40,000 smiles as sun shines on marathon
BRAVO: Siobhan's first across line... but charity is the big winner with more than €12m raised
THE 40,000 women who ran the Flora Women's Mini-Marathon raised more than €12m for some 700 charities.
Tens of thousands of supporters flocked to the city centre to cheer on participants who were running in temperatures of 20C.
Tipperary woman Siobhan O'Doherty was the first to cross the line with a time of 34 minutes and 20 seconds – a first time victory for the 28-year-old, who finished runner-up in 2010 and 2011.
"I'm really, really happy to finally get the win, there are so many other fantastic runners out there, I wasn't expecting it at all," a delighted Siobhan told the Herald.
"I was in Australia training in December so I didn't mind the heat too much."
Siobhan's proud mum Agnes was there to watch her daughter cross the finishing line – and promised her a shopping trip to celebrate her win.
A host of well-known names were among the 40,000 runners, including Morah Ryan, who was running for charity Childvision, along with teaching staff and students from Rosmini Secondary School.
Keen jogger Morah finished the race in under an hour.
Other familiar faces included former Miss World Rosanna Davison, model Daniella Moyles, model and actress Vivienne Connolly and weather presenter Nuala Carey who all crossed the line in style.
Rosanna took part in aid of the ISPCA and she crossed the line in a time of 52 minutes.
"I found it tough with the heat but I'm glad I did and I only ever do it for myself and the charity," Rosanna said.
"I didn't train as much this year because the study has to come first, but I am happy with my time," said the 29-year-old.
Stephanie Fox, from Dun Laoghaire, beat breast cancer three years ago.
This year, she stepped out with daughter Sarah-Jane Furlong (20) in support of the Irish Cancer Society.
"This is my third time to do it, but I was actually in treatment this time three years so Sarah ran it for me," proud mum Stephanie said.
Dubliner Linda McNamara was joined by her cousin Marguerite Mulhall for her first ever Mini Marathon and the occasion brought tears to her eyes as she ran for St Luke's Hospice.
"My stepdad died in St Luke's a few years ago so I found it very emotional," the Balbriggan native told the Herald.
Dublin sisters Michelle and Sharon Costigan were running in memory of their mother, who died from ovarian cancer seven years ago.
"We used to run it with our mam every year so we do it every year since then," Sharon said.
"If we could save even one girl from going through what our mam went through by having the T-shirt on that would be amazing," added Michelle.
The family of murder victim Jill Meagher were among the thousands to cross the finish line in aid of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre.
It was a special day for sisters Jacinta Ellis and Annette Kelly who celebrated their 19th year of the Mini-Marathon alongside their step-sister Maria McDonald who took part in the event for the first time in support of Pieta House and mental health awareness.
The marathon, one of the biggest women-only events in the world, has been up and running since 1983 and organisers are expecting to rake in more than €12m for charity again this year.