KBC Dublin Marathon race director Jim Aughney admitted that "vaccination is key" in efforts to host a running of the showpiece event in October.
Dublin Marathon organisers today announced a virtual KBC Dublin Race Series which they hope will build towards a full in-person marathon on 24 October.
Race organisers have set a deadline on 25 June for when a decision on the fate of the Dublin Marathon will be announced, with planning by the organising committee ongoing along with engagement with relevant authorities.
In the mean-time the Dublin Race Series will be virtual for 2021 with distances of 4 Mile, 10km, 10 Mile and Half marathon available to run from June through to September, while there will also be a Virtual Dublin Marathon which will take place over the October bank holiday weekend.
Speaking at an event to launch the race series, Aughney admitted that the status of the traditional Dublin marathon is still very much up in the air.
"Vaccination is key," he said. "The greater number of vaccines we can get approved and get out there, that's going to be key for us to try and organise an event.
"We can actually look after the participants very, very safely by testing them when they come into the RDS and making sure that nobody gets into our footprint.
"The one thing I suppose, the unknown for us, will be the spectators. Again the vaccine is going to be key for that, to get everybody vaccinated and if that is the case, we’re still hopeful that we can run an event.
"We’ve pushed out the date to 25 June to leave it as late possible because at that stage the runners would have four months to prepare and we would have four months to prepare.
"We’re working away in the background and have Plan A and B and probably have Plan C and D, with different combinations of what might be possible.
"We’re talking to the relevant people and the news is changing weekly, so what we thought might be possible last week might be a little bit more positive next week."
Aughney did admit that a full field is unlikely regardless of what happens, which could lead to organisational problems as the entrants to this year’s event have been rolled over from last year’s cancelled race.
"The chances of 25,000 people being allowed to run in the streets of Dublin might be slim at this stage but I think we, the organisers and the number of runners we could get into it would be delighted with any number being able to run.
"In any of these events you’re going to be restricted to start off in smaller numbers and over time build it back up again.
"Our chances of running 25,000 might be slim but if we can get 10,000 or 15,000 or whatever number we can get, it would be great news for the city and great news for the runners."
For more details on the Dublin Marathon and Dublin Race Series, visit http://kbcdublinmarathon.ie