The 2018 SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon will mark and celebrate female participation, linking with the nationwide commemoration of Vótáil 100, the 100th anniversary of women being granted the right to vote.
Constance Markievicz, a key campaigner for Irish women’s voting rights, will appear on the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon finishers medal.
Among those at yesterday’s launch of this year’s 39th running of the Marathon was Mary Hickey who has competed in every one of the previous runnings.
In 1980 she was one of only 70 women competing, three percent of the total race entry. In 2018 the ambition is that the number should be as high as 8,000 representing 40 percent of the maximum number to compete.
Those wishing to join here though will need to move fast as this year’s race, though not taking place until October is on target to sell out six weeks earlier than last year in the middle of June.
“The Dublin Marathon has attracted women of all ages and fitness levels from around Ireland and across the globe over the years,” said Race Director Jim Aughney.
“In 1980, female runners accounted for only 3% of Dublin Marathon entries, in 2017, that was 35% and our goal this year is to increase female participation again to 40%.”
The race is now the fifth largest in Europe, behind only London, Moscow, Paris and Berlin and attracts one in five of the competitors from outside of Ireland.
This year’s event will also serve as the international championship for police unions across Europe,” added Deputy race Director Eugene Coppinger.
“Champions representing the police forces from 22 countries across Europe will take part adding to the international dimension of the race.”
“We are delighted to be sponsoring the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon and Race Series for the sixth year running,” said Leanne Sheill, Sponsorship Manager at SSE Airtricity.
“We are looking forward to supporting everyone all the way to the finish line. Of course, it’s the people that make this marathon so special, from the runners to the supporters to the volunteers. With that in mind, we’re once again encouraging everyone to share their personal journeys using the hashtag #TwentyThousandStories on social media.”
That innovation was a major winner for the event and the brand last year and given the celebration of Women runners in such a historic year is bound to do so again.
“We are delighted that the organisers of the Dublin Marathon have chosen to work with us as part of the Vótáil 100 programme and use the image of Constance Markievicz on the finishers’ medal for the 2018 race,” said Senator Ivana Bacik, Chair of the Votail 100 Committee.
“This year we are commemorating the one hundredth anniversary of women’s suffrage in Ireland. It is also the centenary of the year that Constance Markievicz became the first woman elected to Dáil Éireann and one of the first women in the world to hold a cabinet position.”
“So, it is fitting that her achievements and the achievements of all of those who campaigned for universal suffrage are recognised in one of the country’s leading sporting events, the Dublin Marathon – an event that continues to promote female participation in sport.”
Marathon running has never been more popular in Ireland and we will be sending two competitive teams to the European Championships in Berlin in August.
The elite level is backed by continued high demand from regular runners. This is the third year since the race moved to Sunday of the October Bank Holiday Weekend, giving more time for competitors to recover and to better appeal to runners from overseas and north of the border.
It is also the third year since the maximum number of competitors was raised to 20,000 in agreement with Dublin City Council.
“The demand remains stronger than ever,” added Eugene Coppinger. “We will be analysing all the elements of the race again this year with a view to exploring whether it is feasible to increase the numbers taking part and giving even greater access to this institution within Irish sport.
The 39th running of the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon will take place on Sunday, 28th October 2018. In 2017, the event sold out three months before the closing date with a record number of 20,000 entries. There are currently only 5,000 places left.
The first of the race series will kick off with the South Dublin 10K on Sunday 22nd of July. This will be followed by the long running Frank Duffy 10 Mile set for Fingal this year on Sunday 2nd of September, having to make way for the Papal Visit in the Phoenix Park the previous weekend.
The SSE Airtricity Dublin Half Marathon then returns to the Phoenix Park on Saturday 22nd of September.
Image Credit: Sam Barnes, Sportsfile