Two-hour traffic delay spoils Dublin Half Marathon

Race organisers apologise for traffic management of event


The start of the Dublin Half Marathon was delayed for half an hour on Saturday due to major traffic delays for people driving to the race. The race organisers and Fingal Co Council have issued an apology for the traffic management of the event.

Motorists travelling to the event reported delays of more than two hours as traffic was heavily backed up on the M1. Numerous motorists parked their cars on the side of the motorway and began walking to the event due to the traffic.

This year the event was moved from the Phoenix Park to Newbridge Demesne park in Donabate north county Dublin.

Race director Jim Aughney apologised to those taking part in the race. In a statement, he said “a full traffic management review will be underway with all stakeholders post-event”.

The race start time was delayed several times due to the traffic congestion, from 9.30am to 9.45am, and then to 10am.

The race was organised by the Dublin Marathon group and Fingal Co Council. In a statement, the local authority said “Fingal county council apologises to everybody affected by this morning’s traffic delays and will be participating in a post-event traffic management review with the event organisers and other stakeholders”.

Liam Sheridan was one runner registered to take part in the half marathon who abandoned his plans over the traffic delays.

“I was coming up from Meath this morning, and I was about 3km away from Donabate at 7.45am in the morning. Sixty minutes later I had only moved 400 metres on the M1. It was bumper to bumper.”

Liam, who is from Kells in Co Meath said he decided to give up and pulled out into the opposite lane and began driving home.

He said driving back down the motorway the traffic backlog continued for about a kilometre. “It wasn’t moving anywhere at all.”

The traffic delays were due to the lack of access points into the Newbridge Demesne park for motorists, as the M1 was the only major route on to the two roads into the Donabate park.

“It was very frustrating, you have been training for months for this,” Liam said. “People were very frustrated. People were leaving their cars by the side of the motorway, or pulling up and driving up the hard shoulder. It was a recipe for disaster.”

His brother was also participating in the half marathon on Saturday, and got the train to Donabate and arrived on time for the original start time of 9.30am. “Him and everyone else there on time were then left standing in the cold and wind for an hour and a half as the start time was delayed,” Liam said.

Several other people on Twitter also reported they were unable to make it to the race’s starting point in time, and had to turn around and return home. The organisation and traffic management of the race were heavily criticised by those caught up in the heavy traffic delays.

A series of road closures and traffic diversions were put in place along the half marathon’s route in Donabate to accommodate the race this weekend.

Maria McCambridge won Saturday’s race in 1 hour, 22 minutes, 25 seconds – nine years after winning it in 2008. Bereket Gebraslase took the men’s elite race in 1:06:45.

“I was delighted to win, there was great running on the course and I enjoyed the hilly parts,” McCambridge said. “I am now looking forward to focusing on the Dublin Marathon.”

Gebraslase dominated throughout the race and had a clear lead at the 10km mark. “I was very happy to win, it was my first-time racing in Ireland and I hope to return to compete in the Dublin Marathon.”

SSE Airtricity Dublin Half-Marathon Results

1. Bereket Gebraslase 1:06:45
2. Valdas Dopolskas 1:07:11
3. John Coghlan 1:08:52

1. Maria McCambridge 1:22:25
2. Francisco Novais 1:22:43
3. Denise Logue 1:24:38