Nearly 33,000 women took to the streets of Dublin yesterday to take part in the 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon.
The event saw runners, walkers and joggers of all abilities complete a 10km route and participate in one of the largest fundraising activities of the year for hundreds of causes around the country.
2017 marked 35 years of the event, which remains the largest all-female event of its kind in the world.
This year’s event featured a complete reversal of the route of the event, starting at Fitzwilliam Place, and ending on Lower Baggot Street.
To coincide with the event, Women’s Mini Marathon announced that the 2018 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon will move to the Sunday of the June Bank Holiday weekend, taking place on Sunday 3rd June 2018.
This decision mirrors that of the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon who switched to Sunday in 2016 and saw a surge of interest and entries.
More overseas competitors found it easier to take part, especially from Northern Ireland which does not share the same calendar of Bank Holidays.
The 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon was won by Ann-Marie McGlynn from Strabane, Co. Tyrone in a time of 00:33:55. Laura Shaughnessy from Rathfarnham, Dublin was second across the finish line in 00:34:27, and Catherina Mullen from Dunboyne, Co. Meath secured third place in 00:34:54. Sport for Business friend Sinead Kane from Youghal, Co. Cork won the Visually Impaired Category in a time of 00:46:08.
“Vhi is proud to support this terrific event and would like to thank all of those who have worked so hard to make it a success,” said John O’Dwyer, Chief Executive, Vhi Healthcare.
“We want to extend our congratulations to the thousands of women that crossed the finish line today. The atmosphere and sense of camaraderie amongst the participants is incredible and fuels Vhi’s belief that running together is better.”
“The Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon is a phenomenal event that promotes health and fitness around the country as well as raising much needed funds for hundreds of worthy causes nationwide”.
“We are very proud of the many thousands of women who have taken part in the 35th year of the Women’s Mini Marathon today, with so many raising funds for great charitable causes throughout the country,” added Kathy Endersen, CEO, Women’s Mini Marathon.
“It’s truly uplifting to see so many women walking, jogging and running through the streets of Dublin. We congratulate this year’s winner Ann-Marie McGlynn and runners up Laura Shaughnessy and Catherina Mullen. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors and community groups, who help to make this event happen year after year.”
“We’re also delighted to confirm that the Women’s Mini Marathon will move to Sunday next year. We believe that making the move to Sunday will enhance the overall enjoyment of the event for everyone, allowing participants to enjoy all of the fun attractions at the event, as well as being able to make the most of the Bank Holiday weekend.”
Preparation for the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon starts early in September with a dedicated team working hard to ensure all participants have a great fun day out. They are assisted on the day by 900 stewards from various sports clubs and scouting groups.
Before the start today, Jeni Jones from the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP) took to the stage to warm up participants for the race, and was on hand to provide much-needed cool down sessions and massages afterwards.
The Today FM dancers led the crowd in some eye-catching dance routines, while Today FM’s weekend breakfast presenter Alison Curtis took part in the event for the second year running.
From 12 noon Merrion Square was a hive of activity as Nissan Courtesy cars collected and dropped off participants from Heuston and Connolly Stations.
Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon participants received an extra little boost with 1 kilometre remaining, thanks to title sponsors Vhi, as friends and family featured on the big screen with messages of support and shouts of encouragement. With the finish line almost in sight, the motivational messages delivered by loved ones was just what was needed to help Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon participants finish strong.
Vhi also hosted the popular Vhi Relaxation Area in Merrion Square, the perfect place for participants to chill out after the event.
A full listing of the results will be published in a special supplement in The Herald later today.
Image Credit: Morgan Treacy, Inpho Photography