The people of Derry again played their part in making the Walled City Marathon a huge success, with this year's event again bringing thousands to the streets of the city.

Be it through participation or though supporting, the marathon was again well supported by the people of the city, who helped runners get through the particularly difficult areas of the course, most notably the infamous Fahan Street at 25 miles.

The race was won for a second time by Eric Koech in a time of 2:34:14.

The Project Africa athlete was a comfortable winner, coming home in just over 2 hours and 34 minutes to take back the title that he first won in 2016.

“It’s very special to me because Derry is my home," Koech said afterwards. "I love it here and I enjoy it, racing in this city is very important to me.”

Armagh's Natalie Hall was the female winner in what she insisted afterwards was her last marathon ever!

“You’re coming into the race not really knowing what condition everybody is in, I didn’t even really know what condition I was in, but that’s me now – no more marathons! Although I say that now, I’ll probably change my mind in a couple of days,” she joked.

More success for Doherty

Inishowen's Karol Doherty was once again the first wheelchair athlete across the line, holding off the challenge of James Divin to record a personal best time of 2:39:40.

“It doesn’t get any less special, and it certainly doesn’t get any easy either,” he explained. “No marathon, no matter how many of them you have done in the past, is easy. The feeling of getting the first place result really is just amazing.

Meanwhile, Foyle Valley's Chris McGuinness was the first local home, finishing in second place overall, achieving a new personal best in the process, completing the course in a time of 2:40:20.

“To get on the podium in your local marathon, I’m delighted so it probably ranks as high as anything," he stated. "In fact, reflecting back, it was probably the most enjoyable race I’ve ever done."

See tomorrow's Derry News for an extensive 24-page Walled City Marathon pull-out, featuring every single result and over 100 photos from the event! 

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