Monday 5 December 2016

Watch: Almost 35,000 women take part in Dublin mini-marathon

Ciara Tracey

Published 06/06/2016 | 22:40

Thousands of runners feared the VHI Women’s Mini-Marathon was going to be a washout after a lunchtime downpour.

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However, the skies cleared just in time for the start of the fun-filled annual event in Baggot Street.

Winner of VHI Womens Mini Marathon Siobhan Doherty pictured with mum Agnes in Dublin this afternoon.. Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Winner of VHI Womens Mini Marathon Siobhan Doherty pictured with mum Agnes in Dublin this afternoon.. Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Just under 35,000 women came from all over the island to take part.

For Kate Griffin (23), from Drumcondra, the rain pro­vided a bit of respite from the midday sun.

“It’s actually good – we can cool down a bit and it’s not too cold,” she said.

After completing a 10km race in the Phoenix Park some years ago, Kate decided to sign up for this year’s race with her pal, Elizabeth Grainger (23), from Clontarf.

“I’ve started running recently, so this is kind of my incentive to keep going,” said Elizabeth.

To the tune of Molly Malone, runners, walkers and joggers set out on one of the biggest fundraising gigs of the year.

VHI Womens Mini Marathon in Dublin this afternoon.. Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
VHI Womens Mini Marathon in Dublin this afternoon.. Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

More than 800 charities nationwide benefit from the millions raised by participants.

Nicole O’Sullivan (67), from Dun Laoghaire, is among the racers who lace up their run­ners every June bank holiday Monday.

“I do it for various chari­ties,” she said. “This year it’s LauraLynn Children’s Hospice. The only time I missed it was in 2006. I had to have bypass surgery that year.

“I’m only a walker and hop­ing to do it in an hour and three-quarters, then I’m meet­ing my husband for dinner.”

VHI Womens Mini Marathon in Dublin this afternoon.. Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
VHI Womens Mini Marathon in Dublin this afternoon.. Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Participants were kept enter-tained and motivated along the course by bands, DJs and drummers.

They were cheered on by family and friends, in addition to 900 stewards from vari­ous sports clubs and scouting groups.

People were invited to show their backing for their favoured runners by submitting a mess-age of encouragement for the VHI Wall of Support.

Complimentary massages, physiotherapy and cool packs were handed out along with medals to all who completed the race.

VHI Womens Mini Marathon in Dublin this afternoon.. Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
VHI Womens Mini Marathon in Dublin this afternoon.. Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Tipperary woman Siobhan O’Doherty (31) was the first to cross the finish line, in a time of 34 minutes and 30 seconds.

She was followed three sec­onds later by Natasha Adams, from Donegal. Dubliner Sarah Mulligan was third.

“I’m delighted and shocked. I didn’t think I was going to win, so it’s always good to get a win when you don’t expect it,” said Siobhan, who works as a physiotherapist at St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny.

“It was so hot out there. Natasha did most of the work, so I was lucky to catch her at the end.”

It was Siobhan’s second vic-tory in the mini-marathon.

“They were both in similar conditions – really warm and equally as good,” she said.

“It’s amazing. It’s a really emotional race because every­one is doing it for a reason.

“My mammy, Agnes, always comes with me to this race. It’s just a women’s day out.”

UPLIFTING

For Siobhan, retail therapy was the best way to recuperate.

“I’m going to go shopping now. There’s no Topshop in Kilkenny, so it’s my first port of call,” she said.

Women’s Mini-Marathon CEO Kathy Endersen said it was “a fantastic day for women and charities from all over Ireland”.

“It’s very uplifting to see so many women walking, jogging and running together through the streets

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