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Sights set on the big day

THERE are fewer than three weeks left to go before thousands of women take to the streets of Dublin to run, walk or jog the Flora Women's Mini Marathon.

Whether you're fantastically fit, or this is your first time taking part in such an event, there are a few things to keep in mind for the big day.

>BEFORE Set yourself up for the day with a good, healthy breakfast. Opt for something simple and carbohydrate based, such as poached or scrambled eggs, porridge with raisins and honey, muesli, or a bagel and a banana (the latter is a great source of potassium).

Stay hydrated in the run-up to the event, too, although don't go overboard.

To help reduce the chances of blisters or chafing, make sure your gear is well broken in. In other words, wear the same runners, shorts or leggings you have been training in over the past weeks.

It might be tempting to get some shiny new gear for the day itself, but you could end up with chafing in unexpected places.

It's a good idea to bring some plasters and something like petroleum jelly in case anything starts to hurt.

Blisters may be small but they can really stop you in your tracks.

We all know what the Irish weather can be like, so be sure to bring an extra layer with you as it might be cold at the start (before you get the blood pumping).

A light waterproof jacket or poncho is handy, too, in case the weather takes a turn for the worse. If it's a sunny day, make sure to slap on some SPF on any exposed skin.

Give yourself plenty of time to get to the event – there will be thousands of people taking part.

Before it all gets started, make sure you do some stretches to get your limbs loosened up for the walk or run. Stretch out calves, quads and hamstrings (gentle lunges are good).

Hydration, little and often, is very important. Take little sips throughout the morning and take the time to stop at the water stations that will be set up at various stages along the route.

>AFTER Make sure you do some easy stretches and cool down properly; it will help to minimise aches and pains. A hot bath in the evening is good for stiff muscles, too.

Finally, and most importantly, make sure to show off your medal and enjoy the celebrations.

Race day kit: Water bottle, plasters, petroleum jelly sunscreen (just in case it's a glorious sunny day), weather-appropriate clothes and snacks.


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