Cork City Marathon produces first local winner since 2007

Cillian O’Leary is victorious in the men’s while Nollaigh Hunter takes the women’s

Cork man Cillian O’Leary, winner of the Cork City Marathon: “I just wanted to make sure I didn’t slip on a manhole or the tiles coming down Patrick Street.” Photograph: Darragh Kane

Cork man Cillian O’Leary, winner of the Cork City Marathon: “I just wanted to make sure I didn’t slip on a manhole or the tiles coming down Patrick Street.” Photograph: Darragh Kane

 

Cork man Cillian O’Leary on Monday became the first local person to win the bank holiday marathon in the city since 2007.

O”Leary (35) is a native of Model Farm Road in Cork city. He clocked a time of 2:30:41 in wet and blustery conditions coming in just ahead of Kenyan runner Vincent Chepyeon.

O’Leary, who is in turn coached by a former winner of the event Jerry Kiernan, said he felt exhilarated to have come away with the much coveted prize.

“I just wanted to make sure I didn’t slip on a manhole or the tiles coming down Patrick Street. That was my only concern. I am delighted. I have been targeting this for a year and a half and its brilliant to pull it off.”

Meanwhile, the first woman across the finish line was Nollaigh Hunter of Leevale AC in a time of 2:57:45. It capped a tremendous day for the local running club with the relay team also coming across the line first in a time of 2:22:02.

Hunter told Cork’s 96FM she was pleased with her steady pace amid inclement conditions.

“I went out with my normal pace but by mile 15 the wind at Jacob’s Island pulled me back. It doesn’t suit me. It was wet. It was cold. It was just freezing. But everyone else is in the same boat today. Who cares? I won.”

Course record

A new course record was set in the men’s half-marathon by Sergiu Ciobanu. The former Cork City Marathon winner was over the line in just over an hour while the women’s half marathon was won by Norah Newcombepieterse of Mayo AC in a time of 1 hour 22 minutes.

Now in its ninth year, the Cork City Marathon is an internationally recognised marathon, with certification from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

The marathon started and finished in Patrick Street and took in Blackpool in the north of the city, as well as the city’s suburbs in the west, south and east. More than 7,500 people participated, including 64 youth teams. It got underway at 9am.

A sizeable number of the runners participated to raise funds for charity. A group of teachers from Mahon ran the race dressed as superheroes to raise funds for Scoil na Croise Naofa. Led by David Hayes dressed as Batman the group from the southside of Cork city also comprised a Superwoman, Batgirl, Wonder Woman and a Spiderman.

250th marathon

Former garda Michael Haydon ran the marathon on behalf of the Bishopstown Senior Social Centre and the Bishopstown Dementia Friendly Community Project.

Haydon first began running competitively in 1999 and on Monday completed his 250th marathon.

Cork couple Trish and Daniel Clifford also ran the marathon in memory of their daughter Beth.

Twins Beth Hope and Harry were born at 34 weeks in Cork University Maternity Hospital. Beth Hope, who weighed just 3lb 9oz, lost her life on November 30th, 2013. She was just five days old.

Beth Hope had tested positive for Patau syndrome (trisomy 13), a genetic disorder that carries a high mortality rate.

Also among the participants was taxi driver John Walsh (56) who ran the relay in aid of Mercy University Hospital.

Walsh of Ballinlough had a heart attack and quadruple bypass last year. He credits the staff at the hospital for his swift recovery.

Results

Men’s Marathon

Cillian O’Leary 2.30.41 Raheny AC

Vincent Chepyeon 2.31.41 Project Africa

Brian Hegarty 2.32.29

Men’s Half

Sergiu Ciobanu 1.07.41 Clonliffe Harriers

Alan O’Shea 1.07.59 Bantry

Tim O’ Donaghue 1.08.38 East Cork AC

Women’s Marathon

Nollaigh Hunter 2.57.45 Leevale AC

Joan Ennis 2.58.38 Grange/Fermoy

Sorcha Kearney 3.14.40

Women’s Half

Norah Newcombepieterse 1.22.00 Mayo AC

Amanda Deavy 1.25.36 Northbrook AC

Ailbhe McDaid 1.28.52

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