Organisers of the Dublin Marathon have revealed that a lack of sponsorship will result in a series of cutbacks for this year's race. The event, due to take place on Monday 28 October, has been forced to reduce its prize money by a third, eliminate its elite athlete fund and increase the registration fee. Organisers have said: "We've made it our intention to provide the same quality event for the mass runners, as much as possible, and not to let this impact on their enjoyment of the event."
Now in its 34th year, the marathon has become known for its staging on the Bank Holiday weekend and regularly attracts over 10,000 runners. The lack of funding comes after the title sponsor from last year, the National Lottery, withdrew, while a number of other companies turned down the opportunity to renew their contracts for the upcoming event.
Jim Aughney, the race director, said cutbacks were inevitable: "We certainly haven't thrown in the towel just yet, but right now we've had to cut our elite athlete budget completely. For the past number of years we've invited up to 30 runners, many Kenyans and Ethiopians, paid their way here, and put them up for a couple of days. That's gone. We've had to reduce our prize fund quite considerably too, the top prize of €15,000 down to €10,000."
On the registration fee, which is gone up from €70 to €75, Jim added: "That's actually our first increase since 2004, and I hope our runners will understand the difficult position we're in. That's still a bargain compared to many of the other big city marathons. We've made it our intention to provide the same quality event for the mass runners, as much as possible, and not to let this impact on their enjoyment of the event."