Cork city hon­ours two marathon run­ners

Irish Examiner - County - - Sport - JOHN WAL­SHE

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.

Picture: Larry Cum­mins

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.

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