John Treacy has been chosen as the official race starter for the 2023 Irish Life Dublin Marathon to mark the 30th anniversary of his win in the 1993 race. The Olympic Silver medallist and Irish marathon record holder ran 2:14.40 on the day to claim victory.
“I am honoured to be asked to start the 2023 Irish Life Dublin Marathon,” he said.
“I have fond memories of that win back in ’93. I am looking forward to watching the elite race on the day. It is always great to see some of Ireland’s top elite marathoners race against international athletes on Irish soil and battle it out for national titles.”
In 2022 that honour went to Martin Hoare (Celbridge AC) and Courtney McGuire (Clonmel AC). The reigning national champions are planning to toe the line again on Sunday the 29th of October in Ireland’s premier marathon which has recently been given Elite Label status from World Athletics.
The 2023 Irish Life Dublin Marathon will again incorporate the national championships with Irish national medallists benefiting from prize funds as well as time bonuses for exceptional Irish athlete performances on the day.
This is part of their overall Marathon Mission programme which was established in 2009 by the Dublin Marathon organisers to support performance improvements in the marathon by Irish athletes.
Financial bursaries are also provided to enable elite marathon runners to pursue optimal training plans, including altitude camps and to travel and race overseas. This will be especially important over the coming 18 months with athletes targeting qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Since it’s inauguration, over €200,000 has been provided to athletes.
A Race for All
While at the top of the field, elite athletes and top national runners battle it out for placings and national titles, the achievement and joy for the majority is completing the 26.2 miles or 42 kilometres. Known as the ‘friendly marathon,’ the event is heralded as one of the best in Europe, given the incredible support from the thousands of volunteers who make the event possible and the spectators who line the streets of Dublin City in support.
“The Dublin Marathon represents a fantastic opportunity to promote and celebrate the value of physical activity,” said Minister of State for Sport and Physical Education, Thomas Byrne.
“It is wonderful to see thousands of runners, of all abilities, come together to run a marathon in our capital city. I want to wish all participants the very best of luck.”
Race Director Jim Aughney commented that the Irish Life Dublin Marathon organisers are committed to creating an event that is for everyone:
“We are very proud that we were one of the first city marathons in Europe to provide entry for assisted wheelchair users. They are valued members of the Dublin Marathon community and they along with their support teams are the first to start the race. We recognise however is still a need for ongoing improvements to be more inclusive and we have introduced several new initiatives this year.”
“The first is to encourage more women to sign up to the marathon. To help achieve this, all the female participants in the 2023 Half Marathon will be provided with the same preferential early entry as the 2023 marathon entrants for next year’s Irish Life Dublin Marathon. This will provide an entry window before the lottery is opened to the public and increase the opportunity for women to secure a marathon entry place.”
“There are plenty of women who complete the half marathon and perhaps don’t have the confidence to take on the marathon distance, and I can tell you from experience you can do it,” said Mary Hickey, the only female to have taken part in every Dublin Marathon.
Also added for this year is a new rule that will allow any woman who is unable to run in 2023 because they are pregnant or postpartum, to defer their place to one of the following three years: 2024, 2025 or 2026
The Irish Life Dublin Marathon will also be introducing a new category this year to allow athletes to enter as nonbinary as well as male or female. There will be a window provided to allow 2023 participants to change their entry to the nonbinary category should they wish to do so. This follows consultation with members from the running community for whom this will make a positive impact and will allow for runners to participate in a category that matches their identity.
“We are really excited to be heading into the second year of the Irish Life Dublin Marathon partnership,” said Declan Bolger, CEO of Irish Life Group.
“As a fellow South-Easterner, having grown up watching John Treacy’s Olympic and marathon successes, I am personally delighted to have him starting the race. We welcome all of these new initiatives, in particular as they further enhance the inclusiveness of what is already an already outstanding event. We wish every runner the very best of luck, as they embark on their training for the 42nd Dublin Marathon.