Reaching the finish together
A sense of community inspires participants, says Sue Conley
YOU have only to consult the Flora Women's Mini Marathon website to see that this is not a one-off
Between the diet and recipe tips – this year including tasty, healthy options from MasterChef's Nicha Maguire – and the list of meet and train groups across the country, you can't help but be inspired by the dedication of the folks behind the scenes.
The Mini Marathon was initiated by the Dundrum South Dublin Athletic Club (DSD) back in 1983. They are one of the county's largest and most successful athletic clubs. For them, the event is one that is a year-round commitment, and a pleasure. Members can take part in training sessions for everyone from juniors to seniors, of all levels of ability.
It is a unique combination of fun and focus that makes the event the success that it is, with participants from every walk of life able to not only enjoy the atmosphere, but also see can if they beat their personal best.
Add in their social media presence on Facebook and Twitter, and you have something really special: a community that may sustain itself virtually, but that has the opportunity to meet its members on the day.
All of the above speaks to the ever-evolving way that women are increasing their fitness, minding their health and connecting with one another, which goes beyond who finishes first.
Running and training may have once been a solo endeavour, where the only goal was to race and win. Now, thanks to the Flora Women's Mini Marathon – which has inspired similar events across Europe, in cities such as Liverpool, London and Oslo – there's a whole new world of community that is building every year.
That's a great achievement that only enhances that feeling of crossing the finish line.