A MOTHER of three has defended her title and won the Cork City Marathon for the second year in a row.
Angela McCann, from Clonmel, Co Tipperary, and Moldovan national Sergui Ciobanu, who lives in Dublin, both returned to the city yesterday hoping to retain their crowns.
And while it wasn't to be for Sergui -- who saw his three-year run of wins broken by a narrow margin -- Angela showed she was still in top form and managed to shave off almost half a minute from her winning time set in last year's race.
She finished in two hours, 53 minutes and two seconds and was followed by Anne Curley of Dublin club Donore Harriers.
The winner of the men's race was Kenyan athlete Freddy Kearon, who was the first overseas winner of the marathon, and he finished in a record time of two hours, 22 minutes and 11 seconds.
More than 8,000 athletes competed in the marathon, half marathon and team relay enjoying ideal weather conditions.
Among those taking part in the relay was RTE sports broadcaster Jacqui Hurley (pictured) who was running in memory of her younger brother Sean who died in a car accident last year.
She married her long-time boyfriend, Shane McMahon, two days previously and she and various family members and wedding guests lined out so they each completed one mile of the 26-miles.
Competing in a marathon had been a dream of Sean's and, two days before his tragic death, he included it in a "bucket list" of things he wanted to do before he died.