Californian who gave up desk job for running wins Cork marathon

Chris Mocko (31) took first place in time of 2.26.42 ahead of Cork man Alan O’Shea

 

A San Francisco native who recently traded his desk job in Silicon Valley for life as a full time runner was first across the finish line in the Cork City marathon on Sunday morning.

Chris Mocko (31) began track running when he was five and started competing in marathons in his twenties. Last year he discovered ultra marathons and in February he made the decision to leave his job to dedicate himself to full time running.

Chris says it took a huge leap of faith for him to pursue his dream.

“Everyone always says follow your dream and your passion but nobody does it. I was inspired by close friends who had been through hard times and they said ‘Why don’t you just take a chance?’ So I did.”

Chris took first place in a time of 2.26.42 ahead of local man Alan O’Shea. He said he felt like the “bad guy in a James Bond movie.”

“Everyone is cheering for the local and I am here in my USA gear. Ah no (the crowds) were super supportive.”

Meanwhile, Jill Hodgins from Douglas in Cork was the first female runner over the line in a time of 2.48.18.

Jill told Cork’s Red FM she was delighted with her win. “It is a special moment. I will have a couple of days off but you can get complacent very quickly so I don’t want to do too much celebrating !”

About 7,500 people took to the streets to compete in the marathon, half marathon, team relay, inter-services championship and youth challenge.

Among the runners was Boston firefighter, Greg MacCurtain, great grand nephew of the former Lord Mayor of Cork Tomas MacCurtain. He ran the marathon while pushing his daughter Abby in a Team Hoyt running chair.

Abby (6) is battling Leigh’s disease, which is a rare inherited neurometabolic disorder that affects the central nervous system. The pair were a colourful addition to the marathon decked out in t shirts bearing the American flag and a harp.

Other participants included Padraigin Riggs (68) who has set herself a goal of completing seventy half marathons by her 70th birthday. She completed her first half marathon in 2011 and has 48 half marathons across eight European destinations under her belt.

The crowds who gathered to watch were particularly captivated by John Mullee who was dressed as a Stormtrooper. John was attempting to break the Guinness World Record for Fastest Marathon Runner dressed as a Star Wars character.

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