Cork city honours two marathon runners
Two of the country’s leading marathon runners, Jill Hodgins and Claire McCarthy, recently received the Cork City Sports Athletics Person of the Month awards for June and July at a function held in the River Lee hotel.
On the first Sunday in June, Hodgins was a popular and clear winner of the women’s section of the Cork City Marathon, her time of 2:48:18 giving her over 14 minutes to spare over runner-up Nollaig O’Neill. For Hodgins, daughter of the late Dick, a former National Marathon champion and long-time chairman of the Cork City Sports, her success in her native city was a dream come through.
“It was a brilliant day, it all went fairly according to plan, and the weather was quite nice although a little bit breezy. The first couple of miles flew by and coming out of the Tunnel the hard work started. I knew I was in front but didn’t know by how much. I went through the halfway in 1:23 which was on target but I was aware I had to work harder than I had hoped for to finish in 2:46. In the end I was happy with 2:48.
“There was a tough section around Ballyphehane but I was prepared for that and just focussed on reaching mile 22. Then, on North Main Street, I heard somewhere say the beautiful words ‘800 metres to go’ so I knew then I was able to make it, when I turned onto Patrick St it wast fantastic.”
Hodgins was going to target the Dublin Marathon in October with a view to bettering her personal best of 2:46:48 from Seville in 2012 but a few niggling injuries ruled that out so now the former Irish hockey international has set her sights on a spring marathon.
Claire, from Ballinhassig, received her award for winning the Swansea Half-Marathon in a personal best of 74:35. Finishing 13th overall of the 4.800 finishers, the Leevale athlete had no opposition in the women’s race as the second placed runner was all of two minutes behind.
Claire subsequently competed with distinction at the World Marathon Championships in London when finishing in 33rd position in a time of 2:38:26.
The Cork City Sports Athletics Person of the Month Award is jointly sponsored by the Cork 96FM & C103, LeisureWorld and The River Lee hotel.
Cork City Sports Athlete of the Month for July award winner Jill Hodgins, Leevale AC, is presented with her trophy by Lady Mayoress Georgina Fitzgerald with (left) Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr Declan Hurley and (right) Lord Mayor Cllr Tony Fitzgerald at the The River Lee Hotel.