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Ulster University is delighted to be the official partner for an inaugural world-class 5K and accompanying mile road race in Belfast this summer, which promises to be the highest-profile sporting event in Northern Ireland for quite some time.

The Belfast 5K and Mile has been approved by World Athletics Label as an elite event which is open to everyone to take part and will start and finish at the state-of-the-art Ulster University Belfast campus in the city centre.

Scheduled for Sunday morning, 9 June with elite mile races for men and women also on the programme, the event will be broadcast by the BBC to 100 countries all around the world.

Already attracting world-class talent, Olympic 5,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei has confirmed he will be competing, he said:

“I am excited to be running in Belfast on 9 June on the beautiful course around the Titanic Belfast and Ulster University less than 50 days before the Paris Games.”

Heading up the event is race organiser, Olympian James McIlroy, and proud Ulster University Alumni, he explained more about one of the most anticipated events for Belfast this year:

“The Belfast 5K and mile are Northern Ireland’s latest World Athletics elite label road races. We are really looking forward to welcoming some of the best runners from across the world, especially following the news of Olympic 5,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei joining us here in Belfast.”

“Kicking off sporting celebrations less than 50 days before the start of the Olympic Games, the calibre of talent that joins the Belfast 5km and Mile is second to none, as it couldn’t be better timing for athletes to incorporate the Belfast race as part of their training.

“It is safe to say an attempt on the world record is not being ruled out as part of the thrust to obtain the World Road Running Championships for Northern Ireland in 2028. This race is attractive to runners as the route is essentially flat, it is perfect for hitting personal bests or for a running beginner.

“The route in both Belfast 5K and the mile, takes you through the centre of Belfast and alongside Belfast’s most iconic landmarks, starting at Ulster University Belfast, before heading across the Lagan to the Titanic Quarter, getting a glimpse of the Harland and Wolff cranes. The route back across the river heads through the Cathedral Quarter to the finish line.”

“Everyone is welcome to come along and take part or come down with family and friends to enjoy the atmosphere cheering runners on from the sidelines. We will kick off the mass race with a variety of local entertainers, guaranteed to get runners ready for the start line.”

Head of UU Sports Services, Dr Nigel Dobson, is excited about the opportunity to engage students, staff, alumni and the local community in a significant and high-profile major event for Belfast in 2024.

This event brings an enormous opportunity for more of us to be more active, more often and kick-starts a significant time for the future development of sport and major events in the city in coming years. I look forward to welcoming everyone to the start line.”

How to register

The 5K which is also open to club and recreational runners will be preceded by elite miles for both man and women centred around Ulster University’ city centre campus. One of these will also be open to the running public.

Registration for all three races is now open on the Belfast 5km and Mile website. Elite athletes should contact James McIlroy via the website.