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Mini marathon is still a world-beater

For a seventh year, yesterday's 28th Flora Women's Mini Marathon in association with the Evening Herald went over its 40,000 limit, with an official entry of 40,397.

With this magnificent total, the race remains the biggest of its kind in the world, with double the numbers of similar events in the UK and the USA. It is also the biggest single day charity event in the country.

Flora was again the title sponsor of the race and will remain so until 2012. "It has been a pleasure working with the mini marathon team to bring this fabulous day to life each year," says Muireann McCormack, marketing manager at Flora.

"It is you however, all 40,397 of you, who make this event so special.

"Congratulations to you all for improving your fitness so that you can take part in the biggest and best event of its kind in the world. The commitment you show to raising funds for your charities is to be commended."

This year the Evening Herald celebrates 15 years as promoter of the race having taken over in 1996 from the now defunct Evening Press. In 2003, the Dublin newspaper was sole backer of the race.

"We at the Evening Herald are very proud of our long association with the Women's Mini Marathon," says editor Stephen Rae.

"The event espouses many of our core values -- the advancement of women, the celebration of sport, promoting an active lifestyle and giving voice to our capital city.

"The women's mini marathon is a huge achievement for everyone concerned, most notable the organising committee headed by Pat Coyle, and including Gerry McGrath and Frank Slevin, the man who helped found the event all those years ago. Little could he have expected the phenomenal success of the event 28 years on.

"There is much to celebrate. Great credit goes to the generosity of spirit of the thousands of women who sacrifice their free time over many weeks and months to get fit and raise funds for the less fortunate. The Flora Women's Mini Marathon is YOUR day."

Pat Coyle, chairman of the mini marathon committee, thanked Flora and the Evening Herald for their efforts in promoting the 28th edition of this great race.

He also thanked apparel sponsors Elverys, new sponsor Fiat (who donated the Fiat 500 car prize and provided other assistance on the day), water sponsors Ballygowan and Newbridge Silverware, supplier of many of the prizes.

"I also thank all others who have worked with the committee, in particular the Gardai, the City Council, Dublin Bus, the Fire Service, the Order of Malta and many, many others. Finally, I congratulate race director Pat Healy and his team on the wonderful organisation of yesterday's event."