Organisers of the Dublin Marathon have secured a new headline sponsorship for their main event and countdown race series, Irish Life coming on board for the next three years up to and including 2024.
This year’s Dublin Marathon, set for Sunday October 30th, will be the first since 2019 - the last two editions of the event in October 2020 and October 2021 both cancelled due to Covid-19.
Previous headline sponsors KBC Bank, who had signed a three-year deal beginning in 2019, stood by the event despite it not proceeding beyond virtual means, any further renewal ruled out once it was announced they had plans to exit the Irish market in the second half of 2022.
It’s not yet clear if Irish Life taking over as Dublin Marathon sponsor will impact on their headline sponsorship deal with Athletics Ireland, which is set to continue throughout 2022.
“This sponsorship will take us into a new era,” said Jim Aughney, long-serving Dublin Marathon race director. “Through this partnership we can reach new targets through a shared vision of helping people to live more physically active and healthy lives.
“We have ambitious plans and I look forward to working with Irish Life to continue to provide the best and most welcoming racing experience in Ireland for the running community, to inspire, encourage and support them to be active, and to set new goals and achieve them.”
Now set for its 43rd year, the Dublin Marathon currently has a capacity of 25,000 runners, all those entries sold out well in advance for the last two years: following the cancellations, most entries were rolled over to 2022, a limited number made available for via a lottery system.
Irish Life will also be sponsors of the Dublin race series, which consists of four races during the summer months building up in distance, from 10km to a half marathon, to prepare runners for the marathon at the end of October. It’s expected that up to 45,000 runners of all abilities will register across all five races. Dublin is now the fourth largest marathon in Europe, and raises an estimated €9 million annually for charity partners and €26.5 million for the city of Dublin
Last July, Aughney announced the cancellation of the event for the second time, less than four months out from the race date of Sunday October 24th, given the still “many unknowns” around outdoor mass participation events for the rest of the year. For now at least the majority of the 25,000 sell-out entry of runners originally signed up in advance of the 2020 edition will get their chance to run the streets of Dublin in 2022.