2018 SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon to celebrate achievements of women

Olympians Lizzie Lee and Caitriona Jennings today launched the 39th SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon. They were joined by 65-year-old Mary Hickey, who has completed all 38 Dublin Marathons, making up one of only 70 women who took part in the first event in 1980. Mary Jennings, who has the honour of winning the most national marathon titles, five in total - 1989, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000 - was also present at the launch.

This year the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon will mark and celebrate female participation, linking with the nationwide commemoration of Vótáil 100. Constance Markievicz, a key campaigner for Irish women’s voting rights, will appear on the 2018 SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon finishers' medal.

Senator Ivana Bacik, Chairperson of the Vótáil 100 committee, said "We are delighted that the organisers of the Dublin Marathon have chosen to work with us as part of the Vótáil 100 programme and use the image of Constance Markievicz on the finishers’ medal for the 2018 race. This year, through our Vótáil 100 – Mná san Oireachtas programme, we are commemorating the one hundredth anniversary of women's suffrage in Ireland. It is also the centenary of the year that Constance Markievicz became the first woman elected to Dáil Éireann and one of the first women in the world to hold a cabinet position. So, it is fitting that her achievements and the achievements of all of those who campaigned for universal suffrage, are recognised in one of the country’s leading sporting events, the Dublin Marathon - an event that continues to promote female participation in sport."

Speaking at the launch, Race Director Jim Aughney, said: “The Dublin Marathon has attracted women of all ages and fitness levels from around Ireland and across the globe over the years. In 1980, female runners accounted for only 3% of Dublin Marathon entries, in 2017, that was 35% and our goal this year is to increase female participation again to 40%.”

Lizzie Lee, who has recently been selected as part of the Irish Women’s Marathon team at the European Championships in August after running a personal best in the half marathon, notably only a few months after having her second daughter said: “Running a marathon is an incredible and inspiring experience and I would particularly encourage female runners to challenge themselves in 2018 by completing the Dublin Marathon. Signing up for the race-series leading up to the Marathon is the best possible way to prepare the body for the marathon distance and really gives confidence to competitors before the big day.”

Leanne Sheill, Sponsorship Manager at SSE Airtricity, said: “We’re delighted to be sponsoring the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon and Race Series for the sixth year running, and we’re looking forward to supporting everyone all the way to the finish line. Of course, it’s the people that make this marathon so special, from the runners to the supporters to the volunteers. With that in mind, we’re once again encouraging everyone to share their personal journeys using the hashtag #TwentyThousandStories on social media, and with this year’s event celebrating the participation of women, there’s sure to be some extra inspiring stories to share!”

The 39th running of the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon will take place on Sunday 28 October 2018.  In 2017, the event sold out three months before the closing date with a record number of 20,000 entries.  There are currently only 5,000 places left.

The first of the Race Series events will kick off with the South Dublin 10K on Sunday 22 July. This will be followed by the long-running Frank Duffy 10 Mile set for Fingal on Sunday 2 September, with the SSE Airtricity Dublin Half Marathon returning to the Phoenix Park on Saturday 22 September. The big one, the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon, will then take place on Sunday 28 October.