Polish athlete Bartosz Mazerski took just under two and a half hours to become the first person over the finish line at the Cork City Marathon yesterday.
Mr Mazerski recorded a time of 2:28:29 heading the field of over 8,000 runners. He has previously won the Nestle Malta International Challenge marathon title, the Dresden and Warsaw marathons and the Liverpool half marathon.
The 36-year-old beat his nearest challenger Gary O’Hanlon of Clonliffe Harriers by just 23 seconds.
Twenty years ago, Gary O’Hanlon was involved in an near fatal traffic incident that almost wrote off his athletics career. Mr O’Hanlon returned to athletics in 2004 and has since won a number of events including the Connemara marathon last month.
Tullamore Harriers runner Pauline Curley was the first woman over the line at the Cork marathon in a time of 2:47:44.
Ms Curley represented Ireland at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. She came in 63rd place in the women's marathon, having been the oldest woman in the field at the age of 39. Pauline has won the Longford marathon for the last three years.
The Offaly native edged out Angela McCann, who was bidding for three titles in a row in Cork.
The winning relay team was East Cork Athletic Club, who recorded a time of 2:18:06. The half marathon was won by Kenyan runner Freddy Keron. The first female across the line in the half marathon was Lizzie Lee from Leevale AC in Cork.
Among the participants in the Cork marathon was Trent Morrow from Sydney, Australia who was competing in his 57th marathon event this year.
The 40-year-old pharmaceutical sales manager started running seven years ago. He is attempting to log a Guinness World record for the number of marathons completed in one calendar year.
Meanwhile, numerous runners were participating in the marathon to raise funds for local and national charities.
Twenty people took part in the marathon to raise funds for the Abbey McGeough appeal.
Five-year-old Abbey from Limerick was born with hydrocephalus - or water on the brain - and underwent two operations as a baby. She was diagnosed with epilepsy and spastic diplegia cerebral palsy - severe muscle stiffness.
Her mother Leslie Anne is spearheading a fundraising campaign to raise €100,000 for a life-changing operation in the US for Abbey, who is currently in a wheelchair.
Leslie Anne says the operation would enable her daughter to walk. She thanked participants for their assistance yesterday.
"We have about twenty people doing the walk for us including volunteers from Penny Dinners. Everybody that is running just came to us and said they wanted to run. We are delighted with the support and can't thank people enough."
Olympians Rob and Marian Heffernan led runners at the starting line yesterday. They congratulated first time participants for their achievement in completing the marathon.
“We both know the levels of preparation that go in to running a marathon and every one of you taking part this weekend deserves huge credit and support. Just remember back to maybe the start of the year or even earlier when you first made that commitment to do the marathon and think how quickly the day has come.”
Race director Jim O’Donovan thanked the volunteers who helped to make the event such a success.
“This is the seventh year we’ve bee running the marathon and each one gets bigger and better. I’d like to thank all the volunteers who help to make this happen.”
The 26.2-mile event got under way at 9am yesterday on Patrick Street. It touched the four points of Cork from North to South, East to West including Blackpool, Blackrock, Bishopstown and the Lough.
One hundred relay teams from twenty schools took part in marathon. The half marathon was delayed by a half hour starting due to the sheer volume of runners.
Meanwhile some 40,000 women took part in the Flora Women’s Mini-Marathon in Dublin today. The event was won by Siobhan O’Doherty, from Tipperary, who ran it in about 34 minutes.