The 2nd Annual Cork City Marathon was held today, Monday 2nd June. Once again, competitors and organisers alike were blessed with fine weather. Though warm and muggy, athletes were spared the scorching temperatures of last year.
The men’s race was taken by Roy Fahy of East Cork, last year’s third-placer, in a time of 2:33:55. The women’s title was taken by Lucy Brennan from Sligo in 2:54:47, beating last year’s winner, Tracy Guilfoyle, into second. Nollaigh Hunter of Leevale ran a great race to finish 7th in her second marathon, her time of 3:08:31 a full 7 minutes faster than last year. In the men’s race, John Hallahan of Leevale was competing in his first ever marathon, and ran a brave race to exceed even his own expectations, finishing with a time of 3:49:52.
Last year’s overall winner, Alan O’Shea, led his team to victory in the popular team relay event in a time of 2:23:38. There were high hopes that the Leevale A team could mount a challenge for this title, but disaster struck as Cathal Lombard picked up an injury in the opening leg and was unable to hand over to James Grufferty at the changeover point. Unaware of what was going on, Gruff waited around and eventually decided he was going to run his leg anyway and ended up running most of the marathon himself! The Leevale B team ran well to finish 14th in 2:56:34. The team members were newcomers Stephen Walter and Paddy Fogarty, Keith O’Sullivan, Cillian Ó Tuama, and Denis Metcalfe, who did his best impression of “The Fastest Man in Cork” coming in to the finish, so much so that we might next see him in action on the South Mall on Patrick’s Day next year!
Overall, the event was well organised and supported. Although the crowd at the finish on Patrick Street seemed smaller than last year, there was good support for the athletes around the course, and, with upwards of 7000 athletes taking part, the signs are good that the event will grow and remain a major fixture on the athletics calendar for years to come.