The Dublin Marathon has introduced a transfer system, which will allow runners to officially pass their entry to someone else. A few other changes have also been introduced including several initiatives designed to encourage more women to take part and also a new non-binary entry category for the event this year.
With entries sold out so far in advance for the coveted event, there is always a percentage of ‘no shows’ each year due to injury or unavailability. Last year saw a particularly high number of no-shows, exacerbated because many entries dated back to 2019 before Covid caused the event to be postponed for two years.
Delighted to officially launch the 2023 #IrishLifeDublinMarathon & announce John Treacy as our Race Starter.
We’ve also introduced a number of inclusive initiatives for our event & a new transfer window for July 👟🏃🏻♀️
Read more: https://t.co/uLTa9SJZTp#PowerOfSupport pic.twitter.com/IsS0QUYtIp
— Irish Life Dublin Marathon (@dublinmarathon) May 9, 2023
But it was organisers' concerns about their inability to identify some distressed runners who had unofficially taken up someone else’s entry, amoung other health and safety precautions, that prompted them to introduce the transfers.
This year’s race will also have a reduced capacity, from a 25 000 entry limit last year to 22 500 for the 2023 event ( 29 October 2023), mainly due to infrastructure restrictions around the course.
A few changes are geared towards more inclusivity for those who enter the Dublin Marathon. One new rule will allow any pregnant or post-partum woman who is unable to run in 2023 to defer her place to one of the following three years.
Women who take part in this year’s official Half-Marathon on 23 September will also get preferential early entry to the ticket lottery for next year’s marathon.
Mary Hickey, the only female to have taken part in every Dublin Marathon has encouraged more women to sign-up: “There are plenty of women who complete the half marathon and perhaps don’t have the confidence to take on the marathon distance, and I can tell you from experience you can do it”! So, sign up, and you will have a full year to prepare and build up your mileage”.
Race Director Jim Aughney also explained why they’re introducing a new non-binary entry, which will have its own category prize: “During our discussions with the clubs, particularly Dublin Frontrunners (an LGBTQ club), a number of people said they hadn’t run the event in the past because non-binary wasn’t included.
“When we got that feedback from runners it was something we needed to add,” Aughney said.
Participants will have the opportunity to change their entry to the nonbinary category during a window period in August.
However, introducing a finish tape for the non-binary category looks unlikely at this stage because of the logistics involved.
“If you have someone finishing in 3 hours 15 minutes we have 179 people finishing per minute at that rate. There’s no way that you can jump out in front of one person there to hold out a tape so we explained that to them and they understand,” Aughney added.
This year’s official starter will be Olympic silver medallist John Treacy, to mark his victory in Dublin in 1993 in 2:14:40.
John Treacy .. our official race starter for the 2023 #IrishLifeDublinMarathon. 30yrs on from his 1993 Dublin Marathon win. The Olympic Silver medallist & Irish marathon record holder ran 2:14.40 on the day to claim victory 🏆 #PowerOfSupport pic.twitter.com/Y9SFvMXV6P
— Irish Life Dublin Marathon (@dublinmarathon) May 10, 2023
Defending champions Courtney McGuire and Martin Hoare will also attempt to retain their titles. Clonmel AC’s McGuire (23) was not only Irish women’s champion in 2022 but third woman overall in 2:32 on her debut over 26 miles. McGuire is aiming for 2:30 and an Olympic qualification this year.
While the 2023 Dublin Marathon is sold out, there are still places available in the Irish Life Dublin Race Series which includes a 5 mile, 10km, 10 mile and half marathon distance. Entries are open on IrishLifeDublinMarathon.ie.