Waterside Half Marathon founders launch event’s 40th edition
13 April 2023
The founders of one of Ireland’s longest running athletics events gathered in Derry this week for a reunion lunch to launch the event’s 40th edition.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Sandra Duffy, hosted the event in the Guildhall’s Main Hall to confirm the 2023 Waterside Half Marathon on Sunday September 3rd.
The Half Marathon was first held in 1981 and has been held annually since with the exception 2020 and 2021 due to a Covid enforced hiatus and 2006 when it was cancelled because of road closure issues.
Mayor Duffy praised the impact the Half Marathon has had on athletics life in the city and the early organisers of the event for their pivotal role in establishing it.
“I was delighted to be joined at the Waterside Half Marathon launch by many of the founding committee members of the event,” she said.
“Their work to get a Half Marathon up and running in our city laid the foundations for one of the longest running and most popular athletics events in Ireland.
“In September I had the honour of starting the 2022 Waterside Half Marathon and welcoming home the runners where I saw first hand what this event means to people.
“From the elite runners competing for honours at the front to those aiming for their own personal goals throughout the field it is one that runners of every level love taking part in.”
The Half Marathon route has changed significantly over the years from the initial event which was a straight run out to Campsie and back from St Columb’s Park to the current route which takes in both sides of the riverfront and many of the city’s historic landmarks.
Home winners of the event have been at a premium over the years, in the men’s section Foyle Valley’s Keith Shiels 2012 win was a first local win since the Craig brothers won the event back to back in 1984 and 1985.
Catherine Whoriskey and Ann Marie McGlynn have both won the female section on four occasions.
“The Waterside Half Marathon was founded on the back of a running boom in the city in the early 80s and I am delighted that we are in the midst of another surge in participation numbers in the sport today,” Mayor Duffy added.
“Everywhere you go in our City and District you see groups out reaping the health and wellbeing benefits of being involved in running.
“Running has had a positive impact on the lives of thousands of people and events like the Waterside Half Marathon have played a key role in supporting and growing it.”
Event organisers Derry City and Strabane District Council are planning a number of initiatives to celebrate the history of the event and encourage runners of every level to take part come September.
The 2023 edition will take place on Sunday September 3rd at 9.30am and will feature a running, wheelchair and three person relay section.
Registration costs £25 plus a booking fee while three person team relay costs £65.
Every finisher will receive a 40th anniversary commemorative medal and t shirt.
Registrations are open now at derrystrabane.com/whm.