Northern Ireland

Belfast City Marathon: Thousands attend 35th annual race

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Media captionCamera gives insight into Belfast News NI reporter Tori Watson's progress as she has a shot at her first Belfast City Marathon.

The 35th Belfast City Marathon has taken place, with more than 17,500 runners participating.

The race started at Belfast City Hall and finished at Ormeau Park. The route took in streets in the north, south, east and west of the city.

Kenyan Joel Kipsang Kositany earned his third Belfast Marathon victory as he won the men's race.

Other events included a team relay race, a marathon walk, a wheelchair marathon and a fun-run.

Kositany broke clear in the closing stages to finish ahead of compatriot Eric Koech, with a time of two hours, 17 minutes and 39 seconds.

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Media captionThousands of people have been taking part in the 35th Belfast City Marathon.

Dan Tanui completed an all-Kenyan podium as he finished third.

Kilkeel athlete Laura Graham was second behind Ethiopian Berhan Gebremichael in the women's race, eight days after running the London Marathon.

Last year's winner Gebremichael took victory in two hours, forty-eight minutes and twenty-six seconds.

Belfast City Marathon picture gallery

Louise James, who lost five family members in a drowning tragedy in Buncrana, County Donegal, in March was among those taking part in the marathon.

Davitt Walsh, who rescued her baby daughter Rionaghac-Ann in the incident, also participated.

Ms James expressed her pride that more than 100 people had run in memory of her eight-year-old son Evan.

"I want to thank every single person who took part to remember Evan, whether you ran the race or have put your hand in your pocket to donate," she said.

"You did something remarkable in his name and to celebrate his life. I know he would be proud.

"It means so much that people who knew Evan and my family, and many who didn't, have come together like this."

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Louise James, who lost five family members in a drowning tragedy in Buncrana, County Donegal, in March was among those taking part in the marathon
Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Davitt Walsh who rescued Louise's baby daughter Rionaghac-Ann in the incident, also participated

About 2,700 people entered for the full marathon, alongside 1,800 relay teams with five runners in each team.

Image caption Those taking part were cheered off by spectators who gathered at the city hall
Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Former Liverpool FC manager Brendan Rodgers was among the runners
Image caption No, they weren't auditioning for a role in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, they were taking part in the marathon

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