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Women hit the ground running

Despite the bitter cold, spring is in the air, which can mean only one thing - the countdown is on for the Flora Women's Mini Marathon on Monday, June 6.

For an eighth year the race is sponsored by Flora, which will continue sponsoring the biggest women-only event of its kind in the world until its 30th anniversary next year.

"I would like to thank Flora and all our other sponsors for their continued involvement. Flora Women's Mini marathon day is all about enjoyment, healthy exercise and much-needed fundraising for charities. In this economic climate charities really need support and we would encourage participants to maximise their charity fund raising efforts," says Pat Coyle of the Race 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 Niamh Lennon Flora Brand Manager.

This year also celebrates 16 years of involvement by the Evening Herald, which took over as joint sponsor in 1996 and has seen numbers in this great race doubling from 20,000 to capacity crowds of 45,000.

This year, coverage of the biggest women-only event of its kind in the world moves to the features pages of the Evening Herald and promises to be bigger and brighter than ever.

Not only does the Flora Women's Mini Marathon offer women all over the country the unique challenge of raising funds for their favourite charity, it encourages you all to pull on your training shoes and get trimmer, fitter and faster.

Making it easier are the Meet and Train groups. Join your local group and you'll not only have company on your walks or runs, you'll also get good advice, lots of support and plenty of laughs.

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 are the hundreds of charities for whom the Flora Women's Mini Marathon is more vital than ever this year.

Entry forms for the Mini Marathon will appear in the Evening Herald on Wednesday and Saturday every week until Saturday April 23, or enter at www.florawomensminimarathon.ie.

Inside today's special supplement, you'll find training tips, news and everything you need to help you have a memorable day on June 6.

Closing date for entries is Wednesday April 27, or whenever the entry limit is reached.

With the huge demand for entries, this could be sooner rather than later.

So sign up now and start your training. Good luck -- and have fun!