Around 13,000 people will take part in the virtual Dublin City Marathon this Bank Holiday weekend.
Participants can choose to do the full KBC marathon of 26.2 miles, a four mile run, a 10 kilometre run or a half marathon – all to take place within a five kilometre radius of their homes due to current Covid-19 restrictions.
Runners will download an app with a built-in GPS tracker that records their distance and uploads their time automatically.
The marathon is also going global this year, as thousands of people will run in different parts of the world.
The charities this year are going to lose out big time and that’s why it was important to get the virtual event up
Race Director Jim Aughney said the marathon going ahead virtually was important for both its participants and the charities they are set to raise around €9 million for.
“The charities this year, like all other events, are going to lose out big time and that’s why it was important to get the virtual event up,” he said.
“For the participants, to give them a goal, but also to try and claw back some of that money for the well-deserving charities that would normally get a big pay day from the KBC Dublin marathon.”
To facilitate a range of time zones, the event will start on Saturday and go on until Monday.
“We’ve 13,000 entries across the virtual series which is very, very good. Thankfully we’ve nothing to compare it with and hopefully we will never have anything to compare it with in the future so we can’t say if entries are up or down,” Mr Aughney said.
One participant, Katharine Teeling from Coast Road Runners, is preparing to take part in the marathon for the eighth time.
“It’s taken me a while to decide what route I’m going to do, I’ve kind of toyed with about three different routes,” she said.
“Fortunately I actually chose quite a local route only about two weeks ago so in terms of the 5k limit I’m actually pretty good.”
Around €9 million is raised each year through the event for charity and those taking part are encouraged to continue to raise funds.