Thursday 14 December 2017

Miss Ireland goes for mini

Miss Ireland Holly Carpenter and her mum Jane regularly walk along the seafront at Dollymount after Sunday dinner with their dogs Molly and Gus.

Now model Holly (20) and mum Jane (49) are about to take on a more challenging walk -- the Flora Women's Mini Marathon.

"We'll probably be doing more walking than running but who knows, we might have a little jog too," says Jane.

Holly feels her fitness level is good, as she's currently in training for a guest appearance in March on the BBC's Sport Relief.

Mum Jane, daughter of the late Sunday Independent social columnist Terry Keane, also regularly walks the family's pets in St Anne's Park in Raheny. She sees the forthcoming marathon as a chance to test her true fitness level.

"I'm off cigarettes for four years, with a little hiccup along the way, and I'll be interested to see how quickly I can cover 10k," she says.

This theme of this year's Flora Women's Mini Marathon is family doing it together, and is about the networks of grandmothers, mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts and sisters-in-law who have made the event part of their fitness regime -- using it as an excuse to get-together.

Holly says: "It's perfect for me and mum as we walk together but never go to the gym together or do any other sports as a pair."

A family who does the marathon together really does stick together in the case of 87-year-old great-grandmother Maureen Armstrong, who will take part with her daughter Martina Heffernan (49) and granddaughter Fiona Armstrong (20).


It will be Maureen's 18th time doing the marathon. She exercises daily by walking around her farm in Thurles, and by dancing jigs and reels at a regular Friday night knees-up.

"I like the challenge of the marathon, and coming up on the train with Martina, and then going shopping or for a bite to eat afterwards," says Maureen, mum to seven, granny to 21 and great-grandmother to three.

Maureen, who raises thousands each year for charities, will be joined by her son Michael's daughter Fiona, a social science student at the Dublin Business School on Aungier Street.

A former Billie Barry student, Fiona dances at the Wright Venue in Swords on weekends.

She says: "I stay with granny during the summer and she has me running up and down hills at eight in the morning. The marathon is our chance as a family to all meet up in Dublin. It's a big day out for us, and my sister and cousin might do it as well," she says.

Indeed, it's proving hard to beat the Flora Women's Mini Marathon as an inter-generational girly get-together.

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