5 Inspiring Marathon Moments Over the Years from the Cork City Marathon

May 28, 2024

The Cork City Marathon has a rich history spanning 17 years, marked by memorable performances and inspiring stories from its participants. In this article, we delve into five standout moments that have left a lasting impression on the event's legacy:

1. Alex O'Shea – The Firefighter Marathon Man (2014)

In 2014, local firefighter Alex O'Shea ran the Cork City Marathon in full firefighter gear, including a helmet, heavy boots, and fire-retardant clothing. His goal was to raise funds for Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. Remarkably, he finished the race in 3 hours and 41 minutes, smashing the previous Guinness World Record for the feat by 58 minutes. Four years later, Alex would go on to complete another record breaking challenge by running 32 marathons in 32 counties in 16 days.

2. Tim O’Donoghue – Record Breaking Victory (2022)

Tim O’Donoghue’s performance in the 2022 Cork City Marathon is etched in the history books as he set a course record with a time of 2:18:37. Achieving this remarkable feat despite the torrential downpours that drenched the course that day, O’Donoghue wiped nearly two and a half minutes off Gary O’Hanlon’s previous record of 2:21:09, set in the 2018 edition of the event.

3. Kay and Joe O'Regan – A Lifetime of Love and Running (2016)

In 2016, Kay and Joe O'Regan, both aged 80, completed the Cork City Marathon together, hand in hand. Kay completed her 113th marathon while Joe finished his 29th. They promised each other it would be their last, a final 26.2 jaunt to celebrate their 57th wedding anniversary. They finished the Cork City Marathon in 5:25:29, each winning their age group. This remarkable achievement not only highlighted their enduring love and commitment but also proved that age is no barrier to pursuing one's passions. Their story touched the hearts of many and remains one of the most heartwarming moments in the history of the Cork City Marathon.

4. Shane Delaney – Defying the Odds (2019)

While living in Australia, an accident left Tipperary rugby player Shane Delaney quadriplegic, seemingly ending his sporting career. However Shane refused to let his future be defined by adversity. After a long and arduous rehabilitation process, he began playing wheelchair rugby, going on to Ireland at the IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championship.

Shane then achieved another remarkable milestone by completing the Cork City Marathon, crossing the finish line in an impressive time of 3:09:27.

5. Acts of Kindness: Perfect Strangers Unite at the Finish Line (2018)

In the last few yards leading up to the finish line at 2018 two men, including Philip Gillivan, president of the Cork Business Association, saw a runner struggle towards the finish line. Without a moment’s hesitation they came to the runner’s assistance, helping him in those last few moments in a fantastic show of sportsmanship. This heartwarming moment of all three runners crossing the finish line together was captured by a local photographer.

Sacrificing their race times and possible PB goals truly spoke volumes about the spirit of the marathon. This spontaneous act of compassion reminds that at the end of the day, what matters most is supporting one another.

Wrap Up

In reflection, the Cork City Marathon stands as a testament to the remarkable journeys of its participants and the enduring legacy of the event. From Alex O'Shea's fundraising feats to Shane Delaney's defiance of odds, each highlighted moment represents a unique chapter in the marathon's history.

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