The race is on for volunteers as MEA Antrim Coast Half Marathon warms up

Shaun Oneill

Reporter:

Shaun Oneill

Email:

sport@ballymenaguardian.co.uk

VOLUNTEER Now, Northern Ireland’s lead organisation for promoting and supporting volunteering across the region, is calling for volunteers to step up to the mark and lend their time and support to the ‘Mid & East Antrim’ Antrim Coast Half Marathon event, taking place over the summer bank holiday weekend from 27-28 August.

Established in 2020, the race has been certified by World Athletics as an ‘Elite Label Event’, a prestigious award bestowed upon races that combine some of the most stunning scenery in Europe with famous landmarks along the route. The Antrim Coast Half Marathon is one of only three such events in the UK alongside the London Marathon and Cardiff Half Marathon.

Starting within the town the course sweeps into Larne Harbour and through the historical town of Ballygally before moving out onto the world-famous Antrim Coast Road and UNESCO World Heritage Site, the backdrop to many movies and television series, including HBO’s Game of Thrones.

With its flat course, the race is also one of the fastest half marathons in the world. Four-time Olympic champion Sir Mo Farah holds the course record set in 2020 in a time of 60:27 and became a race ambassador for the event in 2021.

In partnership with BBC Northern Ireland, the event will once again be live streamed to audiences across the world, showcasing the best of Mid & East Antrim Borough Council and placing Northern Ireland on the world map for elite running events as well as a spectacular tourism destination.

Volunteer Now has partnered with the event to lend volunteer support and is calling for volunteers – old and new – to step up to the mark and give some time to help ensure a safe and enjoyable event.

Raquel Rodrigues Keenan, Events Officer at Volunteer Now said:

“Now in its third year, the ‘Mid & East Antrim’ Antrim Coast Half Marathon has grown to become a truly iconic event in the World Athletics Road Running calendar, with a global viewership set to tune in live on the day. It’s a great opportunity to showcase the best of the Antrim Coast Road to both participants and visitors, with some of the best runners in the world taking part. We would love to see our superb team of event ambassadors grow and welcome new volunteers to enjoy the atmosphere and excitement of a truly world-class event over the bank holiday weekend.”

Volunteer Now is calling for support for both the mile race taking place on Saturday 27th August, starting at 7.30pm, and the main World Athletics half marathon race on Sunday 28th August 2022, starting at 9am.

Volunteer opportunities are available across a range of roles over the two days, including:

Start/Finishing Hub Team members

Logistical support including shuttle service

Bag drop attendees (pre- and post-race)

Supporting with water stations

Route marshals – for the elite and mass races, kid’s race and classic street mile marshals

Distribution of tee shirts and medals

All volunteers will receive event training prior to Race Day, an official event tee shirt and after the event, a commemorative medal for their involvement.

“If you’re aged 16 or over and would like to be part of a major scale event whilst promoting Northern Ireland and meet new people – maybe even some celebrities - then join the team today by visiting www.volunteernow.co.uk to register, or contact the Volunteer Now Events Team on 028 9023 2020 or at events@volunteernow.co.uk”, said Raquel.

This year, event organisers expect to welcome over 10,000 runners, plus thousands more spectators as the elite runners try to break the one-hour barrier.

Ruth McIlroy, Antrim Coast Half Marathon Race Director said:

“Working with Volunteer Now is a great fit for the Antrim Coast Half Marathon, which takes place on one of the most iconic roads in the world. Events like this couldn’t happen without the support of the local community, and to bring a global mass participation event to Northern Ireland, we’d love support from all parts of the province to show the world, who will be watching on the live stream, what we can do.”

If you are interested in getting involved either as an individual, a family or as part of a group register here or via www.volunteernow.co.uk or contact the Volunteer Now Events Team on 028 9023 2020 or at events@volunteernow.co.uk

Photo Caption: The race is on for volunteers as MEA Antrim Coast Half Marathon warms up: Volunteer Now, Northern Ireland’s lead organisation for promoting and supporting volunteering across the region, is calling for volunteers to step up to the mark and lend their time and support to the ‘Mid & East Antrim’ Antrim Coast Half Marathon event, taking place over the summer bank holiday weekend from 27-28 August 2022. Volunteer Now has partnered with the event to lend volunteer support and is calling for volunteers – old and new – to step up to the mark and give some time to help ensure a safe and enjoyable event. This year, event organisers expect to welcome over 10,000 runners, plus thousands more spectators as the elite runners try to break the one-hour barrier. Pictured celebrating the launch of the event is (L-R): James McIlroy, Antrim Coast Half Marathon Race Director, Raquel Rodrigues Keenan, Volunteering Development Officer with Volunteer Now and Barbara Thompson from Larne, previous race finisher and volunteer at this year’s event. If you are interested in getting involved either as an individual, a family or as part of a group register here or via www.volunteernow.co.uk or contact the Volunteer Now Events Team on 028 9023 2020 or at events@volunteernow.co.uk.

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