History will be made in Castlebar on Sunday May 2 and women everywhere are being asked to play, or more precisely, run, jog or walk their part. The first ever west of Ireland Women’s Mini-Marathon is attracting 2,500 participants plus supporters, family, and friends to Mayo’s county town. Indeed the organisers hope that the event will become a firm and much loved fixture on Ireland’s athletics calendar.
While the presence of elite runners is sure to provide the race with a strong competitive element, central to the Women’s Mini-Marathon will be the opportunity for all west of Ireland charities to raise much needed funds for their respective organisations. Indeed, a number of personalities have signed up for the initiative including Beverley Flynn TD, former Rose of Tralee Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, director of Special Olympics Europe Mary Davis, and well-known Mayo cancer action campaigner Mary McGreal.
Never before has a women’s-only athletics event of this size been held west of the Shannon and the arrival of so many runners, walkers and their families and supporters to Castlebar is sure to boost the local economy.
“There has been a fantastic response from women throughout the region. Indeed participants come from as far away as the United States and the UK. It’s great seeing participants out walking and jogging preparing for this occasion,” said Mayo Sports Partnership co-ordinator Charlie Lambert.
With the mini-marathon a little under two weeks away the excitement is building. To capture the festival atmosphere the Mall, with the assistance of Castlebar Chamber of Commerce and Destination Castlebar, will incorporate a stage with music, food court area, and children’s activity zone. The event will commence at 12 noon from the courthouse with the Mall open to the public from 10.30am to 4pm. The organisers would like to ask participants and members of the public to be environmentally friendly and utilise recyclable waste bins on the Mall as well as on the race route itself.
Finally with an event of this nature some temporary road closures will be in operation on Sunday May 2 and again the organisers would kindly ask the public to acknowledge these restrictions for the health and safety of all. These are listed below: Mall closure - 9am until 4pm; Linenhall Street closure 11am - 3.30pm; Ellison Street closure 11am – 3.30pm; Main Street closure 11am - 3.30pm; Rush Street closure 11am – 1pm; Thomas Street closure 11am - 1pm; Turlough Road closure 11.30am - 2.30pm; road closure at Ballyneggin that adjoins Turlough Road and N5 - 11.30am-2.30pm; road closure from N5 through Springfield onto Lower Charles Street and onto Lucan Street – 12 - 3.30pm.
Registration for the event will close on Friday April 23. Participants can still enter online at www.westofirelandwomensminimarathon.com or contact the Mayo Sports Partnership on 094 904 7025 for information.