Thursday, October 29, 2009

From Big Apple to Belfast

Running this weekend's New York City Marathon but already have your eyes set on running another 26.2 after the ground thaws? Not running in NYC but searching for a spring marathon to keep your legs busy this winter? Even if you can't answer yes to these questions, you might reconsider once you hear that Belfast, Northern Ireland's capital, wants you to run its Belfast City Marathon on May 3, 2010. So much so that runners participating in the New York City Marathon and across the globe will have the chance to enter to win an all-expenses-paid trip across the Atlantic.

NYC Marathoners can meet race organizers from Sport Northern Ireland at the NYC Marathon Health & Fitness Expo and submit their entry for a chance to win. Find the Belfast City Marathon at booth 108 in the Javits Center and enter any time during the expo's hours from Thursday, October 29 at 9 a.m. to Saturday, October 31 at 5 p.m. In addition to on-site contest entry at the Expo, runners everywhere can enter online at www.belfastcitymarathon. Two lucky winners will be announced November 9, 2009.

Still not convinced? Running in Belfast doesn't necessarily mean running another marathon. The race, celebrating its 29th running, prides itself on offering a marathon walk, wheelchair race, team relay and 3-mile fun run in addition to the marathon, although a 26.2-mile journey is never a bad way to tour a city (or at least this marathoner thinks so). Held on a Monday, May 3 is also a bank holiday, which means plenty of spectators for the 18,000 runners. Save 10 percent by signing up for the race at the NYC Marathon expo--perfect if you already know you want to run or know that you don't stand a chance at winning contests (that luck of the Irish just never goes your way) but still want to run and save some dough. And a vacation with a run built in--excuse enough for me--never disappoints. Maybe some soreness or blisters afterward but checking out Ireland's countryside makes it all worth it. Photos grabbed from Belfast City Online. Posted by Kate

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