4,000 women in charity run

A RECORD 4,000 women are expected to take part in the upcoming Irish Examiner-sponsored Limerick Women’s Mini-Marathon.

The 4.5 mile road race will take place on Sunday, October 8, at the University of Limerick campus.

Last year the event attracted entries from 2,750 runners who raised more than €300,000 for a wide number of charities.

Organiser Paddy O’Connell, of Limerick Athletics Club (AC), said the event is now established as the third biggest in the country next to the women’s mini marathons in Dublin and Cork.

Mr O’Connell, who is race director, said: “We will now commence taking in entries from women wishing to participate. When we started this event 8 years ago we had just 480 runners, but it has grown in a spectacular manner. Women’s groups travel from all over the country.”

Last year’s winner, Pauline Curley of Tullamore, is expected to defend her title.

Mr O’Connell said: “While we have a very big number of competitive runners, the vast majority take part to raise money for various charities. They put in a tremendous amount of preparation for the race. Last year more than 30 charities received sizeable cheques from the various runners.”

Tom Foley also of Limerick AC, and chief organiser, said it is the biggest event on the club calendar.

He said: “It involves a huge logistical exercise, organisation-wise, to ensure that everything goes off on time and without any hitches. Many of the women form teams and groups, who make it a major social event both in the preparation when they train and on the day of the race.”

Mairéad Maher, Irish Examiner head of marketing, said: “Our main aim in sponsoring the 2006 Irish Examiner Limerick Women’s Mini-Marathon is to help raise as much money as possible for local charities, to increase the number of entrants in the race and to build awareness of the Limerick Mini-Marathon throughout Munster. This year we are delighted to welcome Limerick Live 95 FM on board as associate sponsors.”

An entry form is available in today’s paper (see page 10). And the forms will appear again in the Irish Examiner each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday up until the race.

Completed entry forms can be posted to the Irish Examiner, 89 O’Connell St, Limerick between Monday, September 11 and Friday, September 29.

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