Cork’s first citizen among 8,000 lining up for city’s marathon

They will come in all shapes and sizes, and all levels of expertise, but they all have just one thing in mind — getting across the finishing line.

More than 8,000 people will line up for today’s Cork City Marathon — among them the city’s first citizen.

The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Terry Shannon, will swap his mayoral chain for runners as part of a relay team. He will be joined by fellow councillors John Buttimer, Mick Nugent, Emmet O’Halloran, and Laura McGonigle.

Mr Shannon said he was looking forward to the “banter” on the course.

“It’s going to be a real challenge but I feel that my team and I are well up for the task ahead. There’s always great banter on the course and I’m looking forward to seeing first hand the great support that the people of Cork are sure to deliver in their thousands.”

Also among the runners today will be John Hayes, 39, from Youghal, Co Cork, who is running the course to raise awareness and funding for Ovacare, a charity set up by his sister-in-law, a survivor of ovarian cancer.

Another notable participant will be South African native Denzil Jacobs, 34, who is based in Tullamore, Co Offaly. He will be taking part in his 40th marathon when he takes to the streets of Cork, and is raising money for Down’s syndrome charities.

The marathon and the team relay begin on St Patrick’s Street at 9am. The half marathon starts on the Ringmahon Rd at 11am.

The finish line will also be on Patrick’s St — with the organisers expecting over 50,000 people to be in the city centre for the finish.

Sergiu Ciobanu, a native of Moldova who moved to Ireland for work five years ago, has won the marathon for the last two years.

Ciobanu, of Clonliffe Harriers, crossed over the line in a time of 2:25:34 last year setting a course record.

The first woman across the line last year was Angela McCann from Clonmel, Co Tipperary, in 2:53:33, her personal best on the course.

In 2011, the marathon raised over €3m for charity.

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