Monday, December 05, 2011
New Marathon for Waterford in 2012
Starting in the city, the routes used will be the usual Waterford to Tramore road as well as a loop to the west as shown on the map. If the Tramore road is anything to go by then the course might described as reasonable but certainly not flat.
Comment and Analysis.........So ignoring all of the marketing hype and unrealistic expections, what's it really going to be like? Going on the basis that Waterford City has a population of circa 50k and Limerick City has circa 90k, then it wouldn't be unreasonable to use the Limerick Marathon event as a guideline to numbers. On that basis, the whole event may attract somewhere in the region of 3,000 to 4,000 runners.
1) Marathon......The full Marathon will possibly get approx 300-400 entries. Spread out over such a long route, big gaps will appear but this is where the relay runners come in. Without them, it could be a very lonely race. The fact that it is on in mid-Summer may deter many runners with many waiting for Dublin for cooler conditions. With the Cork Marathon coming just 3 weeks beforehand, it's likely that the vast majority of Marathon runners will be from the south-east region.
2) Half-Marathon....This is going to be yet another Half-Marathon in what is a very congested market. The fact that it is in Waterford itself will guarantee that many locals will do this race but perhaps at the expense of other Half-Marathons around that time. It will probably attract around 1,000 runners.
3) Relay runners......These will make up the bulk as teams of runners will complete the Marathon distance. It's very difficult to gauge how many will take part but a good guess is somewhere from 1,500 to 2,500.
Overall...It will no doubt be a welcome addition to the race calendar for people in the south-east region. The relay event with all of the associated publicity is likely to bring a lot more new runners from Waterford city into the sport which may well be reflected in larger race numbers locally in the second half of 2012. It may have a slight impact on the Cork Marathon numbers but the effect is likely to be small. Overall, good news for the sunny south-east!