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I'll dash over that finishing line

It is hard to believe we were battling with frost and ice on our road to the mini marathon a few weeks ago and now conditions are ideal and with the bright evenings there are more hours to get out and get moving.

I have been doing a good bit of jogging and hope to get out at least three times a week in the next three weeks up to the big day. My cross training has definitely helped. In previous years, I only ran and walked. This time, with a combination of running, resistance, core training and flexibility like Pilates and yoga, I hope to be whizzing over that line.

One of my favourite things about the mini marathon is seeing the hundreds of different T-shirts for all the amazing charities. It's an emotional day for many of the women. Some may have lost a loved one, spent time in hospital or had an experience that resulted in them raising money for a worthy cause.

I paid a visit to Temple Street Children's Hospital this week to meet Andrea Gilligan and her mum Olive. They are both taking part for the first time this year. Fifteen-year-old Andrea has been attending Temple St for three years due to a back condition spondylolisthesis. They only discovered the condition after Andrea got injured while playing camogie with her school's team Naomh Fionnbharra.

Andrea is an inspiring young lady and has gone through the mill over the past three years with physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, epidural injections in her spine and she even had to wear a body cast for three months. The Junior Cert student from Cabra told me that she wants to pay something back to Temple St before she turns 16 and has already been raising funds around her community.

It opened my eyes to why we sign up for this great event and although it is nice to set a goal for a finishing time, it really is about taking part.