Athletics

Watch: East Donegal Three-Quarters Marathon highlights from last year - almost 1, 000 expected for dual 2019 event this weekend

Many taking part are preparing for the Dublin City Marathon

Donegal Democrat Reporter

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Donegal Democrat Reporter

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Competitors from the United States, Scotland and 24 counties around Ireland will be among the 900 strong field at the start line for two major road races being held in the Ballybofey area this Sunday.

The second annual East Donegal Three-Quarters Marathon - over a distance of 19.66 miles/31.65km - gets underway at 9.40 am while the East Donagal Half Marathon (13.1 miles/21km) begins at 10.00 am.

And with around 60% of the participants from outside Donegal, there will be a direct economic spin-off for the area with a considerable number doing the race including it as part of a weekend away.

According to race organiser, Eunan Quinn, the event is “going from strength to strength” and its success is largely due to its timing.

A considerable number of those taking part are using it as part of their training programme for the Dublin City Marathon on the October Bank Holiday weekend.

“We had about 300 for the three-quarters last year and will be nearly double this time,” he said.

The race headquarters is Jackson’s Hotel in Ballybofey and registrations will still be taken on Saturday from 2.00 - 5.00 pm and from 7.30 am on Sunday morning.

Both events head out in the Glenfin direction with a longer loop for those doing the greater distance.

Local firm Nomadic Dairy has come on board as race partners.

Among those taking part will be Team Kerr from Co. Down, which comprises mum Sandra, and dad David, who push their son Aaron - who has complex needs - around the course in a custom build running wheelchair.

They will be using the Donegal event as part of their preparations to take part in their 40th marathon which happens to be the 40th staging of the Dublin City Marathon which is set to have a record 22,500 taking part this year.