Dublin Marathon’s start and finish locations to stay in city centre

Despite fears being raised the race route would be moved outside the city centre, this year’s path will contain only minor tweaks to the usual race route

Organisers of the Irish Life Dublin Marathon have confirmed the start and finish locations for this October’s race will remain within the city centre, with only minor tweaks to the existing race route.

Details of the slightly adjusted start and finishes were announced on Wednesday, with this year’s race set for October 27th – starting on Leeson Street Lower and finishing on Mount Street Upper, remaining within the Dublin 2 area and ensuring the route will continue to be run through the city centre streets.

This represents only a minor adjustment to previous years, when the race started on Fitzwilliam Street Upper and finished on Merrion Square North. It means the Dublin Marathon will retain the same course consistency and familiarity.

“We are thrilled to confirm that the Irish Life Dublin Marathon will be on the streets of Dublin’s city centre,” said Jim Aughney, Dublin Marathon race director. “Running the marathon is a momentous occasion for participants and being in the heart of the capital city makes that moment even more special for them and their families and friends who come out to support them.


“We also need to ensure a safe experience for everyone involved. We have worked closely with Dublin City Council on finalising the start and finish location. We are grateful for their support and look forward to making this event a success.”

The agreement follows correspondence revealed last October where Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority (NTA) sought to take the finish somewhere away from Merrion Square North for this year’s race, given the “disproportionate adverse impact” the race has on public transport services.

Dublin Marathon 2024

Richard Shakespeare, recently appointed chief executive of Dublin City Council, added: “We are very proud as a city to host the fifth biggest marathon in Europe in Dublin City. The event brings celebration and vibrancy as well as significant social and economic benefits for the city. It is also a substantial operational undertaking that requires careful management. Together with the Dublin marathon organisers, we have developed a comprehensive plan that works for everyone.”

When the prospect of moving the marathon out of the city centre was being mooted, Thomas Byrne, Minister of State for Sport, told RTÉ that the public transport concerns were “a bit overstated”, and while further engagement was required, at least in his view the Dublin Marathon “would be a city centre event, just like it is in practically every other major city in the world”.

Dublin Marathon organisers also announced other key operational updates on Wednesday, including an extended transfer window and refund option for this year’s race.

Of the original sell-out entry of 22,500 for last October’s race, only around 16,540 runners made the start, with 16,347 listed as official finishers – meaning around 6,000 running entries went unused, despite all paying the entry fee of €110.

That represented over a quarter of the Dublin Marathon entry not taking part, far higher than most big city marathons, which typically expect an attrition rate of up to 20 per cent. It was also despite the introduction of a new early-refund option and an option to transfer an entry, plus a reduced overall entry, down from 25,000 for the 2022 event.

For this year’s race, a new transfer window will open from Wednesday, July 24th to Monday, August 26th. In 2023, it occurred a month earlier in July. The refund window will take place from Wednesday, July 3rd to Tuesday, July 16th to allow for the resale of any entries.

The resale of places made available via the refund window will take place from Monday, July 22nd on a first-come, first-served basis.

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan is an Irish Times sports journalist writing on athletics