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Dee O'Keeffe: I achieved my goal and now I'm hooked!

I HAD one of the most exhilarating days of my life yesterday and all because I achieved a long-time goal -- I ran the Flora Women's Mini Marathon, and I completed it in under an hour.

As I write this we are still processing the official times so that over 40,000 women can enjoy their success in print 'the morning after the day before' (ink and a gorgeous medal is about as good as it gets in my book).

But, as I looked up at the clock, just before passing the finish line, it said 56.10 -- so give or take a couple of seconds, I know that I actually 'did it'.

In the run up to this year's FWMM, I have written about the fact that I used to be a pretty good sprinter but bottled it at any kind of long-distance running and eventually bottled it at anything competitive -- sports-wise.

Incredibly, the FWMM has helped me get over this fear of failure and I've made some new friends as well, never mind the fact that a healthy new pastime is mine.

Aside from the Herald's involvement in it, simply having taken part I now feel even more tied to this brilliant event and look forward to lots more races.


I saw first hand yesterday the sheer dedication of so many women -- some determined to keep fit and healthy, some determined to have a jaunty day out with pals, walking or jogging, and then of course there are those who raise so much money for charity.

I talked the talk via Herald columns in the weeks coming up to the big event, and did the training, but nothing prepares you for the momentum of the day itself.

Over 40,000 women crossed the finish line yesterday -- damp hair, sweaty bodies and faces were the standard look, but that collective sense of achievement within a large group of people is rare.

There are many elite runners and super-fit joggers, but there were lots of us who, like me, trained for about three months and then gave it socks on the day -- and are now hooked. Needless to say, I had some extra motivation as if I hadn't managed to run the run in said time then the walk of shame would have been mine today in the office!

It's amazing that for one day, Irish women get to own the capital city. FWMM rocks. They have officially created a little jogging monster!