The late Billy Dowling seen here presenting the Quinlan Cup to the winning men's team in the 2019 Tullamore Half Marathon. (l to r) Mick O'Brien, David Murray, Liam Brady, Billy (RIP) and Pauric Ennis
THE Tullamore half marathon has been postponed until next year. The annual event was scheduled to be run on the last Saturday in August but Tullamore Harriers have decided not to proceed with it as uncertainty continues to surround sports events.
The event has grown massively since first taking place in 2014 and there were 1,000 runners at its last staging in 2019. It incorporated the Leinster half marathon championship and attacted runners from all over the country.
Covid-19 restrictions resulted in last year's event being cancelled. The club had hoped that they would be able to host this year's half marathon but have decided against it, citing the “absence of clarity on the lifting of restrictions over the last number of months”.
The event took runners on a route from the Charleville Road to Screggan Cross in Mucklagh, to Ballincanty Cross, not far from Mountbolus, Killurin and back into Tullamore where it finished with a lap in the Harriers' stadium.
An announcement is due soon on whether this year's Dublin marathon will take place at the end of October.
In a statement released this week, the club said:
“Following lengthy deliberations it is with regret that the Tullamore Harriers Half Marathon Committee have decided not to hold the 2021 edition of the race.
“Restriction on numbers in the stadium, public health advice, and the absence of clarity on the lifting of restrictions over the last number of months have made the forward planning of the race impossible. Coupled with this Tullamore Harriers is also very mindful of it's responsibility to ensure the safety of our members, volunteers competitors, spectators and sponsors alike. With the majority of the event on public roads we are cognisant of the impact that a large numbers of spectators could potentially have on our neighbours near the stadium and the communities through which the race route passes. The Tullamore Harriers Half Marathon has earned a reputation as one of Ireland’s premier road races and it’s our full intention to start preparations for the 2022 edition of the race straight away. We would like to acknowledge and thank everyone who has supported our event over the last number of years,and hopefully on the last Saturday in August 2022, we will welcome everyone back to Tullamore for a great day's racing.”
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