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Marathon Training Diary Week 8: Target Time

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels

We’re now just five weeks from the Cork City Marathon, and some people who know that I’m intending to run it have been asking me whether I’m targeting any particular time in which to finish the race. The honest answer is that I certainly am not. Getting over the line is the only objective, but I was interested to see the typical times that people have posted in previous years.

Since the marathon was cancelled in 2020 (when I had first planned to attempt it) and 2021, the most recent information I could access was for the 2019 race, and it made for interesting reading. The below infographic and table show the times in which the 1034 competitors crossed the finish line.

Cork City Marathon 2019 Finishing Times by Harry Smith

Under 2 hrs 30 mins3
2 hrs 30 mins to 3 hrs31
3 hrs to 3 hrs 30 mins121
3 hrs 30 mins to 4 hrs298
4 hrs to 4 hrs 30 mins274
4 hrs 30 mins to 5 hrs191
Over 5 hrs116
Source: Previous Results – Cork City Marathon

Anybody that finishes inside four hours is likely to disappear from my field of vision shortly after the race starts, so I’d expect that they’ll be getting the pints in while the rest of us catch up. I’ve previously run a couple of half marathons, and managed to complete one in Clontarf (Ireland’s flattest race, apparently) in under two hours.

If I can keep my pace somewhere close to what I managed on that trot around Dublin 3, even allowing for the hilliness of Cork City and the doubling of the distance, then perhaps I could limp home somewhere between four and half and five hours after starting. I’ll be in good company, if the finishing times from 2019 are an accurate indication of what one can expect from this year. Of the 1034 finishers in 2019, 465 got around in a time between four and five hours. The queue for a post-run beer and burger will at least be somewhat staggered.

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