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We're going for gold

Swords Ladies Meet & Train group, which has been going for a number of years, has members of all abilities and the annual Flora Women's Mini Marathon is a big goal for the group.

Swords Ladies Meet & Train group, which has been going for a number of years, has members of all abilities and the annual Flora Women's Mini Marathon is a big goal for the group.

"Swords Meet & Train was established around 1990," explains group leader Dolores Evans, "and we are registered with Fit4Life. Our group caters for walkers, joggers and the more serious runners.

GOAL

"The main goal of the group is to take part in the Flora Women's Mini Marathon. Over the years, some of the beginners who joined the Meet & Train group to train for the Flora Women's Mini Marathon stayed in training and went on to compete in marathons at home and abroad."

One particular member of note is Paralympian Catherine Walsh, who has also taken part in the Flora Women's Mini Marathon over the years.

The Swords Ladies Meet & Train group assembles in a number of locations throughout the week, and training is varied.

HILLY

"Our training on Sundays includes long runs, where some runners take to the road while others spare their joints by staying on grass," says Dolores, "and on Mondays we train in parkland which takes the runners along a hilly terrain."

She adds: "We train side by side with Fingallians Athletic Club, where we benefit from their expertise and most of our members register with Fingallians and the Athletic Association of Ireland."

As well as the obvious health and motivational benefits of being part of a group such as a Meet & Train, Dolores highlights the added bonus of friendships being made, with good social contact maintained by the members of the group.

Barbara Tobin, also a group leader with the Swords Ladies explains: "As a Fit4Life leader I feel our group offers a relaxed non-competitive atmosphere where each person is encouraged to reach their potential."

She adds: "The Flora Women's Mini Marathon is indeed important to the group. It's a reachable goal made all the more special that it is such a huge national event.

"I would advise everyone taking part in this year's event to train regularly, remember to eat healthily and to just enjoy the day. In running it doesn't matter whether you come first, in the middle of the pack or last; you can say, 'I have finished' and there is satisfaction in that."

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