Entries for the Mash Direct Belfast City Half Marathon are OPEN

COVID-19 Measures in Place 

Dear Participant,

We are very excited about welcoming you back to Belfast to celebrate the 39th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon on Sunday 3rd October.

Even though many COVID-19 restrictions have now been lifted in Northern Ireland, the wellbeing of our participants, staff and members of the public are of utmost importance to us.

Consequently, we have set out several key measures and changes that will be implemented this year, to mitigate any COVID-19 associated risk but none-the-less will not diminish your experience at the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon but rather improve your day.

We kindly ask for your understanding and co-operation so that everyone can enjoy the return to running in Belfast during Race Weekend.


Changes for 2021 have been set out to achieve the following objective;

  1. To remove congestion at key areas around the route for participants and spectators
  2. To always allow social distancing
  3. To reduce touch prints between participants and the Event Team
  4. To spread participants out from the start, finish, and relay changeover points

COVID-19 Pre-Event

Please do not attend the event if ANY of the below applies to you 14 days before the Event (19th September):

  • You have received a positive test result
  • You are displaying symptoms for COVID-19

*Symptoms for COVID-19 may include;

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Loss of smell/taste
  • Flu like symptoms
  • Confusion
  • Reduced alertness
  • Aches and pains
  • Diarrhoea
  • Feeling out of sorts

Please note that running whilst having a virus makes you much more prone to heatstroke.


  • Lateral Flow Test Pre-Event

All participants will receive their race pack in advance of Race Day and a lateral flow test will be included. We recommend that you take this test a maximum of 2 days before attending the event to ensure that you do not have COVID-19.  


  • If someone who is a close contact tests positive - what should you do?

- If someone who is in close contact tests positive you need to take a test on Day 2 (two days after their positive result)

- If it is negative and you are double vaccinated then you can attend the event

- If it is negative and you are not double vaccinated you MUST NOT attend the event and we will need the notification of the Public Health Agency on your booking (same method as positive result)

- If it is positive upload your result on your booking


  • If you need to defer due to COVID-19

If you test positive, please follow the instructions in your test. For help or to receive further details please visit www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result

To avail of a deferral, you will need to upload an image of your NHS COVID-19 result which you will be sent via text/email from the NHS to your Eventmaster Booking Account. All positive results MUST be received by Wednesday 6th October 2021. NO DEFERRALS/REFUNDS CAN BE GIVEN AFTER THIS DATE.  The Marathon Office will be in touch with you wc 11th October with details of your deferred entry.


  • Pack Collection

We have set up three pack collection dates to help spread the volume of participants arriving for their packs together as follows;

  1. Saturday 11th September – SOLD OUT
    1. Toome Park n Ride
    2. Ballymartin Park n Ride
  2. Saturday 18th September – SOLD OUT
    1. Sprucefield Park n Ride
    2. Dundonald Park n Ride
  3. Saturday 2nd October
    1. Ormeau Park

There will be no activities at any of these pack collections, so we advise that you come alone to gather your Race Pack. You can collect Race Packs for your friends, colleagues or family members providing you have their order id number.

The marquee on Saturday 2nd October in Ormeau Park will have their sides open for ventilation.



The following measures will be in place across the event for your safety and reassurance:

  1. Increased hand sanitising stations
  2. Supportive of our Event Team and Volunteer Race Crew wearing a face mask along with hand sanitiser.
  3. Signage will be in place across the event to reinforce social distancing messaging and hygiene
  4. No spectators are permitted at the start line
  5. All relay runners will be given their medal, water, and banana at the end of every changeover and encouraged not to return to the finish line
  6. Participants will be kept separate from spectators at the finish line until they collect their bag and medal.
  7. All toilets, food vendors and sponsor activities at the finish line will be more spread out at Ormeau Park
  8. Bag drops will be spread out at the following locations:
    1. Stormont Estate
      1. Gates at Prince of Wales Avenue Entrance
      2. Close to the Carson Statue, above the Information Point area on Prince of Wales Avenue 
    2. City Centre
      1. Outside the City Hall
    3. On the route there will be no nutritional stations (oranges and sweets) or energy gel stations. Water stations will not change but we ask that if you arrive at a busy station, please wait your turn and respect people’s space.
    4. Please do not spit or blow your nose without a tissue while running
    5. Sanitise stations will be provided at all toilet locations and must be used after using the toilet.