Fifty-three year-old Tommy Hughes has won the Walled City Marathon to mark a hat-trick of Derry marathon victories.
The veteran runner won the last marathon held in the city way back in 1984 and again took the Foyle Marathon crown in 1985.
The Magherafelt runner posted an impressive time of 2:30:32, finishing almost five minutes before second placed Gregory Roberts of City of Derry Spartans in 2:35:24. Inishowen AC’s Pauric McKinney was third in 2:38:15.
Speaking to the ‘Journal’ seconds after crossing the finish line, Tommy Hughes said he was “delighted” with his performance. “It was unbelievable, to do that (the hat-trick) is something you can only dream of.”
He described the last few miles as “very tough” and the Fahan Street climb in the city centre as being “like a ladder”.
Jackie Boyle from Tallaght was the first female to cross the line in 3:14:15 with Foyle Valley AC’s Martina McMullan finishing second in 3:21:57 and Sprinwell’ AC’s Orla McGuinness in third, posting a time of 3:22:25.
The wheelchair finish was hotly contested with both Paul Hannon and Jim Corbett crossing the line in 2:41:48 with Karol Doherty just a second behind in 2:41:49.
Thousands of supporters and well wishers lined the 26.2 mile route for the Walled City Marathon which saw almost 2,000 runners take on the challenge. Many hundreds of people cheered the finishers as they entered Guildhall Square.
Race Director Noel McMonagle said the event was a “great success”. “The conditions have been perfect and the crowds really turned out for what is a great occasion,” he said.