Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: The Top 20 Marathons in Europe by size...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Top 20 Marathons in Europe by size...

Back on the 11th of April, I had a post up about the Dublin City Marathon and how they were cutting the top prizes and elite field as a result of not being able to find a sponsor.

Afterwards, it got me thinking about just how big is the Dublin City Marathon really? How big is it in comparison to say the other European Marathons?

The answer for me was a real suprise in that the Dublin Marathon is in fact the seventh largest in Europe. Just to put Dublin into context, it is on an island off the north-west of Europe and the immediate catchment area are those living on the island itself. Otherwise, anyone else taking part has to travel to Dublin by air or sea. Taken as a whole, the population of the island of Ireland is about 6.4 million making it only the 17th largest when compared to other countries in the European Union.

These were the top 20 Marathons in Europe in 2012 by size...
Looking at the list above, there are many other Marathons in major cities around Europe which are smaller than Dublin. Some of those not shown are.....Athens (6,376), Munich (6,084), Vienna (5,892), Prague (5,624), Helsinki (4,261), Budapest (3,585), Zurich (3,046).

The list of the top 50 European Marathons by size in 2012 can be seen HERE

It's obvious that Dublin punches way above it's weight. Going on the figures above, Dublin's 'natural' level might be down around the 6,000 mark. Instead it's almost double that. Why??

Obviously a lot of it is due to a lot of hard work over the years building up the 'brand'. Things like going to expos at other Marathons overseas and advertising the event. Some will argue that it's because of the presence of elite fields with East African athletes posting times down around the 2:10 mark which suggests in turn that it is a fast course thereby encouraging more people to come. Personally, I don't believe that argument. I think overseas visitors are much more likely to come because of cultural reasons...i.e. because it's in Ireland and all they associate with that.

Whatever the reason is, being one of the top 10 Marathons in Europe is a major selling point. Yet when I looked at the Dublin website this morning, I could see no obvious mention of how popular the Marathon was. There is no mention of it being one of the top ten European Marathons. Their 'general info' page doesn't exactly impress either with just a few lines of text.

Surely being the 7th most popular Marathon in Europe is something that the Dublin Marathon organisers should be shouting about? After all, that fact alone will catch a lot of peoples attention and attract even more. In terms of sponsorship, are the Irish tourist board even aware that Dublin is the seventh largest?.....and that it is something unique and not something that can be taken for granted? Is it not worth supporting the Dublin Marathon to help keep it in the top 10? There are no shortage of Marathons on the continent with many cities trying to attract those extra visitors. I'm sure that there are a lot of tourist boards supporting those other Marathons that would gladly take it's place.



Philip said...

i think you should e mail that post to Dublin city council,bord failte and the marathon organisers. They should also consider using your skills in the re design and regular updating of their web site which is very dated. No disrespect to the people involved but the failure to properly promote their product in such a destination city shows they need to freshen up their thinking.

Anonymous said...

I agree 100% with what Philip has written.