Where do you park for the Belfast Marathon Relay changeover points?
The official Belfast Marathon website will tell you that transport is provided from Ormeau Embankment early in the morning on race day. But what if you don’t live in Belfast, or don’t want to get to your relay changeover point hours before you need to be there?
Where can you park close to the relay changeover points?
The Belfast Marathon team relay event is where all the part time runners, sportsmen and women from different fields, and have-a-go runners can join in and be a part of the marathon experience without having to train for, and run, the full 26 miles.
The marathon relay follows mainly the same route as the full marathon, except that at some of the relay changeover points the relay runners are split off to one side to allow for easier management of the flow of runners.
As our teams prepared for the big day, the question was asked, where do I park for the relay changeover points?
Our guys and girls are coming from all over Northern Ireland for the day, no-one lives in Belfast.
The surprising answer was that there is no official parking location or parking advice on the Belfast Marathon website.
The marathon relay changeover points are located at Bridge End, Hillview Road, Gideon’s Green and Corporation Street.
For people coming from outside Belfast the first task is to locate these places on the map, and then work out where to park your car.
Please Note: I have provided some parking ideas below but please bear in mind that these are just some suggestions for those unfamiliar with Belfast. These suggestions are completely unofficial and have no connection with the organisers of the Belfast Marathon. Please respect any road closures and parking restrictions that might be in force on the day. Do not park where you are blocking or interfering with anyone’s private property or business activities. No guarantee of parking availability can be made, but hopefully this will provide some ideas for where to park your car on marathon day.
Where do you park for the Bridge End changeover point?
The Bridge End relay changeover point is still near the centre of Belfast. The first leg of the marathon relay heads out of the city to the east but comes back again.
So any of the city centre car parks would be suitable. Just bear in mind that some of the city centre roads will be closed or only operating in one direction, so get there early.
Nearby car parks include the Odyssey Arena, Middlepath Street, Queens Quay, Waterfront Hall, Belfast Central Station but there are many options available.
Where do you park for the Hillview Road changeover point?
The relay changeover point at Hillview Road might be more difficult to make a parking suggestion. The surrounding area is largely residential in all directions.
You could just try to find a parking space on the roadside somewhere but for Hillview Road possibly taking the organised bus transport provided by the Belfast Marathon organisers would be the best idea, allowing you to use the main city centre car parks.
Where do you park for the Gideon’s Green changeover point?
When you look at the map, Gideon’s Green is very close to the Abbey Centre shopping complex. There are loads of large car parks within and around the loop of Longwood Road. Try to find somewhere that is not too busy. Don’t block car park spaces for Abbey Centre shoppers. If in doubt, move on to an emptier car park.
To get to the marathon relay changeover point at Gideon’s Green, walk down the Longwood Road until it meets the Shore Road and turn left. The Shore Road forms part of the marathon route, but only one side of the road is used.
You will then want to take the first right into Whitehouse Park. To do this you will have to cross the marathon runners so be respectful and wait for a gap in the flow. Head down underneath the little arch where the train line crosses above and you will shortly be in Gideon’s Green.
Where do you park for the Corporation Street changeover point?
Corporation Street is back in the city centre so you have your choice of car parking facilities again.
The Odyssey Arena, Waterfront Hall, between Nelson Street and York Street are all easy options, but give yourself plenty of time bearing in mind the road closures and one way restrictions.