Videos & pictures: Almost 7,000 complete the Evening Echo Cork Mini Marathon

Videos & pictures: Almost 7,000 complete the Evening Echo Cork Mini Marathon
Evening Echo Women's Mini Marathon. Pic; Richard Coleman.

Local runner Michelle Finn, of Leevale AC, was first over the line in the Evening Echo Mini Marathon yesterday, the first of almost 7,000 participants to take part in the hugely popular annual event.

"This is one of the best occasions in sport in Cork," Lord Mayor Mick Finn said. "I have to commend Cork Athletics for organising it, and sponsors Evening Echo and Tesco because it is a fantastic event.

Anna Reddin from Slligo (second place), Michelle Finn from Castlemagner (1st place) and Martina Kiely from Millstreet who took third place in the Evening Echo Womens Mini Marathon, Monahan Road. Pic: Gavin Browne
Anna Reddin from Slligo (second place), Michelle Finn from Castlemagner (1st place) and Martina Kiely from Millstreet who took third place in the Evening Echo Womens Mini Marathon, Monahan Road. Pic: Gavin Browne

"We have so many brilliant charities in the city and to see all the support they get today from the people of Cork is wonderful."

Eoghan Dinan Evening Echo, Bishop John Buckley, Maurice Gubbins, Evening Echo Editor, Elaine Duggan Evening Echo and Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Mick Finn at the start of the Evening Echo Womens Mini Marathon, Centre Park Road. Pic: Gavin Browne
Eoghan Dinan Evening Echo, Bishop John Buckley, Maurice Gubbins, Evening Echo Editor, Elaine Duggan Evening Echo and Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Mick Finn at the start of the Evening Echo Womens Mini Marathon, Centre Park Road. Pic: Gavin Browne

He was accompanied by Bishop of Cork John Buckley and Elaine Duggan of the Evening Echo in opening the event, following a brisk warm up by Women's Fitness Plus.

Geraldine O'Donoghue and Sinead Kenneally ran the Mini Marathon in San Francisco in honour of Martina Keating.
Geraldine O'Donoghue and Sinead Kenneally ran the Mini Marathon in San Francisco in honour of Martina Keating.

The Mini Marathon, now in its 37th year, even had an international element this year. 14-year-old Lily Costello from Whitechurch was part of a large family group raising money for Marymount in honour of her grand aunt Martina Keating, who passed away earlier this year and was always a keen supporter of the event. Martina's sister was in San Francisco for the weekend visiting her daughter but they still wanted to be part of it.

37th Evening Echo Women's Mini Marathon, Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.
37th Evening Echo Women's Mini Marathon, Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

"My aunt Geraldine (O'Donoghue) and cousin Sinead (Kenneally) had their gear over in the States and they ran the same distance, for Martina."

Martina's son Damien also joined the group crossing the line.

Marymount Hospice was just one of a wide number of local charities being supported on the day. People took part in aid of CUH, Cobh First Responders, Cork Pink Walk, Cork Simon The Mercy and many more. Charities from outside Cork also benefited, with runners from around Ireland and Temple Street and Crumlin children's hospital represented. Animal charities and many other specialist groups also had runners involved.

Rain had been forecast but in the end it was a scorcher, and there were plenty of supporters along the way cheering the runners and walkers on. Crowds enjoying the market in Blackrock raised a cheer and little Ellie O'Leary in Ballintemple gave participants a very welcome hose down of cool water as they passed.

There was a party atmosphere at the finish line in Kennedy Park as the marathoners rewarded themselves with cold drinks, burgers and a dance.

37th Evening Echo Women's Mini Marathon, Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.
37th Evening Echo Women's Mini Marathon, Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

The Lord Mayor congratulated all the participants and encouraged them to keep up the walking and jogging habit throughout the year: "You never know, maybe next year they could be ready for the Cork City Marathon."

Miriam Healy and Sylvia McHenry of Cork Pink Week with their support group at the Evening Echo Womens Mini Marathon, Centre Park Road. Pic: Gavin Browne
Miriam Healy and Sylvia McHenry of Cork Pink Week with their support group at the Evening Echo Womens Mini Marathon, Centre Park Road. Pic: Gavin Browne

The pupils of Christian Brothers College, Cork ran the race for Cork Pink Week, wearing their feather boas with pride.

Sylvia McHenry and Miriam Healy, who organise Cork Pink Week for CUH (Cork University Hospital) Breast Cancer Unit, both have sons in fifth year. The boys persuaded their friends to join them in for the run and fundraised in the school, raising hundreds.

"It's a bit out of their comfort zone!" Miriam said. "But they all got involved and went round the school raising money for breast cancer, which was a brilliant thing for teenage boys to do."

The McCormack family from Togher, Joe and Francis with their kids, Katie and Thomas at the Evening Echo Womens Mini Marathon, Centre Park Road. Pic: Gavin Browne
The McCormack family from Togher, Joe and Francis with their kids, Katie and Thomas at the Evening Echo Womens Mini Marathon, Centre Park Road. Pic: Gavin Browne

The McCormack family from Togher - Joe, Frances Tomás (9), Katie (8) - decided to take part together as a family day out.

"I did it years ago but none of the others have taken part before," Frances said. "So this year Joe and I and the two kids are all going to do it.

Katie was really looking forward to the run and so was Tomás, although he wasn't as happy about wearing a skirt.

Team Aoife CUH Charity group at the Evening Echo Womens Mini Marathon, Centre Park Road. Pic: Gavin Browne
Team Aoife CUH Charity group at the Evening Echo Womens Mini Marathon, Centre Park Road. Pic: Gavin Browne

Cork City superfan Aoife Linehan was being remembered by an extended group of family and friends from Ballyphehane and around the city.

"She was looked after in the cardiac unit in CUH," her sister Amanda Linehan said. "We wanted to raise money to say thank you so 27 of us are taking part and so far we have raised more than €5,200."

Paul Landers, Freda Landers and Michael Beecher from Youghal at the Evening Echo Womens Mini Marathon, Centre Park Road. Pic: Gavin Browne
Paul Landers, Freda Landers and Michael Beecher from Youghal at the Evening Echo Womens Mini Marathon, Centre Park Road. Pic: Gavin Browne

Michael Beecher, Freda Landers and Paul Landers, all from Youghal, were taking part to raise money for the Community Bus in Youghal.

"It is a great service, which helps people with disabilities and those who otherwise would struggle to get out and about for their shopping," Michael said. "Members who use the service only have to pay a small contribution so we are raising money to help with the costs."

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