Around 8,500 runners pounded the streets around Cork City yesterday for the Evening Echo Mini Marathon, with more smiles than grimaces in evidence as they poured across the finishing line.
The annual event has proved a boon for charities large and small and while it will take some time before the total amount raised this year can be guessed at, there is no doubt that many organisations will benefit to thanks to the effort of competitors on the 5km course.
The vast majority of runners were women but there were also some competitors with a Y chromosone, even if they had to drag up or don another costume as they made their way around the course.
[timgcap=Erika Murphy, Denis Golden, Elle-Saibh Murphy, Justine Murphy and Tina Murphy, from Mitchelstown]EEWomensMiniMarathon270815f_large.jpg[/timg]
One such example was Jamie Kavanagh of Cobh, who squeezed into a Wonder Woman costume, complete with a dab of eyeliner, to raise money for the Mercy Hospital Foundation.
“It does a bit, yeah,” Jamie said when asked if the costume chaffed a bit when running, but then again, sporting prowess is secondary to the fun and fundraising at this event.
He was running in memory of his grandmother, Deirdre Grace, and for thehospital’s Cancer Care Services, and was supported by other members of his family, including his mother, Sandra Nolan Grace.
[timgcap=Rose Russell O’Donovan with Gucci and Louis, approach the finish line at the mini marathon]EEWomensMiniMarathon270815d_large.jpg[/timg]
Jamie said his family has raised more than €6,000 through various events, and said there were “loads” of other lads dressing up to take on the course on the outskirts of Cork City.
First across the line yesterday was Michelle Finn from Cork, while other contestants included Katie O’Brien from Turner’s Cross and Anne McKeown from Cobh, both running for Feileacain, the Irish Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Association of Ireland. Katie was running in memory of her own baby and said of the pace around the course: “It wasn’t too bad. The atmosphere was brilliant.”
Another group of 14 were running on behalf of Marymount Hospice, up from six who ran in last year’s event, when they raised money for MS and Parkinson’s services.
[timgcap=Competitors on Mill Road prior to the start of the Evening Echo Women’s Mini Marathon, Cork]EEWomensMiniMarathon270815c_large.jpg[/timg]
Shirley McCarthy from Blarney said: “We have more [in the group] this year as I think people saw how much fun it was last year.” she added that they were aiming to raise a total of almost €3,000 through their efforts.
[timgcap=Minions Aaron Corcoran, Mick Corcoran, Eoin Cremin and City Cllr Mick Nugent fundraising for Shine-A-Light]EEWomensMiniMarathon270815e_large.jpg[/timg]
Father and daughter team Noel and Ciara Geaney from Mallow were running for the Cork Arc Cancer Support Group, who Ciara said had been a huge help to her mother.
This year’s total number of competitors was only slightly down on that for last year, according to one of the race coordinators, Noreen Murphy, despite an Ireland Rugby World Cup match on the television and a Cork Senior Hurling semi-final double-header at nearby Páirc Uí Rinn.
[timgcap=NCBI Group from Youghal prior to the start of the ‘Evening Echo’ Women’s Mini Marathon]EEWomensMiniMarathon270815b_large.jpg[/timg]
“There are so many charities that benefit,” Noreen said. “People are great.”
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