Northern Ireland

Kenyan runners dominate Belfast Marathon

Eric Koech won the men's race in a time of 2:18:19
Image caption The Kenyan runner, who was second two years ago, won the men's race in a time of 2:18:19

Eric Koech has won the 37th annual Belfast City Marathon.

The Kenyan runner, who was second two years ago, won the men's race in a time of 2:18:19. Kenyan runners have dominated this year's event, winning both races.

Caroline Kepchirchir won the women's race in 2:41:23. Kilkeel's Laura Graham, last year's winner, came second.

Seventeen thousand runners have taken to the roads on Bank Holiday Monday.

One man, in his 50s, collapsed in the early stages of the race and later died.

Image caption Caroline Kepchirchir won the women's race in 2:41:23. Kilkeel's Laura Graham, right, last year's winner, came second

The event started at Belfast City Hall at 09:00 BST with a finish line in Ormeau Park.

Image caption Wheelchair competitors get underway: the event began at Belfast City Hall and finishes at Ormeau Park

The weather has been good for both runners and the thousands of spectators lining the city's streets.

Image caption Is bouncing round the course even allowed or possible come to mention it?

Organisers of the event have warned that it could be the last time it is staged because of new legislation.

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Media captionWatch the 26.2 mile course... in 2 minutes

The organising committee chairman, David Seaton, said they been told in future they may have to pay for policing which he said would kill off the event.

Image copyright Michael Cooper
Image caption The runners reach east Belfast
Image caption The view from the middle of the crowd
Image caption Holy runners! Batmen, Batwomen and Robins at the beginning of the Belfast marathon
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Media captionAbout 17,000 people are expected to be taking part in the annual event on Monday

St John Ambulance NI have ambulance crews and other volunteers on duty across the city today.

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Media captionWhy is the marathon 26 miles and 385 yards?

You can find more details on the event, including free park-and-ride facilities and a map of the route on our special guide to the Belfast Marathon.

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