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06th May 2019

Belfast Marathon was accidentally 0.4 miles longer than it should have been

Rudi Kinsella

Wouldn’t you be absolutely sickened if you pulled up early?

Running a marathon is not easy. Not at all.

Feeling like you’re almost done and then realising that you’re not even half way through is one of the most soul-destroying feelings you can ever experience.

So running a full marathon and then being told that you actually finished about a half mile ago must feel absolutely bonkers.

And that is exactly what happened in the Belfast Marathon that took place on Sunday.

According to RTÉ, one of the lead cars at the front of the race mistakenly veered off the scheduled route. The lead runners followed the vehicle, and everyone else followed them. Madness.

David Seaton, chairman of the organising committee, said the course had been measured to the correct distance of 26 miles and 385 yards, and confirmed there had been a problem with one of the lead vehicles.

“We’re holding our hands up and we’re addressing it,” he said.

“We wish it hadn’t happened.”

But even despite this major mishap, the mistake didn’t stop Kenyan Caroline Jepchirchir clocking the fastest ever women’s time in Belfast.

She crossed the line after 2:36:38 to break the record and retain the title that she herself won last year.

Absolutely ridiculous, considering how much extra ground she ran.

A record number of more than 18,000 people took part in the marathon and associated events this year.