Help support Cork Safety Alerts by becoming a ‘Supporter’ and donating a small amount each month to help with the running of our website, server and organisation! Click here to become a CSA Supporter.

All is not lost for those who had registered to take part in the Cork City Marathon 2020. Now in its 14th consecutive year, the marathon is moving online for 2020 in an unprecedented approach for Cork City Council and the race organisers, as a direct response to the current climate. They made the difficult decision today, to cancel this year’s race which had been rescheduled to take place on September 6th.

Never has the marathon theme for the last number of years, ‘more than a marathon’, been more apt in that Cork City Council are calling on those who had registered to run for their chosen charities, to use the marathon’s virtual races as an opportunity to run together, by running apart, in whatever manner participants can with the current guidelines in place. All the while, supporters can continue to cheer on their friends and family across the Cork City Marathon social media channels.

The first virtual races will kick off this weekend on May 31st, during what would have been the official date for the marathon and will be ongoing throughout the summer until September 6th.

Speaking on Cork City Council’s plans, Adrienne Rodgers, Race Director of the Cork City Marathon 2020 said; “We have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s event in the interest of the health and safety of our participants, volunteers and the thousands of Cork residents who have supported this great event over the last 13 years. The current restrictions on mass gatherings and activities only take us to August 10th, but cognisant of the existing advice, we don’t believe it would be possible to run the event safely in its current format in September.”

For those already registered for the 2020 marathon, all entries will be automatically deferred to the 2021 race, which will take place on the June Bank Holiday weekend – Sunday June 6th, 2021. Refunds are also available by emailing [email protected]

While the Cork City Marathon will not go ahead on the streets of Cork this year, those who have registered for the 2020 race, are now being encouraged to instead, participate in what will be a series fun and engaging virtual marathon challenges where the focus will be on community spirit with a touch of competition.

Registered participants of the Cork City Marathon 2020 are encouraged to walk, jog, or run one of the five distance categories available through The Cork City Marathon virtual race website which goes live this Sunday May 31st. Participants can achieve their selected distance across a number of days or weeks within the race time period (safely and always following Government advice on Social Distancing). Their final accumulative race times can be submitted via an easy-to-use e-form which is available on the Cork City Marathon website. All the while, supporters can continue to cheer on their friends and family across social media.

“We are hopeful that everyone that had registered for 2020 will stay registered and will continue to show their amazing support for this race through the virtual races. We invite spectators who are not registered, to tune in to our social channels to cheer the registered participants on. In 2021, we will be endeavouring to ensure that the Cork City Marathon will be the best yet while continuing to incorporate the virtual events.” Ms. Rodgers added.

2019 Cork City Marathon winner, current Irish 50K champion and Irish record holder Gary O’Hanlon has given the virtual races his full support and backing and tells us; “This is a brilliant initiative that I’m delighted to be involved with, it will add a longer life strand to the marathon and gives people the opportunity to continue to reach their target of running a marathon in an unprecedented but very manageable way. It’s going to sustain and grow the marathon community’s involvement while continuing to make it increasingly accessible to all.”

“I’m really looking forward to the virtual races and seeing the diversity synonymous with this marathon and the great human-interest stories that always emerge. Cork City Marathon has a special place in my heart, it really is more than a marathon, so I hope participants come out and support these virtual races across the summer,” he added.

Find out more information about the virtual events at or follow the Cork City Marathon on Facebook and Instagram @corkcitymarathon or on Twitter @TheCorkMarathon #MoreThanAMarathon


About the Cork City Marathon 2020 Virtual Events

Who: Everyone who has signed up for the 2020 Cork City Marathon and would like to challenge themselves will be invited to partake, but the series is open to all.

Where: Anywhere within the restricted distance advised by Government.

How: Those who have signed up for the official 2020 race will be emailed a link to the virtual race results submission site along with a personal race number to print out and wear on their journey


When: RACE ONE (1K, 5K &10K) May 31st – July 1st

RACE TWO (20K & 42K) July 1st – July 31st

Submission of Results

Once participants have finished the distance of their run, they will be required to submit their times for the official results. Once the submission period begins on 31st May, a Google Form link will be posted on and on all social media channels.


On the form you will be asked for your:

Full name




Race distance

Proof of run: Runkeeper, Google Fit, Apple, Garmin, Strava public link, Map My Run etc. or even just a screenshot of paces (***please note that adding a GPS link or screenshot is optional but without it, the submission won’t be considered for any age group recognition)


Submit a race photo


Results will be broken down per race category by:

  • Best overall – Top Five, M/F, Country, Age Range (five-year brackets)
  • First user to post (Overachiever!) and the last one (Cutting it Close!)
  • Best Race Photo
  • YouTube link with a video clip of all the photos and training sessions

Virtual Run Benefits


With this virtual race, participants do not need to deal with traffic, parking, poor weather or unexpected schedule conflicts or injuries that might cause them to miss the race. It is also a great way to practice race day nutrition and hydration. Another aim of this virtual race series can be used for participants to experiment with new training plans and methods to find out what works best for them on nutrition and hydration before and during the race, supplements, resting and waking time before the race, apparel and many other very important factors that can make or break you when we finally get to enjoy the big day in person again in the future.

For Cork City Marathon, these virtual racing events are not a replacement, but an addition to the conventional marathon.


How It Works

Cork City Marathon would like to stress the importance of adhering to Government legislation on exercise during COVID-19 including social distancing. This challenge is not intended to be done in one day but spread across a number of weeks until the deadline date of each race. Always plan your route in advance and be realistic with your daily goals. Ensure you are walking, running, or jogging on a suitable surface in a safe and familiar area. Be mindful of road traffic. If you are considering completing all or part of this challenge in a confined area, please do your laps in both clockwise and anti-clockwise directions to avoid injury such as pelvic tilt. When carrying out this challenge, participants are advised to carry an emergency contact name and number for personal safety and you are advised to tell a friend or family member where you intend to walk, jog, or run. During the challenge, please ensure you wear appropriate clothing, sunscreen (if applicable) and keep yourself hydrated – remember this is a virtual event and we do not wish to place any additional burden on the health services.


Finally, please be mindful of your health. Since COVID-19, your exercise patterns may have changed so start gradually to build yourself up and follow the medical advice on if needed. If you have been affected by COVID-19, speak with your doctor about your recovery and your return to running. Let’s stay safe and do this together!

Want to get €5, absolutely free? Sign up to the ‘Smart’ Debit Card – Curve today, and earn a fiver on us! Find out more here.