Antrim Coast Half Marathon Shines Spotlight On Northern Ireland
The 2021 Antrim Coast Half Marathon provided an opportunity to showcase Northern Ireland to the world.
A statement published on Tourism NI's website said, "Thousands of local and international elite runners joined together over the [UK's August] bank holiday to participate in the 2021 Antrim Coast Half Marathon.
"This year's Antrim Coast Half Marathon was ranked number one in the world, with over 100 runners participating in the international elite race, over 400 in the sub-elite race and record numbers who participated in the mass race.
"Four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah returned this year as an ambassador while also commentating for the BBC.
"The race started and finished in Larne and highlighted Northern Ireland as a location well suited to hosting world-class events, with over 100,000 people watching the event live worldwide."
Tourism NI Director of Strategic Development Statements
In a statement also published on Tourism's website, Tourism NI director of strategic development David Roberts said, "We were delighted to sponsor the Antrim Coast Half Marathon this year. The event presented a fantastic opportunity to showcase Northern Ireland and shine a spotlight on our beautiful landscape with elite international athletes and ambassador Sir Mo Farah. Events like this are crucial to our local economy and help boost the profile of tourism in Northern Ireland."
Roberts added, "It is heartening to see the growing public desire to attend outdoor events as restrictions continue to ease. The organisers did a sterling job which showcased the beauty of the destination in a safe and welcoming environment."
Tourism Ireland Director Of Corporate Services, Policy & Northern Ireland Statement
In another statement published on Tourism NI's website, Tourism Ireland's director of corporate services, policy & Northern Ireland, Shane Clarke, said, "This year's Antrim Coast Half Marathon was an excellent opportunity to highlight our breathtaking coastline in GB - our largest overseas tourism market - with live coverage of the event airing on BBC. As we begin to restart overseas tourism, it was a really great way to shine a spotlight on Northern Ireland."
Event Organiser Statement
In an additional statement published on Tourism NI's website, event organiser James McIlroy said, "It was a very special moment when Yalemzerf Yehualaw broke the world record becoming the first woman ever to break 64 minutes for the half marathon, and it makes her so happy that she did it in Larne. To do this in our first year as a World Athletics label series event is unbelievable, and the race will go from strength to strength from this point, attracting many more big names and numbers in the elite and mass races next year."
© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.