Mini marathon expected to attract 4,000 runners

THE Irish Examiner Limerick Women’s Mini Marathon continues toassert itself as one of the fastest-growing sporting and recreational events in this country.

When it started out nine years ago, it attracted anentry of 480 runners. The October 7 event is expected to attract entries of up to 4,000.

Last year, the 3,140 runners raised almost €600,000 for more than 170 charities, voluntary groups and community bodies.

Irish Examiner head of marketing Máiréad Maher said: “Our main aimin sponsoring the IrishExaminer LimerickWomen’s Mini Marathon is to help raise as much money as possible for charities, to increase the number of entrants and to build awareness of the event. We are confident this is going to be another marvellous day for all who will take part.”

Race director Tom Foley of Limerick Athletics Club said entries rose by 16% in 2006 and he expects a further 20% rise this year.

The mini marathon will take place over a 4.5 mile (7.2km) course starting and finishing at the University of Limerick campus. It commences at 2pm.

Mr Foley said: “While we have big numbers of competitive runners with some of the country’s leading women athletes competing for the major honours, the vast majority will be taking part to raise money for a huge range of worthy causes. They will be out to have a fun day. Many of those taking part form groups who draw up a fitness schedule with the marathon as the goal. Most of the participants make it a great social day with the marathon as the central part. Buses will bring runners from all parts of the country.”

Mr Foley said most of the €10 entry fee goes towards insurance cover and providing a wide range of facilities on the day. He said: “We have a relatively small surplus of funds which we use to develop our youth programme in Limerick AC. But the big winners are those who turn out to make it such a fantastic day and the worthy causes they raise money for,” he said.

Entry forms will appear in the Irish Examiner every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and in theFeelgood supplement on Fridays.

They can be handed in or posted to the Irish Examiner at 89, O’Connell Street, Limerick, from Monday September 10 until September 27.

Limerick’s Live 95 FM will again be associate sponsors and presenters, including JP Dillon, will broadcast live, on the day, from UL.

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