Kenyan man (41) marks ‘easy’ win in Great Limerick Run

Tullamore woman is first female across marathon line in just over 2 hours 44 minutes

The Barrington’s Hospital Great Limerick Run started at the People’s Park today: Photograph: Sean Curtin FusionShooters

The Barrington’s Hospital Great Limerick Run started at the People’s Park today: Photograph: Sean Curtin FusionShooters

 

For most of us, running a marathon is a lifetime achievement, but, for Great Limerick Run winner Lezan Kimutai, running the 26-mile road race was “easy”.

The 41-year-old Kenyan completed today’s race in two hours 25 minutes, just seconds ahead of 39-year-old Gary O’Hanlon from Dundalk, who came home second, with Phillip Harty (35) from Dungarvan finishing in third place.

Tullamore’s Pauline Curley was the first woman home in the blue riband marathon event. The 45 year old chef ran for Ireland in the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and finished in two hours, fourty-four minutes, thirty seconds.

Speaking after he crossed the finish line winner Lezan Kimutai, who has run marathons all over the world, said he felt “very relaxed”.

“The race was very nice and guys ran together, two very strong Irish guys. I love the course, there was no problems, it was ok for me,” he said.

The father of four came first place in a 100km race run over three days in China and just four weeks ago he ran 39 miles in the Connemara Ultramarathon.

“I find 42 km now is easy for me now!” he quipped.

Some 12,000 people took part in events associated with the Great Limerick Run events over the weekend.

From toddlers to octogenarians it seemed there was something for everyone including thousands of spectators and the many local residents along the race route also got into the spirit of the event handing out jellies and lemonade to passing runners and walkers.

Over 1,000 participants took part in the marathon event, with 2,000 in the half marathon and over 100 relay teams. The bulk of participants took part in the six mile - or 10km - event, which attracted a massive 6,500 runners and walkers of all ages.

Participants came from all over the world, including the UK, US, Italy, Canada, France, Holland, Denmark, Luxembourg and Spain, plus a large contingent from Chicago.

Wheelchair athlete Jerry Forde who is aiming to complete 300 marathons before the end of the year also took part in theevent, which saw hundreds of athletes raise money for charities across Ireland.

One hundred gardaí from Limerick and beyond ran in memory of a six-year-old girl who died last year and to raise funds for a new charity which made a difference to her final days.

In a phenomenal display of solidarity with their colleague Eamonn Quaid, who works in Henry Street Garda station, members from across Limerick, and from north and south of the border, ran in memory of his daughter Aislinn who passed away last November.

Lorraine Fanneran from Shannon Co Clare led the ‘Boobs on the Run’ team who took part in the 10km event to raise awareness for her breast cancer campaign. The mother of two who was diagnosed with early breast cancer last October, ran with her partner Bruno and 20 family and friends including Joy Neville, who captained the Irish Women’s rubgy team to Grand Slam glory last year.

*Results and photographs from the events will be published in the Irish Times on Tuesday