Dublin Women's Mini Marathon
|Dublin Women's Mini Marathon|
|Date||First Monday of June|
|Course records||31:28 ( Sonia O'Sullivan, 2001)|
The Dublin Women's Mini Marathon (known currently as the Flora Women's Mini Marathon due to a title sponsorship deal with Flora margarine) is an annual charity road race that occurs each June bank holiday Monday in Ireland. The event is an all-female mini marathon over 10 km in the country's capital, Dublin.
First run in 1983, this event has seen its numbers rise through the years, with 31,000 women recorded racing in 2001 and, for the sixth consecutive year, upwards of 40,000 women participating in the most recent mini-marathon on 1 June 2009. Those to have won the race include Kenya's Magdaline Chemjor and Irish Olympic silver medalist, Sonia O'Sullivan, whose 2000 record time of 31 minutes and 28 seconds has yet to be beaten. Over €123 million has been raised for charity and a total of over half a million women have run the race, some doing so each year since the beginning.
A small group of enthusiastic male athletes gathered in the Mill House in Stillorgan in 1983. They concluded that an all-women's race would be suitable for increasing female participation. The Evening Press were named as sponsors and Dundrum as the host club.
Several Irish women's distance runners have taken part in the race. Catherina McKiernan recorded her first of four wins in her autobiography, Running for My Life, saying: “I enjoyed every moment of it. The crowds were more incredible that I expected, and it was just something I always wanted to do.”
The race has had a large list of sponsors through its history. Flora is the current title sponsor and intends to continue its association with the race until 2012.
From the beginning a Dublin evening newspaper has promoted the race, acting as its media sponsor. The Evening Herald took over this role from the Evening Press in 1996 when it went defunct in 1995. As recently as 2001, it was known as the Tesco Ireland Evening Herald Women's Mini-Marathon. For the 2003 race, the Herald was the only sponsor. Other sponsors have included Elverys, Citroën and Newbridge Silverware. Dublin Bus provides transport and the Order of Malta is also involved.
A significant amount of preparation goes into the running of the mini-marathon. Since 2008, fifteen or sixteen members of Dublin City Council has spent the weeks in the build-up to the marathon testing water hydrants in the St Stephen's Green and Stillorgan Road areas to ensure they are working properly. On the morning of the race, they begin a process of laying out cables and attaching them to the hydrants. The cables also have to be covered and ramps have to be installed for the benefit of wheelchair users. When the race is over, the crew have to take apart all their installations.
There are three water stations located along the route. The 400 metre stretch of road from Donnybrook Church water hydrant to the nearest water station is described as especially challenging to prepare. Approximately 200,000 cups are laid out at the water stations and 2,500 crash barriers line the route. 2,000 stewards and around 90 members of the Garda Síochána patrol the race.
The 2011 marathon has now been given a date of 6th June 2011.
Notable winners 
Multiple time World Cross-Country silver medalist Catherina McKiernan won the event in 1998, 1999 and 2004. Sonia O'Sullivan won the event in 2000, months before she went on to win the silver in the Olympic 5000m.
Recent years 
|Sonia O'Sullivan||Ireland||31:28||Record time|
The 2000 mini-marathon was the 18th running of the event.
The 2001 mini-marathon was the 19th running of the event and took place on 4 June. More than 31,000 females took part in the mini-marathon.
Magdaline Chemjor from Kenya won the race. Sonia O'Sullivan finished in second place inside 33 minutes and 26 seconds, later announcing her intention to not contest any track races that summer, including the World Championships in Canada. She claimed that the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, at which she won a silver medal, had tired her "mentally and physically" and that she wanted "to take a good rest", having been "suffering from illness all too often" that year. Valerie Vaughan finished in third place inside 34 minutes.
The 2004 mini-marathon was the 22nd running of the event.
It raised a total of €9 million for charity.
The 2006 mini-marathon was the 23rd running of the event and took place on 6 June. Over 40,000 females took part in the race.
|Pauline Curley||Ireland||35:04||Second victory|
The 2006 mini-marathon was the 24th running of the event and took place on 5 June.
Pauline Curley from County Offaly won the race inside 35 minutes and 4 seconds. It was her second victory in this race. Niamh O'Sullivan from County Kerry finished in second place in a time of 35 minutes and 18 seconds. Orla O'Mahony from Raheny finished in third place in a time of 35 minutes and 41 seconds.
The 2007 mini-marathon was the 25th running of the event and took place on 4 June.
Debutant Marie Davenport from County Clare won the race inside 33 minutes and 14 seconds, later declaring her interest in representing Ireland at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Rosemary Ryan from Limerick finished in second place. The 2006 winner, Pauline Curley, finished in third place.
A total of €14 million was raised for charity.
The 2008 mini-marathon was the 26th running of the event.
RTÉ television editor Mary Butler, from Dun Laoghaire, took part via her wheelchair after sustaining a chipped ankle bone day earlier. She was pushed along by newsreader Eileen Dunne and news editor Pat Brennan.
A total of €14 million was raised for charity.
The 2009 mini-marathon was the 27th running of the event and took place on 1 June. It was part of a weekend of events taking place in the country which included the Cork City Marathon and the Volvo Ocean Race in Galway. 40,374 females took part in the event, the sixth consecutive year that the 40,000 barrier was broken. A record-breaking 280 charities registered to take part.
Spectators included Desperate Housewives actress Dana Delany, whilst participants included RTÉ personalities Síle and Gráinne Seoige, model Glenda Gilson and former Xposé presenter Lorraine Keane. 85 year-old Maureen Armstrong from Thurles, County Tipperary, was the race's oldest competitor.
Rosemary Ryan from Limerick was the winner in a time of 34 minutes and 36 seconds, completing the race over one minute quicker than the 2008 winner. Pauline Curley from County Offaly finished in second place, one minute behind Ryan. Annette Kealy from Raheny finished in third place. Siobhan O'Doherty from County Tipperary finished in fourth place.
A total of €15 million was expected to be raised for charity.
Television coverage 
Setanta Sports have broadcast race highlights each year since 2005.
See also 
- "Huge numbers again for Mini Marathon". Evening Herald. 2009-06-02. Retrieved 2009-06-02.
- "Bank holiday bursting with range of events". The Irish Times. 2009-05-30. Retrieved 2009-06-02.
- "Granny goes distance to keep marathon spirit alive, alive-o". Irish Independent. 2009-06-01. Retrieved 2009-06-02.
- "Hickey's clan up for battle". Evening Herald. 2009-05-20. Retrieved 2009-06-02.
- "Up to 40,000 run in Dublin mini-marathon". Ireland.com. Ireland.com. 2006-06-05. Retrieved 2008-05-07.
- "It's the June Bank Holiday and here come the girls". The Irish Times. 2009-05-30. Retrieved 2009-06-02.
- "Fundraisers set the pace". Evening Herald. 2009-06-02. Retrieved 2009-06-02.
- "O'Sullivan won't run in World Championships". RTÉ. 2001-06-04. Retrieved 2009-06-02.
- "No need to be thirsty". Evening Herald. 2009-05-27. Retrieved 2009-06-02.
- "Sonia wins mini-marathon". RTÉ. 2006-06-06. Retrieved 2009-06-02.
- "Davenport wins Mini-Marathon". RTÉ. 2007-06-04. Retrieved 2009-06-02.
- "Ryan claims Women's Mini Marathon". RTÉ. 2009-06-01. Retrieved 2009-06-02.
- "Curley wins second mini-marathon". RTÉ. 2006-06-05. Retrieved 2009-06-02.
- "Sunshine likely for holiday weekend of marathons, music and festivals". The Irish Times. 2009-06-01. Retrieved 2009-06-02.
- "Tall ships, short breaths, long stems". The Irish Times. 2009-05-29. Retrieved 2009-06-02.
- "Ladies prove they can take the heat". Irish Independent. 2009-06-02. Retrieved 2009-06-02.