Belfast wins right to host the IAU World 24-Hour Championships
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Belfast wins right to host the IAU World 24-Hour Championships

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Belfast’s revamped Connswater Community Greenway will play host to the 2017 International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) 24-Hour World Championships.

The competition – held every two years – will take place in the Victoria Park section of the Greenway on 1 and 2 July. The Greenway is currently undergoing a £40m (US$57.5m, €51.8m) redevelopment after winning investment from the Big Lottery Fund, Belfast City Council and the Department for Social Development.

The 24-hour running competition was last held in Turin in 2015 and attracted 300 competitors from 45 nations.

Dirk Strumane, president of the IAU, made the announcement during an Executive Council meeting in Monaco. He said: “Belfast presented us with a convincing, well-structured and strongly supported bid and we are looking forward to a fruitful and constructive co-operation.”

Bid chair Ed Smith admitted that the result was “touch and go for a while”, but said the bid was well supported by Athletics Northern Ireland.

“We realise that there are no eye-catching household names in this branch of athletics, but hopefully with the Championship we can bring a spotlight to bear on the park and the whole city with the influx of athletes and visitors,” added Smith. “We will certainly be doing our best to deliver a memorable event in the first two days of July next year.”

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