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'Three generations of us doing the mini marathon is a dream of mine'


 Marie Carolan

Marie Carolan

Marie Carolan

Marie Carolan (60), from Navan, Co Meath, is married to Pat and they have two daughters and three sons ranging in age from 26 to 35.

Marie is a Flora Women's Mini Marathon veteran as this will be her 20th.

Neat, trim and fit Marie walks four miles every day.

"From February on you start preparing for the day itself," she says. "For the past nine years I've been doing the event in aid of Debra Ireland, who help kids with Epidermolysis bullosa (EB).

"I saw the ad for Debra and decided to find out more about the condition. It's a very painful skin condition that causes the skin layers and internal body linings to separate.

"Even now, a lot of people haven't heard about EB, but when you tell them about it and that you want to raise money for people with it they will always give you a donation.

"And that's part of what's special about the event – it brings out the best in people.

"Personal goals are important too. If you do the marathon just once, you could easily end up hooked, just like me."

This year, Marie will do the Mini Marathon with her two daughters Martina (35) and Fiona (26).

However, her dream is to remain fit and healthy so that eventually they will be joined by her four granddaughters.

"Three generations of us doing the mini marathon together is definitely a dream of mine," says Marie.

"My granddaughters play with my medals when they visit and can't wait until they're old enough to take part."

When Marie did her first marathon two decades ago, she said some people found the notion of women meeting up to walk and run together a bit strange.

"Back then, there might have only been 9,000 women taking part. Now there are over 40,000.

"But my biggest motivation is thinking about the people who would like to do something like this but can't for health reasons.

"As long as I can get my two feet out of bed in the morning, I'll be ready, willing and able."

As Marie is keen to point out, age is not a barrier.

"I see women in their 70s every year running it. Remember, there was a time when it wasn't the norm for women to be walking and jogging in public at all, so this is a very positive message."