The first Vhi Virtual Women’s Mini Marathon will take place from October 1 to 10. The event is replacing the annual Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon, which traditionally attracts 30,000 women from across the country to the streets of Dublin and has gone virtual this year.
Women all over Ireland are invited to Live Life to the Power of 10, completing the 10k event “their way” over the course of 10 days, while raising millions of euros to support Irish charities, who need their support, now more than ever.
Among the thousands of women who are taking part in the event is Mary Mahon from Hollymount, who is the Mayo ambassador for the event.
Mary has taken part in approximately 26 Women’s Mini Marathons, completing her first one in 1985 in 54 minutes. Thirty-five years later, she still enjoys taking part in the event, though her finish time is no longer under the hour. She hasn’t achieved a ‘personal best’ in the last 20 years, but for her, it’s all about the participation.
This year Mary is hoping to raise funds for the Palliative Care Centre in Swinford Hospital. Her reason for choosing this good cause to support started in 2018.
As she explains: "That year I lost my wonderful brother Michael to cancer. In January 2018 he was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of a brain tumour. He was cared for by the Palliative Care Team in Swinford for six weeks. During this difficult time, we as a family, experienced the love, care, compassion and hospitality of all staff in the centre.
"This care did not only extend to Michael and our family but to everyone who visited him. I know that any funds raised by me will go towards providing exceptional care and hospitality for other cancer sufferers and their families."
Over the years, Mary has supported many charities in Mayo, including Western Care Association, Spina Bifida, the Oncology Unit in Castlebar Hospital, and 22q11 Family Foundation. She and her friend also purchased an Infant Respirator for Castlebar Hospital.
Mary continued: "Over the past 35 years I have encouraged several ladies of all ages and fitness levels to take part in the Mini Marathon, and instilled in them self-belief that “what the mind believes, the body achieves” and many have come back after the race to say “I never thought I would see the day I would complete the Women’s Mini Marathon, and I have”.
"Unfortunately I will not be taking any trip to Dublin this year for the Mini Marathon or the football All-Ireland. Training is very different this year, but as part of Mayo Day Celebrations in May the women in my village and I organised a virtual women's 10k "your way" and we are looking forward to organising something similar for the Vhi Virtual Women’s Mini Marathon in October."
Registration for the event is now open on www.vhiwomensminimarathon.ie Every participant will receive a Race Pack, including a brand-new finisher t-shirt and Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon commemorative medal.
For the first time ever, the Vhi Virtual Women’s Mini Marathon is offering women the opportunity to download and personalise their race number so each participant’s name will appear on their race number that can be worn whilst completing the 10km, their way, this October.
Entrants can set up a dedicated fundraising page with Givengain, the event’s fundraising partner at www.givengain.com For further information visit www.vhiwomensminimarathon.ie or follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/vhiwomensminimarathon or twitter @VhiWmm / #VhiWmm.