Cork City Marathon has already seen record numbers signing up for the event which is taking place on the June Bank Holiday Weekend.
The race on June 5 will have almost 3,000 runners taking on the marathon challenge, more than double the numbers of other years. Another 4,300 have signed up for the half marathon challenge, over a third more than in the past.
As well as this, over 800 people have opted to plant a tree instead of collecting a t-shirt as part of the race swag.
The organisers of Cork City Marathon have also waived entry fees for Ukrainian refugees who want to take part in the annual event.
Speaking to The Echo, a Cork City Marathon organiser said they already waived fees for those in direct provision that sign up through Sanctuary Runners and it was a natural organic development to offer the same opportunity to Ukrainians.
“We are delighted and excited to be running the event again and thrilled to welcome everyone back to the race on June 5.”
Elvira Antoniuk who is from Ukraine and is participating in this year's Marathon, said she and her husband are proud members of the Sanctuary Runners.
“The Sanctuary Runners is a group which welcomes everyone no matter where you come from. My husband Andrii joined first in 2018 and I started running with them in Ballincollig a year later. It has been a very important part of our life since moving to Ireland. On difficult days it lifted us. We know the groups across Ireland are reaching out to Ukrainian people and inviting them to join.
Sanctuary Runners founder Graham Clifford said: “Since the Sanctuary Runners began in 2018 Cork City Council has always waived entry fees for our runners coming from direct provision centres. And it’s wonderful, and right, that this has now been extended to Ukrainian people recently arrived in Cork. With the Together Razem organisation we will help Ukrainians who wish to run in the marathon to source gear, to train and to get to know Sanctuary Runners across Cork. And on race day we know the people of Cork will help them reach that finish line with their support along the route.”