“It is without doubt the friendliest marathon in the country.”
The words of Pat the Baker Longford Marathon organising committee vice-chairperson John Sheehan who is looking forward to the 14th marathon which takes place on Sunday, August 30, with the Longford Arms Hotel as race headquarters.
The inaugural Longford Marathon took place in 2002 and it has grown in popularity over the years, so much so that athletes from fourteen different countries have already registered to compete in the 2015 edition of the race.
“This has an important tourism spin off for the town and county,” pointed out Mr Sheehan at the launch of the marathon last Wednesday night in the Longford Arms Hotel.
Mr Sheehan also said the committee were fortunate to be able to call on the assistance of numerous volunteers who toil in the background.
“The mammoth work of stewards, water station assistants, pacers, Gardaí, civil defence, council workers and sponsors all contribute to making the Pat the Baker Longford Marathon the well regarded event that it is.”
He hailed the fantastic sponsorship provided by Pat the Baker. “We are very lucky to have a fantastic sponsor with a significant local and national profile. Pat the Baker has been very helpful since they got involved in 2009.”
Deputy James Bannon, County Council Cathaoirleach Gerry Warnock, Longford Municipal District Cathaoirleach Seamus Butler and Michael Meaney of Pat the Baker also spoke at the launch and they were keen, and rightly so, to send out a positive message.
“The marathon reflects the great community spirit in Longford and it has a role in portraying a positive image of the town and county.”
There is a charitable element to the marathon and representing St Christopher’s Services, Donal Drake outlined that since 2002 they have benefited to the tune of almost €200,000 - vital funding and a credit to everyone associated with the event.
In the lead up to the marathon, there is a 5km ‘warm up’ road race on Thursday, August 27.
While the 39.3 mile Ultra Marathon and Marathon Walk start at 8:30am on Sunday, August 30 and the Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay Marathon all start at 10am.
For more on the 14th Pat the Baker Longford Marathon or to register to take part, check out www.longfordmarathon.com