Lurgan Coat of Arms The Armagh Guardian

22 June, 1907  


Saturday the 22 of June 1907, saw one of the biggest events of the local sporting calendar in Lurgan. Organizers had put again together a “Go as You Please” race from Belfast to Lurgan. The 26 mile race took in Lisburn and Dunmurry. The Race first run in 1907, eventually became the Belfast Marathon, albeit in reverse.

Contestants could travel that distance any way they pleased. Either walking, running or cycling, hence the name. The event sponsored by the Belfast Telegraph and numerous local businesses, had caught the imagination of the public and as the runners set off in the reverse direction to today’s competitors the crowds thronged the streets. Churches from all faiths supported the event and refreshments where provided by them at both ends of the race.

Special trains were laid on in Lurgan for the locals and the participants of the race travelled at a reduced fare. Those who completed the race were greeted in Market Street, with great applause and fanfare and many of them were still arriving after midnight.

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