Great Limerick Run: deluge fails to deter 13,000 participants

Athletes from 25 countries compete, with Kenyan Freddy Keron (28) winning marathon

Not even the weather could dampen the determination of more than 13,000 people who took part in this year's Great Limerick Run.

The annual May bank holiday weekend attracted runners and walkers from 25 countries for the marathon, relay marathon, half-marathon and six-mile road races.

More than 1,000 athletes took part in the marathon, which was won by Kenyan Freddy Keron (28) who completed the 26-mile race in two hours and 26 minutes. He ran his first ever marathon in Limerick three years ago, which he won in two hours and 21 minutes.

“I am not happy with today’s time. I wanted to run in maybe two hours 20 minutes but the weather is so wet today,” Mr Keron said.

Fellow Kenyan Lezan Kimutai (43) was just 30 seconds behind the winner. Despite being so close to doing a double, last year’s winner said he was pleased with second place.

It was a family affair for Wexford couple Tom and Dena Hogan who both finished in bronze positions, Tom for the full marathon and Dena in the half.

There were no concerns about overheating in the six-mile race, as a torrential downpour drenched the 7,000 participants. “It was like we swam the last mile in the Shannon,” said one soaked runner.

Fundraising

World cross-country champion Catherina McKiernan was among the well-known faces at this year’s run, winning the six-mile race in a time of 34 minutes and six seconds.

Thousands of those who took part took time to remember loved ones or fundraise for a number of worthy causes.

Team Irish Times, who came third in the marathon relay, were running in memory of their friend Brian Morrissey (24) who died last Christmas.

“He ran with us last year and he was with us in our thoughts every step of the way today,” said Ken O’Flaherty.