Wednesday 22 November 2017

Tens of thousands run for charity in Women's Mini-Marathon today

Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

THEY'VE signed up for the cause, followed the fitness programme, denied themselves the treats – now all that was left is to put on the T-shirt – and run.

Some 40,000 women took to the streets of the capital today from 2pm for the Flora Women's Mini- Marathon, the world's longest-running women-only race.

Last year the mini- marathon raised €12m for over 700 charities and it is on track to deliver similar amounts this year.

Every cause from the big ones like the Irish Cancer Society to smaller groups running in the memory of loved ones will be represented, with T-shirts in every colour of the rainbow.

Niall Devine, of online charity donation website, revealed that last month alone, almost €1m flooded in for charities under the auspices of the Mini- Marathon.

Cheering on runners from the sidelines will be one woman who had planned on running herself – except for the small matter of a newborn baby.

Patricia Kelly from Foxrock had planned on joining a group who will gather to complete the marathon in memory of her sister, Christine O'Reilly (28), who died from a rare form of lung cancer despite never having smoked.

Christine, a senior surveyor with real estate firm CBRE, was diagnosed in February 2011, having been ill since Christmas. The cancer was a particularly aggressive strain and she passed away that September.

"She was my little sister and she was like a second mum to my three children," revealed Patricia.

Since her death, the Christine O'Reilly Foundation has raised over €40,000 for the Irish Cancer Society.

This year Christine's mother, Kathleen (59) and sister Caroline (35) will run the marathon alongside members of Christine's family and friends.

The family of murdered Jill Meagher will also be amongst those running to raise funds for the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre.

The aunts and cousins of the 29-year-old television executive who was raped and murdered in Melbourne, Australia, in September 2012 will be raising funds for the "Your" campaign, supporting victims of sex crimes.

Catherine McKeon Halpin and her sisters Helen and Liz will join Jill's cousins Louise, Joy and Michelle, sister-in-law Katrina Meagher and many friends to raise vital funds.

The bedrock of the marathon is a group of around 15 women who have been taking part since its inception in 1983. Amongst them is Mary Butler, an RTE TV editor who celebrated her 58th birthday yesterday.

She has never missed a marathon – though one year she walked it, having given birth five weeks previously.

The Cork City Marathon began in Patrick Street at 9am and traffic disruptions were expected until the afternoon as 8,000 runners took to the roads.

Irish Independent

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