VHI Women's Mini Marathon: Can you spot yourself in our gallery of yesterday' race?
THOUSANDS of runners feared the VHI Women's Mini-Marathon was going to be a washout after a lunchtime downpour.
However, the skies cleared just in time for the start of the fun-filled annual event in Baggot Street.
Just under 35,000 women came from all over the island to take part.
For Kate Griffin (23), from Drumcondra, the rain provided a bit of respite from the midday sun.
"It's actually good - we can cool down a bit and it's not too cold," she told the Herald.
After completing a 10km race in the Phoenix Park some years ago, Kate decided to sign up for this year's race with her pal, Elizabeth Grainger (23), from Clontarf.
"I've started running recently, so this is kind of my incentive to keep going," said Elizabeth.
To the tune of Molly Malone, runners, walkers and joggers set out on one of the biggest fundraising gigs of the year.
More than 800 charities nationwide benefit from the millions raised by participants.
Nicole O'Sullivan (67), from Dun Laoghaire, is among the racers who lace up their runners every June bank holiday Monday.
"I do it for various charities," she said. "This year it's LauraLynn Children's Hospice. The only time I missed it was in 2006. I had to have bypass surgery that year.
"I'm only a walker and hoping to do it in an hour and three-quarters, then I'm meeting my husband for dinner."
Participants were kept enter- tained and motivated along the course by bands, DJs and drummers.
They were cheered on by family and friends, in addition to 900 stewards from various sports clubs and scouting groups.
People were invited to show their backing for their favoured runners by submitting a mess-age of encouragement for the VHI Wall of Support.
Complimentary massages, physiotherapy and cool packs were handed out along with medals to all who completed the race.
Tipperary woman Siobhan O'Doherty (31) was the first to cross the finish line, in a time of 34 minutes and 30 seconds.
She was followed three seconds later by Natasha Adams, from Donegal. Dubliner Sarah Mulligan was third.
"I'm delighted and shocked. I didn't think I was going to win, so it's always good to get a win when you don't expect it," said Siobhan, who works as a physiotherapist at St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny.
"It was so hot out there. Natasha did most of the work, so I was lucky to catch her at the end."
It was Siobhan's second vic- tory in the mini-marathon.
"They were both in similar conditions - really warm and equally as good," she said.
"It's amazing. It's a really emotional race because everyone is doing it for a reason.
"My mammy, Agnes, always comes with me to this race. It's just a women's day out."
For Siobhan, retail therapy was the best way to recuperate.
"I'm going to go shopping now. There's no Topshop in Kilkenny, so it's my first port of call," she said.
Women's Mini-Marathon CEO Kathy Endersen said it was "a fantastic day for women and charities from all over Ireland".
"It's very uplifting to see so many women walking, jogging and running together through the streets of the capital," she added.