The former Brazilian World Cup and Balon D'Or winner Kaka was outpaced by a 58-year old Cork man at the Berlin Marathon

The former Brazilian World Cup and Balon D'Or winner Kaka was outpaced by a 58-year old Cork man at the Berlin Marathon

CORK PEOPLE LOVE TO remind other people in Ireland they are from Cork. Anyone who knows anything about the county knows this to be true. Well, one Cork man has his own unique story that will be go down in history in Ireland's largest county. 

John Casey (58) from Togher was competing in the 55 years and over category at the Berlin Marathon, but what remarkable about this story was the fact that Casey managed to finish the run ahead of famous Brazilian footballer Kaka. 

Kaka is best known for his time at AC Milan, Real Madrid, and Brazil, where he won a World Cup in 2002.  

Casey ended his race event eight minutes faster than the former Balon D'or winner. His official time was just over 3-hours and 30 minutes. 

The unlikely duo were photographed together midrace. Casey overtook the footballer around the 21-mile mark 

Casey spoke to RTÉ’s Today with Claire Byrne programme and explained the pair exchanged a fist bump. The Cork native also claimed that Kaka was a decent human being despite the fame attached to his name.  

“I was running with the 3.30 pacer group, and we passed them at mile 21,” Casey said. 

“I call it the Covid handshake, he just gave a fist bump to me. We exchanged a fist bump as we're passing right and a smile. 

“At that juncture, the crowd knew that the world record was after being beaten around at mile 21, there was a big buzz in the crowd at that point in time. 

“Then the crowd were calling out his name [Kaka] and I thought no more of it and just ran on. I didn't realise that the photograph was taken at the end and look, it absolutely has gone viral like in the last 48 hours, it's been absolutely mad.” 

“He is a world superstar, and he really had a great interaction with the crowd to be fair to him,” he added. 

Togher Athletic club tweeted out: "Massive congratulations to Togher ACs John Casey who knocked it out of the park in today's Berlin Marathon in 3.30.29. What a run to be a part of, where a new marathon world record was set." 

Casey also reminded people he of his Cork roots in the same interview with Byrne.  

Expanding on the famous photograph, "I think the photograph has touched people on a number of levels,” he said. 

“So, first of all, I think the first thing people call out like, it's a great memory to have if you're doing a bucket list to be kind of photographed at that level. Second thing is there's the kind of shared pain at the marathon, definitely on both our faces. 

“And I think the other thing then is there's a good bit of banter about like. You know, this bit of rebel, I'm from Cork and there's a bit of rebel grit and Irish grit in sporting grit in the kind of performance.” 

“The first marathon connection as well, like to be photographed on the line by a German photographer, out of 45,000 People that entered the race is mad.” 

The winner of the whole event was Eliud Kipchoge. He ran a time of 2:01:09, beating his own World record by 30 second, he set on the same course four years earlier