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This June Bank Holiday, preparations are well under way for the 2019 Irish Examiner Cork City Marathon, with thousands of supporters and spectators expected on the streets.

While some of us are winding down for the next few days, thousands of others are warming up for this year's race, which takes place on Sunday, June 2. 

Marathon fever has most definitely caught hold of the population, with one of Ireland's largest athletic events welcoming participants from home and abroad.


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The incredible race is now in its 13th year, and is internationally recognised with a certification from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

8,000 participants will run on the course in Cork this Sunday, with runners settling in to the city before race day. 

The Full Marathon, Team Relay and Youth Challenge will be kicking off bright and early with a start time of 8.30am on Patrick’s Street, with the Half Marathon commencing at 10.15am on Albert Road.

The city's history and iconic buildings, streets and monuments will be shown off as runners take part in one of the biggest sporting events on the Cork calendar.


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The route remains the same as last years, which returning participants are undoubtedly happy about. There will be some disruption to traffic from 5:30am to 6pm due to the scale of this incredible event.

A number of roads and streets such as Wilton Road and Western Road will be closed to facilitate the race between 10am and 3pm. Those travelling in and around the city are advised to leave extra time for their journey.

The South Ring Road (N40) is the predominant route to divert around Cork, but access to the City Centre is via the South City Link which will be open all day with lane restrictions from 8am to 1.30 pm.

The recommended car parks are at the Black Ash Park & Ride, and a full list of road closures and restrictions are available on the Irish Examiner Cork City Marathon website here.


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This phenomenal event is universally recognised for its inclusivity, and it's more than just a marathon for runners, walkers, wheelchair athletes and fitness enthusiasts. 

As with every year, there are some massively inspiring participants taking to the starting line. Some of those included this year are a double-lung transplant recipient, two teams of visually impaired runners and an Irish Defence Forces soldier running with a 14kg bag to raise much-needed funds for Cerebral palsy.

Hundreds are also joining the Sanctuary Runners to show solidarity for those in direct provision, a worthy cause.

Other runners are hoping to set a new personal best, raise money for charity and record milestone marathons like 60-year-old Mary Murphy, who aims to collect her 200th marathon medal.

Inspiring Cork wheelchair athlete Jerry Forde is also looking to cross the line for his 450th marathon, an incredible achievement.


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Supporters and spectators play a vital role in this momentous day, not just those with a penchant for athletics. The people of Cork and those visiting the city are encouraged to take to the streets in support of these fantastic athletes and give them a real Cork welcome.

The crowds make a huge difference, giving participants that extra drive to make it across the finish line. The city will be coming to life this Sunday, so don't miss your chance to get involved for a great cause.

For participation information such as registration locations and times, race day check-list and for all traffic restrictions, head over to the Cork City Marathon website here.

Feature image: cameo.ie



Last Friday, a group of female athletes were told at the very last minute that they could not take part in the Tehran marathon.

160 women registered to compete in the 26 mile race, however, after receiving an email three weeks before the event was due to take place, many were left concerned as to the likelihood of their participation.

The female participants were informed that they would not be taking part, as men and women cannot participate in sports together in Iran.

Race organisers continued to provide participants with confusing updates and rule changes up to two days before the race, leaving many of the female runners unsure if they would be taking part.

On the morning of the race, it finally emerged that female participants could take part in a 10- kilometre run, but not the half or full marathon.

Those runners who still wished to complete the full distance had to do so on an indoor sports track.

Speaking to The Independent, professional runner, Manal Adel Rostom, told how she was turned away the day before the event after trying to collect her runner's bib, leaving her to believe her €125 race entry fee had been completely wasted.

“It was totally chaotic, even the runners' numbers had been mixed up. I was arguing and arguing with the registration guy because I came all the way from Dubai for a marathon, not a 10K.”

Many runners travelled long distances to take part in the race and so, not satisfied with the abrupt rule change, a group of 12 Iranian and international female entrants decided to run their own secret marathon.

The ladies ran in 700 metre loops around Beheshte Madaran park, for 32 kilometres before joining the official women's 10K race at 4pm.  

Karin Brogtrop, a Dutch runner involved in the secret race described the experience.

“It was a really lovely experience. It was a women’s park but it was family day, so there were men there too. People kept offering us tea or running alongside us,” Ms Brogtrop said. “We had fun. I was happy with it.” 

Many of the female runners in the official 10K carried bibs and banners saying ‘See you next year, 42K.’

G'wan ladies! 

Oh, and while we have you; don't forget to have your say in the inaugural SHEmazing Awards this May! It's time to vote, and you can do it right here!


Ever wonder what your pet gets up to when you let them out for a run? 

Whether you reckon they're out chasing birds or napping under some trees, we bet you didn't think they were out running marathons. 

Well that is exactly what happened pet-owner April Hamlin who unassumingly let her dog Ludivine out for an afternoon stroll in a small town in the US.  

According to 9News, the happy pooch accidently came across local marathon, the Trackless Train Trek Half Marathon run in the neighbourhood and it seems he decided to join in. 

Running the 13.1 miles in just an hour and a half, Ludivine came seventh in the race and he even got a medal for his efforts. 

And poor old April only got wind of her dog's achievement when she got sent picture of her pet brandishing a medal at the finish line. 

Now that is one accomplished pup!


Meet Meredith Parmalee, who is going to run the New York City Marathon.

Not only is she going to do that, she is going to have the added task of knitting while she runs 42.2 kilometres. Knitting with her fingers, that is.We're all for living a healthy lifestyle, but this particular task just seems completely bizarre.

Woman’s Health caught up with the ambitious runner to see what she had to say about her cray-cray fitness pursuits.

As it turns out, Meredith is practically a marathon guru – anyone who has completed more than 10 successive kilometres is a goddess in our eyes. After completing three half-marathons she was interning with an organisation in Spain. 

We Are Knitters was trying to find a new promotional angle, and Meredith suggested ‘finger-kintting’ while running a marathon as she had seen some craft aficionados do before.

How does one even begin to attempt such a challenge?

“I watched some YouTube tutorials and taught myself. Then, I started walking around the block while finger knitting and eventually went on a run with my yarn.” 

She admits that it took her a while before she got the hang of things, but eventually knitting and running began to feel natural. Sort of:

“It gets really sweaty, so I don't think anyone wants it. After a couple of runs, I have to use new yarn because it gets really gross.” 

Delightful, but all for a good cause of course. One the strangest parts of her story has to be the reaction she gets, which is that nobody has ever really bothered to enquire as to what on earth she was up to.

“I got a lot of weird stares at first, but no one ever asked me what I was doing or why I was doing it. That made it more awkward because I wanted to explain myself.” 

In case you were wondering, she expects the scarf from NYC marathon day to be 7 metres long. Blanket scarf fans, get excited. 

You can watch the full interview with Meredith here


Natalie White never really struggled with her weight during college.

However – like a lot of people – she found it more difficult to keep fit and trim once she started working.

“When I graduated, I picked up a management job that required me to be at work at 4am and work 55 hours a week,” she explains.

Obviously, I was very tired. Since I was exhausted, I never felt like cooking, so I resorted to frozen food, fast food, pretty much anything quick and easy… my exercise habits were non-existent.”

In fact, by the time she turned 30, she packed on about 22.5kg. Then a health-scare at her doctor’s proved to be wake-up call she needed. “I needed to start treating my body better. 

“I started making healthy changes: I stopped smoking, I went vegetarian, and I kept an eye on the foods I was putting in my body. 

“I also left my job to find something that wasn't as stressful or exhausting. However, I still wasn't losing weight.”

Natalie admits that she “could never be one of those super fit people,” but intrigued by friends who entered endurance events, she put name down for the Chicago marathon.

“I had to just do it – so I started training,” she also explains to Women’s Health.

“It took me over seven hours to finish my first marathon, but I finished! It was the best feeling ever. I signed up for another one soon after.”

Still, at that point Natalie weighed some 93kg. “I knew I had to do something different to start losing weight.

“Obviously, training for my second marathon and participating in fitness events, like the Spartan Race, weren't enough to help me reach a healthy weight.”

She turned to classes which championed strength training and weights mixed up with cardio exercises in circuits. “It was like nothing I'd ever done before,” she says of the programme.

“During my first class, I could barely do a pushup or a squat, but the challenge brought out my inner competitor.

“I started going twice a week and worked my way up to four times a week.

“On top of that, I started to do a little research online about what it takes to lose weight and fuel my workouts. I learned that I needed to eat way more protein that I was, and that actually made the biggest difference.

“I started to notice more definition in my muscles, and the weight began coming off.”

Two years after setting out to get in shape and improve her health, Natalie weighs just 74kg – a reduction of close-to 20kg from her heaviest.

Although ultimately she hopes to hover around the 64kg mark, she’s also gone from a UK size 22 to a UK size 12.


Along the way, Ms White has clearly learned a lot about her body and diet. And she cites six key tips that help just about everyone achieve similar results…

1) Make life changes: She had to leave a stressful job with long hours – but nothing is worth compromising your health over. Natalie also quit smoking.

2) Don’t get overwhelmed: Natalie has knocked two hours off her marathon time – but her first one took more than seven hours. “I had to just do it – so I started training,” she states.

3) Be patient: She isn’t at her goal weight just yet, but she’s getting there. “By staying patient and being consistent, I don't get discouraged and give up on all the progress I've made,” she says.

4) Look at your diet: You need protein to feed your muscles – so don’t fall into the trap of only going low-fat, or low-carb. Natalia, like a lot of women, wasn’t eating enough protein when she was overweight.

5) Try new workouts: “I love running,” she says, “but if I didn't try the weights classes with my friends, I would have never achieved the results that I wanted or learned that I like to lift heavy things.”

6) Be OK with yourself: “I know I'm not as fast or as strong as some of my athletic friends, but I feel good about what I've accomplished. That success helps me feel confident at the gym and assures me that I'm capable of reaching my weight-loss goal.”


Paula Lane, who plays Kylie Platt on Coronation Street and Ryan Andrews from Fair City were on hand yesterday to launch The SPAR Great Ireland Run 2014.

Paula and Ryan will be in the Phoenix Park on April 6th to run the 10k race on behalf of their local charities, joined by up to 12,000 other runners and their families.

The SPAR Great Ireland Run is the only race in Ireland to be recognised by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and will feature a superb field of international and national distance runners.

However, the event isn’t just for seasoned athletes – it’s a great day out for runners of all ages and all levels of fitness. Visit The SPAR Great Ireland Run to book your place.