virtual Dublin Marathon. He said: “Virtual races can offer you the opportunity to be competitive without lining up against others. The motivation to improve on your own training times or improve your personal best can be a bigger motivator than trying to beat people around you. I would really encourage runners to sign up the marathon and test themselves!”

KBC Virtual Race Series Dates

•Fingal 4 Mile: June 19th & 20th,

•South Dublin 10k: July 17th & 18th,

•Frank Duffy 10 Mile: August 21st & 22nd.

•Half Marathon: September 18th & 19th.

KBC Virtual Dublin Marathon details

•Bank Holiday weekend: Saturday 23rd, Sunday 24th and Monday 25th October.

•There is no entry limit for the KBC Virtual Dublin Marathon.

•Runners must complete the distance in one go.

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