Latest: With 38 different countries and 73 nationalities represented, over 8,500 people took to the streets of Cork this morning.
Now in its 12th year, numbers across all race categories; Full, Half, Team Relay and all-important Youth Challenge, were up again this year, setting a new participation record for this momentous race.
Can you spot yourself at the @TheCorkMarathon start line this morning?June 3, 2018
It included a sold out half marathon with 3,000 taking to the new starting line on Albert Road.
After a phenomenal run right from the off, 44-year-old Gary O’Hanlon from Clonliffe Harriers AC in Dublin, took his first Irish Examiner Cork City Marathon win with ease in 02:21:09, setting a new course record.
He was just over four minutes clear of runner-up, Mark Kirwan of Raheny Shamrocks, who finished in 02:25:17.
Having taken part in the Irish Examiner Cork City Marathon four times where he came second twice and third once, he took to the roads this morning with his wife Paula and eleven month-old son Ben watching from the side-lines and knew he had to win this time.
Speaking with great excitement and pride crossing the finish line raising his hands to encourage the crowd’s cheering, Gary said: “It was a very tough race out there, I always knew there was going to be a very tough battle between the five of us that are sub 2:20 runners so I knew it could go anywhere between the five of us.
Congratulations to everyone who ran @TheCorkMarathon today. Well done to our alumni: Krishnakumar Chullipalliyalil, Ram Sankar and Sathiendran Rk who ran a relay with their friends. Well done team "Western Road Boys"👏👏👏!!! pic.twitter.com/CAsbWbw9ab— UCC Indian Alumni (@UCCIndianAlumni) June 3, 2018
"Peter Somba (winner of the 2017 Irish Examiner Cork City Marathon Half Marathon) was the known athlete that has won every race so far this year so my first goal was to beat him."
It got tougher and tougher for everyone as the race went on as temperatures rose so that in the second half of the race everybody’s times were slipping.
Gary added: "I said to myself I’ve been in the Cork City Marathon four times and I was second twice and third once and I just said I had to win at some stage.
"I pushed it out very hard from mile three to mile sixteen where I think I was around 1:08 for that part, so I knew then it was going to be a fast enough time at the end.
"The first three and last four or five miles were very slow with a fast mid-section. I’m delighted everything went to plan.”
The first female over the line, taking her first Irish Examiner Cork City Marathon win was Zola Flynn, from Calry A.C., Sligo, in a time of 02:58:5.
Zola took a strong lead right from the start and cruised home three minutes and twenty-nine seconds ahead of Rachel Davies.
Zola said: “I’m delighted, I came fourth in Dublin last year and came here this year looking for a podium position, so to get first I’m absolutely delighted. It was hot, it was hard and the last few kilometres were very hard but I just dug deep and am delighted with a first.
"I run with a small athletics club in Sligo called Calry AC. There’s not too many of us in the club but great to get a first for them.
“This is my second time running the Irish Examiner Cork City Marathon, I think it was about three or four years ago, I ran with my friend Bernie, that was actually what got me back in to running, I used to run as a child.
"So we came back and did that in four hours eleven in the worst weather ever, so such a change from today. So, thank you to Bernie for getting me back, she’s actually here today watching so it’s great.
“The course was nice, there were a couple of wee drags at mile seventeen for example but I got up that hill and about a kilometre or so later I felt good again. There are a few hills and drags but a nice and flat finish. I definitely recommend it to people, it’s a lovely course. I really enjoyed it.”
Cork local Claire Gibbons McCarthy of Leevale AC, kept her Irish Examiner Cork City Half Marathon title this year with an outstanding race bringing her home 6.35mins ahead of the rest of the pack in 1:16:51.
While Clonliffe Harriers AC, Sergiu Ciobanu, having come in 2nd the previous two years in the Half Marathon, took 1st place today in a time of 01:07:59.
Sergiu is a well-known name in Cork running circles having won the Cork City Marathon full marathon in 2010, 2011 and the Cork City Marathon Half Marathon in 2015 and 2016.
Update - 2.00pm Massive kudos to Paul Comerford for crossing the line in that costume.
Update - 1.30 pm Male and Female winners of the Cork City Half Marathon.
Update - 1.00 pm Here's what winner Gary O'Hanlon, who has set a new Cork City Marathon record, had to say after he crossed the finish line.
Update - 11.16am The first of the runners have crossed the finish line at Cork City Marathon.
Gary O'Hanlon was first to cross the finish line in the men's full marathon in a time of two hours and 21 minutes.
Placing second was Mark Kirwin (right) and placing third was Eoin Callaghan pictured below.
Sligo lady Zola Flynn placed first place in the women's full marathon.
The Brighton AB Group were the first relay team to cross the finish line.
Update - 10.23am The 3,000 athletes in the half marathon have started their course through Cork city.
Meanwhile, in the men's full marathon, Gary O’Hanlon has upped it a gear on Tory Top Hill and has pulled 50m ahead of Peter Somba.
Update - 9.41am:Cork City Marathon is well underway with the men’s full marathon have just passed Mahon and it’s still Gary O’Hanlon and Peter Somba leading, with Gary slightly edging. Peter was the winner of the Half Marathon last year.
[timcap=Nathan Kirwan at the start of the 2018 Irish Examiner Cork City Marathon]NathanKirwanCorkCityMarahthon2018_large.jpg[timcap]
In the ladies full it is Rachel Davis, Swansea Harriers followed by Zola Flynn.
Update - 9.11am: Record numbers of 8,500 individuals have taken to the streets of Cork to take on Cork City Marathon.
Approaching Silversprings and the marathon is being led by Peter Somba and Gary O’Hanlon, followed hot on their heals by Micheal Roda.
The original Cork City Marathon winner, Alan O’Shea is coming in 4th currently.
Among this group of front runners is Jeff Burges a member of a Brighton Relay Team.
Earlier:Record numbers of 8,500 individuals are getting ready to take to the streets of Cork city this morning for this year's Irish Examiner Cork City Marathon.
Dan Linehan speaks to participants ahead of the race.
The full marathon will kick-off at the earlier time of 8.30am this year and the half marathon will start at the new start line on Albert road at 10.15am.
If you cannot be part of the action this year, fear not.
Live track the race and follow the participants' footsteps in as they make their way around Cork city in the 26.2 mile route.
Or watch the video below and journey through the route.
- Digital Desk