And they're off ... as 40,000 hit the streets to run mini marathon
MORE THAN 40,000 women ran, jogged and walked their way through this afternoon's Flora Women's mini-marathon.
The annual 10km trek through Dublin's south inner city helped raise much needed funds for charities right around the country.
Among the famous faces who travelled the tarmac roads around Donnybrook and Merrion Square was actress Amy Huberman.
The popular celeb was raising funds for her chosen charity Concern.
The actress promised to "run like Phoebe" from Friends if the public sponsored her to run the mini-marathon in a last-ditch bid for donations.
Former Miss World and Herald columnist Rosanna Davison also took part.
Participants raised almost €14m for hundreds of charities last year, when the race was won by Dublin runner Linda Byrne in 34 minutes 29 seconds.
Since it started in 1983, some 780,000 women have collected close to e137m.
The race started on Fitzwilliam Square at 3pm.
Organisers said women of every age, size and walk of life from every county in Ireland took part in the popular event.
The event also attracts entrants from all over Europe, Australia, New Zealand, United States, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Japan.
Event spokeswoman Jackie Wright said that the race had taken on a life of its own over its 28-year history.
"It's the biggest single-start all-women's road race in the world. It began with just over 8,000 women and basically they have taken it on and made it what it is," Mrs Wright said.
"We always say that if we didn't turn up on race day the women would do it anyway."
It was a chilly day for competitors with temperatures dipping to just 12C degrees with a biting wind-chill factor.
This year's Bord Gais Energy Cork City Marathon, which kicked off at Patrick Street at 9am also got a big turnout.
The Cork event also included a half-marathon which starts on the Ringmahon Road at 11.30am. A team relay event, which also starts at 9am, offered runners, joggers and walkers of all distances an opportunity to take part in the marathon without having to complete the full 42.2 km (26.2 miles).
Irish Olympic silver medallist and Cork native Sonia O'Sullivan joined ordinary participants on the starting line having made the journey from Australia for the event.