MORE than 800 athletes are expected to take part in the inaugural Donegal East Half & Three Quarter Marathon which takes place in Ballybofey at the end of the month.
Organised by Excel Sports, in conjunction with the local Donegal East Tourism Group, the event on Sunday, September 30, will result in a much needed economic boost for the Twin Towns.
A spokesperson for Jackson's Hotel, the race headquarters, confirmed it has received more than 80 room bookings from entrants and supporters, and expects that figure to increase in the coming weeks.
"Normally, things start to quieten down at this time of the year, but we have been inundated with inquiries and bookings since the Donegal East Half Marathon was officially launched. This event will also have a significant spin-off for the Twin Towns and the wider area," said Marketing Manager, Ms Leona McGee.
Race organiser and course director, Eunan Quinn of Excel Sports, promised a fast route adjacent to the River Finn, adding it would be a perfect tune-up for the Dublin Marathon or a great challenge for various levels of runners.
“In just a few short months, there has been a huge response once we announced the inaugural Donegal East Half and Three Quarter Marathon,” he said.
"In order to provide for runners of all levels, we also decided to include 12 kilometre and half marathon options, and these have proved hugely popular."
An accomplished ‘Iron Man' triathlete, Mr Quinn said it is his aim to hold a number of unique sporting events around the county over the next year. At the end of next month, Excel will also host its second Gaeltacht Adventure Race in Falcarragh next month.