After 3 years of glorious bank holiday Monday sunshine since the resurrection of the Cork City Marathon, the weather gods decided that they had spoiled us for too long. And in the true tradition of the ancient Gods of Greece it was time to wreak their vengeance on the poor participants in this year’s race and the enthusiastic supporters who came to encourage them. From early morning, heavy laden clouds curled and billowed across the firmament coiling like a stretching elastic band. With timing that only Zeus himself could perfect, the heavens opened shortly after the event started at 0900, releasing its pent up energy in gusting winds and driving rain that peppered bare skin like a thousand needles. Heading out of the city parallel to the river and along the Loughmahon waterfront, the intensity continued to increase with sheets of rain, blasting off the river. Yet the battle to survive continued, the wind and rain howled as reinforcements of hardy runners (aided by a scattering of even hardier well wrapped cheer leaders) continued to arrive to press home the challenge. Suddenly, as if from nowhere the halfway mark appeared followed by a short stinging climb leading to a long peaceful section of course where our glorious race leaders had worked out a flanking movement in this do or die battle. ‘A-ha Zeus, now we have you’, you won’t get the better of us this year. Slowly the miles slip (drip) by, the wind starts to abate, sodden gear chaffs on raw skin, muscles ache and groan, heavy feet plod forward almost reluctantly but knowing they will never give up. Finally, as I hit the North Mall and the home straight, the wind & rain finally cease, Zeus says ‘I’ve had enough, I’m going home’ and as we make a final surge up Patrick Street and the finishing line I say ‘not me, I am here to the end’. Victory for me in 3hrs 28 mins.