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Tuesday 21 August 2018

30,000 runners hit sun-soaked streets of Dublin for Vhi Women's Mini Marathon

Runners, joggers and walkers of all ability took to the capital for the annual 10k event

Participants make their way to the starting line as tens of thousands of women take to the streets of Dublin to take part in the 10 kilometre VHI Women's Mini Marathon
Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Participants make their way to the starting line as tens of thousands of women take to the streets of Dublin to take part in the 10 kilometre VHI Women's Mini Marathon Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Kyle Ewald

30,000 women stormed the streets of Dublin today to walk, run, jog and sprint to the finish line of the 2018 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon.

Now in its 36th year, the marathon has grown from 9,000 entrants in the first 1983 race to the largest all-female event of its kind in the world.

Former Olympian Lizzie Lee of Leevale AC in Cork won the marathon with an incredible time of 34.18, followed closely by Laura Shaughnessy from Dundrum South Dublin AC with 34.30, hot on her heels was Siobhan O’Doherty of Borrisokane AC, who finished in 34.55.

The champion runner said that having a baby just under a year ago spurred her on to win the marathon.

“She’s going to be one next week and one of the things on my bucket list when I had the baby was that I said to my coach I really want to win the Dublin Mini Marathon, I’ve never even run it, this is my debut running it,” Ms Lee told Independent.ie

“I have two little girls and they are dotey gals and they are home with their daddy and I told them I wouldn’t see them today, but they might see Mammy on the news,” she joked.

 “It’s a great event, it’s a great fundraiser for a lot of charities in Ireland and it’s great to see all the women out,” said runner Caitriona Jennings of Letterkenny Athletic Club.

Ms Jennings said despite your running ability, taking part in the Mini Marathon is an incredible experience that is achievable with preparation: “Absolutely get out there and run it, there’s lots programmes where you can do couch to 5k and there are lots of 5ks around the country and during the summer.”

Men dressed as 'Mrs Brown' (left) and Snow White at the start of the race as tens of thousands of women, and some men, take to the streets of Dublin to take part in the 10 kilometre VHI Women's Mini Marathon Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Men dressed as 'Mrs Brown' (left) and Snow White at the start of the race as tens of thousands of women, and some men, take to the streets of Dublin to take part in the 10 kilometre VHI Women's Mini Marathon Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Participants at the start of the race as tens of thousands of women take to the streets of Dublin to take part in the 10 kilometre VHI Women's Mini Marathon Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Participants make their way to the starting line as tens of thousands of women take to the streets of Dublin to take part in the 10 kilometre VHI Women's Mini Marathon Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Fashion, Food and Beauty Blogger Holly White joined other ISPCA runners for the Womens Mini Marathon, for a warm up session in St Stephen’s Green, Dublin this morning.
Participants make their way down Fitzwilliam Place at the start of the race as tens of thousands of women take to the streets of Dublin to take part in the 10 kilometre VHI Women's Mini Marathon Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Darina Johnston and her husband Mark 'Marina' Johnston, running in aid of Arklow Cancer Support Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Participants make their way down Fitzwilliam Place at the start of the race as tens of thousands of women take to the streets of Dublin to take part in the 10 kilometre VHI Women's Mini Marathon Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Participants make their way down Fitzwilliam Place at the start of the race as tens of thousands of women take to the streets of Dublin to take part in the 10 kilometre VHI Women's Mini Marathon Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Anne Towell, from Rathfarnham, applies sun cream ahead of the race as tens of thousands of women take to the streets of Dublin to take part in the 10 kilometre VHI Women's Mini Marathon Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Participants make their way down Fitzwilliam Place at the start of the race as tens of thousands of women take to the streets of Dublin to take part in the 10 kilometre VHI Women's Mini Marathon Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Participants make their way down Fitzwilliam Place at the start of the race as tens of thousands of women take to the streets of Dublin to take part in the 10 kilometre VHI Women's Mini Marathon Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

While some participants made their Mini Marathon debut, others have been involved for years. Liz Downey of Dublin has been running the marathon since 1996 and said this year has been one of the hottest in the marathon’s history.

“It was one of the hotter years, I found it tough. I liked the course because there was the reverse so you didn’t quite know where you were going, but it was very, very hot I have to say,” said Ms Downey.

Participants at the start of the race as tens of thousands of women take to the streets of Dublin to take part in the 10 kilometre VHI Women's Mini Marathon
Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Participants at the start of the race as tens of thousands of women take to the streets of Dublin to take part in the 10 kilometre VHI Women's Mini Marathon Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Runners today supported an array of charities and hope to break last year’s goal of €9 million.

The four sisters of the Keenehin family and their mother have run the marathon the past three years in support of St Luke’s Hospital in Dublin.

“This is our third year to do it for St. Luke’s, our brother Xavier got great care there over two and half years ago and he passed away on the eleventh of October 2015, for myself my four sisters and my mam do it each year with friends in memory of him,” said Sarah Keenehin.

Women of all different running abilities and training backgrounds participated in today’s event. According to statistics by the Vhi Mini Marathon, elite runners make up just five percent of participants, while joggers make up 18 percent and walkers 77 percent.

CEO of Women’s Mini Marathon congratulated the thousands of women who participated today: “We feel very proud to have so many women taking to the street of Dublin for the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon, each with their own reasons for taking part, whether it’s raising funds for great charitable causes, or to achieve their personal fitness goal.”

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