IRish Olympian Linda Byrne may have been first to cross the finishing line in yesterday’s Limerick Women’s Mini Marathon, but it was charities from across the Mid West who were the real winners.
Almost 3,000 women and a few dozen men participated in the event which was staged in-and-around the University of Limerick campus.
Despite fog yesterday morning, the weather was almost perfect for those taking part in the event which was organised by Limerick Athletic Club.
The mini marathon was officially started by Queen Elizabeth (aka Myles Breen) who informed the runners, joggers and walkers that she would not be taking part as the “Corgies tired me out last night.”
Linda Byrne, 26, who represented Ireland in the marathon at the London 2012 Olympic Games, finished the Five mile run in a time of 27:04.
The Dundrum South-Dublin athlete said she was glad to have taken part in the event for the first time.
“I took a bit of a break after the marathon in London and I am getting back into it now and I’m feeling good and I’m running well,” she said.
The winner of the wheelchair race was Nicola Dore from Kilcornan who improved on her 2011 time by more than 20 minutes
The 24-year-old, who was born with Cerebral Palsy, only recently started using a track chair and finished in a time of 46:07.
“It was very hard because my back was killing me the whole way, it was a serious discomfort but I kept going anyway and I am thrilled and it feels brilliant,” said Nicola after she finished.
Thousands of euro was raised for local charities, such as Limerick Animal Welfare, Milford Hospice, ADD MidWest, Cari and Headway by those who took part in the Limerick Women’s Mini Marathon.
Another charity which had significant support was Pieta House which helps those affected by suicide.
Noreen Moore from Ardnacrusha was one of around 50 people who completed yesterday’s mini marathon in memory of her son Jack ( 20), who committed suicide earlier this year.
“Suicide has become a major social problem in society and it is just totally emotional to see how much people cared for my son and really we shouldn’t have had to do this because he should be here today,” she told the Limerick Leader.
Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Gerry McLoughlin paid tribute to all those who participated and he said it was one of the highlights of this term in office to date.
“It is fantastic to see so many people out enjoying themselves and doing their bit to help local charities in these hard times,” he said.