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Graham to Dominate Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon

15 September 2016

Graham to Dominate Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon

Around 3,200 people will be taking to the streets in this Sunday’s (18th September) 4th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon. Starting and finishing in Ormeau Park, the half marathon route will take in all parts of the picturesque Belfast City, from Victoria Park to Cornmarket, the Falls Road to Botanic Avenue. Whilst the majority of the roads will remain open throughout the event, there will still be some disruptions to those accessing the city.

30 year old Mourne Runners athlete Laura Graham is likely to dominate Sunday’s half marathon, with no less than 9 half marathon wins to her credit this year. The most notable of these being the Omagh Half Marathon in March, where she recorded a personal best time of 78 mins 7 secs. The current form of the mother of 4 points to another quick time this weekend particularly given the fast course which takes in East Belfast, the City Centre and the Lower Falls areas. 

Graham indicated after her recent win in the Laganside 10k that she was targeting this weekend's race in preparation for this autumn's Dublin Marathon in which she finished 3rd last year. The longer distance is probably her best event particularly given her achievements last spring.

The Men's race should see a repeat of the recent neck and neck struggle in the Derry Half Marathon, between Kenya's Freddy Sittuk and Foyle Valley's Scott Rankin. The two fought a grim battle, before 2014 Belfast Half Marathon winner Freddy snatched the win on the line, by a mere one second.

26 year old Rankin, who set a huge PB of 67 mins 38 secs will clearly be out for revenge in Belfast. The NI & Ulster 10,000 metres champion is in the form of his life, and clearly now has the sprint ability to cover any finishing breaks by the 35 year old African. Sittuk who is a past winner of both the Belfast and Derry marathons, will need to use all his experience to overcome Rankin in a race which, is sure to be another close battle.

As a result, motorists can expect some disruption throughout the morning and early afternoon, although every attempt will be made to ensure that this is kept to a minimum. Full details of the route and anticipated timings can be found on www.belfastcitymarathon.com.

While the majority of the roads will remain open throughout the event, the area around Ormeau Embankment will be closed to through traffic in both directions between approximately 7am to 12noon, although slight disruption can be expected along the Ravenhill Road until around 10am. Disruption also can be expected along the Albertbridge Road, Newtownards Road, Dee Street and Sydenham Bypass until shortly after 10.15am.

The front runners are expected to pass over the Sam Thompson Bridge onto Airport Road at approximately 9.35am and make their way to Queens Bridge at approximately 9.45am via Sydenham Road and Station Street Flyover. These front runners are expected to pass through the city centre from Custom House Square, via High Street, Cornmarket, Arthur Street, Chichester Street, Caste Street enroute to the Falls Road at approximately 9.50am. The area around Victoria Street will be disrupted between 8.30am and 11am.

Disruption can also be expected on Grosvenor Road, Great Victoria Street, and Bruce Street heading towards Dublin Road, Shaftesbury Square and Botanic Avenue from 8.30am to 11.50pm. At approximately 10am the front runners will pass through University Street onto the Ormeau Road, and Ormeau Embankment to the final stretch of the race, finishing with the home straight insight at approximately 10.10am. The final finisher is estimated to arrive at the Ozone Centre Finish line at approximately 12noon.  

For spectators wishing to meet family and friends at the start/finish area, there are a variety of carparks close by that you can avail off. These can be found on www.belfastcitymarathon.com.

Information on the expected traffic disruptions can be obtained from the Traffic Information and Control Centre on 08457 123321, or via www.trafficwatchni.com. Regular updates will also be given via the Marathon’s official Media Partner, U105.

Details of changes to Translink Metro services can be obtained by calling 028 9066 6630 (7am – 8pm) or visiting www.translink.co.uk.

Please note that we aim to assist in the continuous flow of traffic, therefore traffic will be diverted city bound at University Avenue and country bound at Ormeau Avenue. We appreciate your patience with us.