Women (and men) take part in Limerick Mini Marathon

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

More than 2,000 women - and many men - took part in the Limerick Women's Mini Marathon. They set off from the racecourse, beside the UL Arena. Picture: Mike Cowhey
WOMEN from across Limerick did the city proud on Saturday, as more than 2,000 togged out for the annual Mini Marathon.

WOMEN from across Limerick did the city proud on Saturday, as more than 2,000 togged out for the annual Mini Marathon.

Ballyclough girl Orla Drumm completed the 8km marathon first, with a time of just over 28 minutes, while Kilcornan’s Nicola Byrne was the first wheelchair athlete to cross the line, just five minutes behind the winner.

But it was charities who were the real winners on the day, as thousands of euro was raised for good causes across the region.

Now in its 15th year, a number of men - many dressed in drag - also got into the spirit of things.

Mayor Kathleen Leddin, and Limerick Marketing Company boss Eoghan Prendergast joined Paddy O’Connell, the founder of the Mini Marathon, to wave the runners off.

And it was less than half an hour later when Ms Drumm had completed the new course - which took in Milford Hospice, the Castletroy Park Hotel, the Boat Club, and the Living Bridge.

She said: “It was tough out there, but good fun. It was a new course this year, and better than previous years.”

Meanwhile, Ms Dore - who finished second - has now been the fastest wheelchair athlete three years running.

She shaved 13 minutes off her time last year, which itself was an improvement of 20 minutes.

“I was able to go a lot faster. This is my third year winning it in a row. It takes a long time to get used to a racing chair like this. Certainly a few months: it is very hard on the back,” she said.

Event organiser John Cleary said the Women’s Mini Marathon is a “Limerick tradition”.

“It is more than just a running event. It is a highlight on so many social calendars,” he said.

One of the men taking part was Darragh Moore, from Westbury.

Dressed in pink, he ran to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness, alongside his girlfriend.

“I have had loads of comments. People have been shouting ‘sexy’ at me. I take it all on the chin really,” he laughed.

Kileely girl Rebecca Grimes was also delighted, after she shaved 16 minutes off her race time.