| 6°C Dublin


Despite the bitter cold, spring is in the air, which can mean only one thing -- the count-down is on for the Flora Women's Mini Marathon on Monday June 7.

For a seventh year, the race is sponsored by Flora, which will continue sponsoring the biggest women's only event of its kind in the world until 2012 at least.

"Flora is an excellent sponsor and its support is invaluable to the success of the event year on year. Not only is the women's mini marathon a magnificent fundraising platform, it's great fun on the day. I look forward to working with Flora for years to come," says Pat Coyle chairman of the race's organising committee.

"Flora is committed to making Irish hearts healthier, and we are delighted to sponsor an event that engages women in a healthier diet and lifestyle, " says Muireann McCormack, Flora marketing manager.

This year also celebrates fifteen years of involvement by the Evening Herald, which took over as joint sponsor in 1996 following the demise of the Evening Press, the newspaper which helped launch the race in 1983.

Since the Evening Herald became involved, race numbers have doubled from 20,000 in 1995 to the capacity crowds of 45,000 over the past seven years when Flora has also heavily promoted the race.

For the past few years, women all over the country have found it easier to find a group they can train with, thanks to the Meet and Train/Fit for Life initiative launched by the Irish Sports Council in association with Athletics Ireland.

While Dublin clubs have long embraced the Meet and Train concept, which developed in the early days of the mini marathon, Meet and Train/Fit for Life has spread the idea to groups all over the country. So no need to run, jog or walk on your own this year -- keep an eye on the Evening Herald for a training group near you!

Already gearing up for a memorable year are the hundreds of charities, who make the Flora Women's Mini Marathon their key fundraising event.

Entry forms for the Flora Women's Mini Marathon will appear in the Evening Herald every week until Saturday April 24. Inside today's special supplement, you will also find training tips, news and everything you need to help you have a memorable day on June 7.

Closing date for entries is Tuesday April 27 or whenever the entry limit is reached. With the huge demand for entries, this could be sooner rather than later.

So get those entry forms away today and make sure of your place on the June 7 start line!