35 Years: Huge Celebration for 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon
The streets of Dublin were thronged with over 33,000 women who came out to brave the elements from sunshine to showers and cross the finish line on Monday 5th June, in the largest female-only event of its kind in the world - the 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon.
Thousands of well-wishers came out to support the runners, walkers and joggers from all over Ireland, the UK and Europe. One of the biggest highlights of Ireland’s sporting calendar, the event has raised over €203 million for charities since it began back in 1983.
Won by Ann-Marie McGlynn from Strabane, Co. Tyrone who crossed the line in an inspirational time of 00:33:55, the event, which was celebrating its 35th year was hailed a triumph.
Coming in at second was Laura Shaughnessy from Rathfarnham in Dublin at 00:34:27 and in third place was Catherina Mullen from Dunboyne, Co. Meath at 00:34:54. Sinead Kane from Youghal, Co. Cork won the Visually Impaired Category in a time of 00:46:08.
TV presenter, model and fitness advocate Amanda Byram, Event Ambassador and a member of Vhi’s support team ran her first ever 10k, with her mother Betty and a group of friends in aid of Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI). She described this year’s event as “a really really special day.”
Olympian, former European champion, MasterChef winner and Vhi Support Team Member David Gillick also came along to support participants on the day.
While the majority of runners are in the 25 to 45 year old age bracket, in the 2017 race there were many participants aged over 70 years old.
One of the most special moments in the event was the arrival at the finish line of 10 ‘wonder women’ who had run in every single Women’s Mini Marathon since the very start across the three decades. These included Rosemary Halpin, Margaret McBride, Angela McLoughlin, Joan Brady, Trish Horgan, Sheila Merne, Ann Quinn, Breda Preston, Mary O’Colmain and Carol Ormon.
The reversal of the traditional route added interest for competitors this year with the run reversed to start on Dublin’s Fitzwilliam Place and finish on Baggot Street.
Well known faces in the crowds of women included international soccer star, Áine O’Gorman, who has 94 caps for Ireland and was running to support Purple House Cancer Support; TV3 Red Rock stars Ann Skelly and Róisín O’Donovan and RTÉ sports reporter Evanne Ní Chuilinn, all running in aid of Cystic Fibrosis services in Ireland.
Other well known faces from the media that ran in this year’s event included RTÉ’s Louise Heraghty who is a Vhi support team member; TV presenter and Exquisite.ie editor Aisling O’Loughlin and Today FM radio presenter Alison Curtis.
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