John Treacy Announced as the Official Starter for the 2023 Irish Life Dublin Marathon
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 Dublin Marathon. The Olympic Silver medallist and Irish marathon record holder ran 2:14.40 on the day to claim victory.
Speaking at the announcement, John Treacy said: “I am honoured to be asked to start the 2023 Irish Life Dublin Marathon. 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 plan 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 and time bonuses for exceptional Irish athlete performances on the day. This is part of their overall Marathon Mission programme, 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 are completing the 26.2 miles. 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.
Speaking at the launch, Minister of State for Sport and Physical Education Thomas Byrne TD said: “The Dublin Marathon represents a fantastic opportunity to promote and celebrate the value of physical activity. 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 for the marathon. To help achieve this, all the female participants in the 2023 Half Marathon will receive 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.
Mary Hickey, the only female to have taken part in every Dublin Marathon, is encouraging those women to sign-up: “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”! So, sign up, and you will have a full year to prepare and build up your mileage”. This initiative is also strongly backed by National marathon champion Courtney McGuire who believes it’s a challenge women won’t regret taking on, given the sense of accomplishment to achieve what is a bucket list item for many.
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 introduce a new category this year to allow athletes to enter as nonbinary as well as male or female. A window will be 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 runners to participate in a category that matches their identity.
Declan Bolger, CEO of Irish Life Group, said: “We are really excited to be heading into the second year of the Irish Life Dublin Marathon partnership. 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, particularly as they further enhance the inclusiveness of an already outstanding event. We wish every runner the very best of luck as they embark on their training for the 42nd Dublin Marathon.”
Newly Introduced Transfer
The Irish Life Dublin Marathon is already sold out; however, runners who have not yet been offered a place through the lottery system may benefit from the refund window as additional places may become available. The refund will be available in the first two weeks of June.
A new transfer system will also open to runners for July, allowing existing entrants to transfer their place to another runner.
Irish Life Dublin Race Series
The highly popular Irish Life Dublin Race Series will start off with the Corkagh Park 5 Mile on Sunday, June 18th. Speaking at the launch, national marathon champion Martin Hoare said: “The race series is a great way to prepare for the Irish Life Dublin Marathon as the four races move up in distance throughout the Summer from 5 miles through to the half marathon distance. They are also great for a one-off race experience, so pick your preferred distance and sign up!”
Entries are open on IrishLifeDublinMarathon.ie.