‘Reeling in the Years’ Christmas marathon takes place in Cork

‘Reeling in the Years’ Christmas marathon takes place in Cork

Pictured prior to the start of their 6am marathon, Cian O'Mahony, Kevin Hedderman, Eamonn O'Caoimh, Declan Collins, Brian Jordan, Shane Hayes, Kevin Downey, Kieran Lynch, Eugene McCarthy and Daniel Ring. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Despite the cold weather conditions, a group of Cork friends donned their runners and their Santa hats this morning to take part in a ‘Reeling in the Years’ Christmas marathon in the city.

Organised by seasoned runners Shane Hayes and Kevin Hedderman, the event was all about a bit of fun after a challenging year.

Speaking to The Echo ahead of the marathon, Mr Hayes explained that the route would incorporate numerous Cork landmarks.

“The reason behind it is because there’s not really a whole lot happening during the Christmas period for anyone interested in longer distance running.

“With Covid and everything we just wanted to do something a bit fun.

“We said we’d try and organise something just for the craic and try and incorporate the real Cork,” he said.

“Kevin would have a big interest in history, as would I but Kevin even more so, so that’s why we said we’d try to introduce a historical theme as well then to it because Cork has such a rich history.

“With the 100th anniversary this year of the Burning of Cork, the history that surrounds us is to the forefront of our minds.

“We’re going to take it all in, Blackrock Castle, St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, the newly reopened Shakey Bridge and Cork City Gaol, to name a few,” he continued.

 6am start of the Reeling in the Years Christmas City Marathon. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
6am start of the Reeling in the Years Christmas City Marathon. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

The marathon, which started and finished in Blackpool, put the runners through their paces, incorporating many of Cork’s hills.

“The Cork City Marathon, which is normally held in June, is great but I suppose for logistical reasons they need to keep that relatively flat for safety and all of that.

“We have the benefit of having quite a small group, there will be about 10 of us, so we can incorporate the real Cork – all the suburbs. We’re covering nearly every suburb in the city, all hills included!” Mr Hayes said.

Back in October, Mr Hayes, who lives in Montenotte, ran 100km in a single outing around Cork Tank’s Field raising vital funds for children’s charity, Barnardos.

He was joined by Mr Hedderman for 30km, who ran 100km for charity himself the week after.

Mr Hayes said the two would be “taking it easy” on today’s run.

“It’s far from a race, there aren’t going to be any leaders or anything.

“We’ll start and we’ll finish together and we’re hoping to have a good laugh along the way,” he said.

“Some of these guys will be going down streets and up hills and heading into parts of the city that they’ve never been in, even though they’ve lived in Cork all of their lives.

“Someone will have a story or something interesting to say about all of the different quarters of the city we’ll be coming to,” he continued.

Mr Hayes said he hoped the Christmas marathon might become an annual event.

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