New course record set in Belfast marathon

Monday 05 May 2008 12.46
Runners - Compete in Belfast races
Runners - Compete in Belfast races

More than 14,000 people took to the streets of Belfast this morning for the city's annual marathon.

In the women's event, a new course record was set by the defending champion.

Over 1,900 runners took part in the main event. It was won by last year's winner John Mutai from Kenya in a time of two hours 16 minutes and 31 seconds. He led the field from the start and finished over seven minutes ahead of the nearest contender.

Bogdan Dziuba from Poland was second, while third place was taken by Vyacheslav Prikhadko from the Ukraine, just ahead of Jakoo Kero from Finland in fourth place.

Local runner Tommy Hughes from Magherafelt finished fifth (2:28:40).

The Belfast City Marathon brought together serious athletes and fun runners for the 27th annual event.

All runs started at 9am at Belfast City Hall and finished in Ormeau Park. The Lord Mayor Councillor Jim Rodgers was at the starting line to greet the participants and to congratulate them at the finish.

The current women's champion, Marashet Jumma of Ethiopia, successfully defended her title and finished in 2:39:21, setting a new course record for women, some two minutes and 12 seconds better than the previous record.

Paul Hanna from Keady in Co Armagh won the wheelchair section finishing the course in 2:21:56.

Most runners took part in the relay event and 1,800 teams registered. They were joined by some 2,000 walkers and 1,500 people taking part in the Fun Run.

More than 14,300 people took part in the marathon last year which raised £30,000 for the Down's Syndrome Association. This year's official charity is the British Red Cross.