Ladies' day for mini-marathon stars
YOU could say that last Saturday was ladies' day in Dingle as over 400 women took to the road in the second annual Dingle Women's Mini Marathon.
The atmosphere was electric as participants lined out at the start line on Strand Street before creating a colourful and lively spectacle as they headed west in glorious sunshine. Indeed there were a few cats among the pigeons as some local gentlemen took to the road alongside their female counterparts.
The 10km course was a challenging one, heading back over the bridge at Baile an Mhuilinn before tackling the Bóthar Fada, turning up towards Baile Uachtarach and through some of the area's most scenic countryside. From there it was back towards (most appropriately!) Lady's Cross and back towards the finish line in Dingle where people lined the streets to welcome competitors home.
First past the finish line was Killorglin's Niamh Clifford in a great time of 41:40. Hot on her heels was local woman Sarah Devane who was a mere one minute off the winner's pace, arriving back in Dingle in 42:40. In third place was Katie Murphy from Scartaglen in a time of 43:17.
In fact there was a great local showing from Kerry: in fourth was Mary O' Shea from Sneem (43:52), another Kerry native Geraldine Breen in fifth (43:57), in sixth was another local, Michelle Ní Chonchúir (44:35), followed by Muiríosa Griffin from Annascaul (46:15). Limerick's Sarah Kiely was the eighth competitor to cross the finish line, in a time of 46:50.
The event is run annually on a 'not-for-profit' basis, the main beneficiaries this year being the National Breast Cancer Research Institute, the Saoirse Foundation (Bee for Bateens), Liam's Lodge Project and Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne who are developing a running track and playing pitch. The amount raised will be known in the coming days once all the sponsorship is tabulated.
The event was co-ordinated by local man Seán Ó Suilleabháin who paid tribute afterwards to the organising committee, volunteers and the many local businesses who supported the event. Special mention was also made to the Dingle Bay Hotel, Lidl, Kerry Spring, the Dingle Skellig Hotel, the many stewards who helped out on the day, members of An Garda Síochána, Williamz Entertainment and Louis Mulcahy Pottery who sponsored hand-crafted prizes for winners on the day.
The good news is that the date for the third annual Dingle Women's Mini Marathon has already been set as it has been announced that next year's event will take place in Dingle on Saturday May 16 2015.