Cork City Marathon sees 12,500 compete in sweltering conditions

Polish runner Pawel Kosek wins men’s full marathon, English runner Georgie Bruinvels takes the honours in the women’s event

Sweltering warm temperatures did little to dissuade the crowds from turning out in their thousands to cheer on the 12,500 participants in this year’s Cork City Marathon when both the men’s and women’s races were won by international competitors.

Polish runner Pawel Kosek (31), from Tychy in Silesia, took the men’s full marathon in a time of 2.28.24 from Clonliffe Harriers duo of Gary O’Hanlon from Dundalk, who finished in 2.28.58, and Tudor Mircea from Moldova, who crossed the line in 2.29.01.

“My English is not very good, but I am very happy,” said Kosek, who, before he made his way to find his parents, Tadeusz and Grazyna, who had travelled from Poland to support him, said he had run more than 25 marathons, including four times previously in Cork.

Georgie Bruinvels from Aldershot, Farnham and District AC in Surrey in the UK was the first home in the women’s event in a time of 2.42.15, more than 15 minutes ahead of Zola Flynn from Calry AC in Sligo in 2.58.00 and Niamh Cronin from local club St Finbarr’s AC in 2.58.40.


“It’s my first time in Cork even though my grandfather William Henry Hill has connections with Cork – I also have connections with Villierstown in Waterford so we hope to go there as well over the next few days,” said Bruinvels.

Earlier, Denis Hegarty (26) from Watergrasshill AC, whose girlfriend, Sarah O’Halloran, was also running, won the men’s 10k in a time of 32.12, ahead of Brian O’Kelly of Crusaders AC in 32.38 in second and Tony Forristal of East Cork AC, who came home in 32.45.

Last year’s women’s full marathon winner, Olympian Lizzie Lee of Leevale AC, won the women’s 10k in a time of 35.15, almost a full minute ahead of Keeley Tideswell of Clonmel AC, who came home in 36.11 and Dee Grady of Ennis Track AC in 36.48.

Leevale AC had another winner in Ryan Creech, who took the men’s half marathon in a time of 1.06.45, while Aoife O’Leary of Sportsworld AC from Terenure in Dublin won the women’s half marathon in a time of 1.23.41.

Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Deirdre Forde hailed the event as a marvellous success, paying tribute to Cork City Council staff, the hundreds of volunteers and charities including the Order of Malta, the Irish Red Cross and St John’s Ambulance as well as the Health Service Executive for ensuring the event passed off safely.

“I am so proud of all the runners here today, especially the winner, Pawel Kosek.  I really admire their determination and commitment and I am delighted to see so many supporters and families cheering them on. Cork came out in style today with blue skies and warm sunshine – it’s been wonderful.”

Race director Eamon Hayes said he was delighted with the record entry of 12,500 and he highlighted the huge response to the new 10k event, which attracted people who wanted to experience the highlight of participating in a marathon but were not in a position to run a full or a half marathon.

Among those who enjoyed the day was 82-year-old Mary Hoare, who took up marathon running in her 50s. Although she has run a marathon relay in Belfast, she said running in her native Cork held a special fondness.

“It was hot and at the start I thought my two knees were going to give in but as I went along I got into my stride and I just kept going – I had to push myself but there’s a great sense of achievement when you get to the finish line and hear your name being called out – it’s unbelievable,” she said.

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