Whether you’re an eager runner, gentle jogger, or fun running fanatic, there’s bound to be a Dublin running race that takes your fancy. Sometimes the weather in Ireland means that you can experience four seasons in one day, but having a flat landscape, Dublin offers the perfect conditions for smashing out some casual PBs. If you are up for a hill-running adventure and prefer the adrenaline rush from trail running, then head south to the Wicklow mountains outside of the city. Get to know the city while taking a jog with a local Dublin runner, then check out some of the Dublin sight jogging tours.
From the city’s most popular races to the lesser-known gems of Dublin running races, take your pick and lace up for the run of your life!
Main Dublin Running Races
KBC Dublin Marathon
Date: 29 October 2023
Distance: 42.2 km
Sights among others: St. Stephen’s Green, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Pheonix Park, Grand Canal, Merrion Square.
From the St. Stephen’s Green to the Pheonix Park, from one end of the Grand Canal to the other, along the banks of the Liffey River, the KBC Dublin Marathon offers a unique sporting challenge.
20,000 runners arrive at the start line to experience the most legendary route in the city. This race across Dublin offers an incomparable backdrop, with spectacular views and landmarks all along the way, truly one of the Dublin running races you don’t want to miss.
The KBC Dublin Race Series prepares you for the big day. It starts with a South Dublin 10km run, followed by the Frank Duffy 10 mile and finally the Dublin Half Marathon at the start of Autumn
Smaller and Club Running Races
Gaelforce Howth Summit
Date: 7 October 2023
Distance: 10 km
Sights: Howth Harbour, Baily Lighthouse, Ben of Howth, Irish Sea
Gaelforce Howth Summit is a great opportunity to complete a trail run in the county of Dublin. Just 12 km from the heart of the city center you can forget about the traffic and straight roads while running through tight bends, up Stoney paths, and enjoying the sights of the Irish Sea. This running experience introduces trail running to the capital which is much welcomed by locals and tourists alike.
It allows you to get involved in a competition in Autumn just before the winter kicks in. After the race, you can enjoy the craic of Howth and its delish seafood with a pint to celebrate. This is definitely one of Dublin’s most picturesque organized running events.
Run in the Dark
Date: November 2023
Distance: 5 or 10 km
Sights: Dublin city center at night
This race is run in aid of the Mark Pollock Trust. It has been growing year on year and now is one of the better-known Dublin runs and one that I have personally taken part in several times. This is an enjoyable evening run through the normally traffic-riddled streets. Last year 25,000 people throughout 50 cities took part took part in this.
Date: TBA 2022
Distance: 5 km
Sights: Pheonix Park – Dublin Zoo, Presidents residence.
Out of all the running races in Dublin, the Color Dash Run is really the best run to do with the family. Participants don’t compete but natter and laugh along the route… running slowly and even walking is encouraged. Each kilometer corresponds to a color zone where volunteers throw 100% natural cornstarch-based powder. So this powder is edible. You will end up looking like a messy painting easel, but will always finish with a smile and a laugh.
Dublin By the Sea
Distance: 8 km
Dublin is a city by the sea. Take the journey out of the centre of the Irish capital and take in the fresh salty air as you exercise by the shore. We will discover the coastline from the Victorian pier of Dun Laoghaire, to the Martello Tower where James Joyce’s acclaimed Ulysses opens, to the coastal and cultural Dalkey Village
The Art O’Neill Challenge
Date: 13 January 2023
Distance: 53 km
Sights: Dublin Castle, Dublin Mountains, and the Wicklow Mountains
Officially starting in 2006 the Art Mc Neill Challenge commences in the city center of Dublin, just beside the Dublin Castle walls, and continues out along the trails of the Dublin and Wicklow mountains. It’s a unique and adventurous run that happens in the middle of the Irish winter. This run commemorates an escape that was historic in the eyes of the Irish people. 3 prisoners broke out of Dublin Castle and on a freezing night, hiked to a safe hideaway 53km away in the neighboring county of Wicklow in order to escape from the British guards. However, wistfully one of the 3 detainees died on route.
This courageous run is not for the faint-hearted but if you thrive in high endurance races and seek a challenge with a difference, then this course is well worth considering.
So no matter what kind of runner you are, Dublin should have a running race that fits you!
For more information on running in the city, check out our complete guide to running in Dublin and take a look at our guided tours for the full experience.
FIND ALL RUNNING TOURS IN DUBLIN