Headline act mooted as Antrim Coast Half Marathon grows in stature

An outdoor concert featuring a chart-topping group is among new proposals for this year’s Antrim Coast Half Marathon celebrations.
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It is one of a number of additions to the programme for the Larne-hosted challenge which has become the first in Ireland and only the third in the United Kingdom to join the prestigious series of IAAF Road Race Label Events.

Touted as one of the most beautiful road races in the world, it is held on the Antrim Coast road and will sit alongside major cities Houston, Mumbai, Dubai, Napoli, Osaka, Lagos, Seville, Tokyo, Istanbul, London, Valencia, Barcelona, Warsaw, Shanghai, New Delhi, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires on the prestigious roster. World Athletics has also confirmed it will be sending a delegate to the race in August.

After the success of the 2020 race which saw Sir Mo Farah and Lily Partridge break the Irish all-comers records and Gary O’Hanlon and Tommy Hughes break age group world records, the organisers are planning for a mass entry in 2021.

The half marathon is now part of the prestigious series of IAAF Road Race Label Events.The half marathon is now part of the prestigious series of IAAF Road Race Label Events.
The half marathon is now part of the prestigious series of IAAF Road Race Label Events.

Details are still to be confirmed, but the mooted headline act has Glastonbury pedigree to bring to the race after-party, which will be an outdoor concert at Cairndhu Golf Club overlooking the half-marathon course.

Race organiser James McIlroy stated: “The 2021 race really will be amazing when you think we will have the best runners in the world running on one of the most beautiful roads in the world, whilst also welcoming the masses back, who not only will get to race with some of their heroes returning from the Tokyo Olympics but due to the out and back nature of the course road, they’ll also get a great view of the elite race – which we hope will be a record breaking race like last year.

“We also should be in a position to welcome the American and African competitors confirmed for last year’s race but unfortunately due to restrictions were not able to travel - and hopefully topping it all off with the best after-party in athletics.”

Immediately after the main race, the organisers plan to launch the first ever Antrim Coast mini-marathon Kids’ Race which will take in the length of Larne Main Street before finishing near the entertainment hub at Sandy Bay.

Consistent with the adults’ event which will be started by the headline sponsors, passenger ferry the European Highlander, the children’s run will be started by the Town Hall clock in a call out to ‘Chariots of Fire’. Already lending their support to the kids’ race is European Champion and five-time Olympian Jo Pavey, whose family will be competing.

All age groups welcome with accompanying adults allowed for the under 9s. All competitors will receive a T-shirt and medal identical to the IAAF Label main race

With the majority of last year’s entry already signing up for the 2021 race, the organisers have set the ambitious target of the first ever sub-60 minutes men’s half marathon and sub-70 women’s half marathon in Ireland.

Concert tickets go on sale from March 1 via the event website priced at £15.

Click here to read: Legendary runners launch Larne’s Antrim Coast Half-Marathon


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