THE Echo mini marathon may not be able to go ahead in its traditional format this year but that didn't stop many hitting the roads of Cork city to complete their 6k yesterday.
Among them was mother-of-three Kathleen Howard (68) who was out doing her very own mini marathon and who has fond memories of being surrounded by thousands of other women at the event in pre-Covid times.
Ms Howard, from Grange, was keeping a fast pace by Kennedy Park. She is a veteran of the mini marathon and has medals that date back to the eighties.
"I have a collection of medals. I have the medals in the glass cases. I did my first one in 1986 or '87 with friends and we walked and ran.
"I have great memories. The 6K is very doable and it was always a great opportunity to meet up with friends. There is a great buzz with the crowd.
"My daughter Claire did it in the last few years. She is doing it with a friend of hers as well this weekend. [In] years I didn't do it, I would come down to watch the runners come in.
"I walk all the time. My daughter Claire's wedding in October is a great incentive to get out walking."
Margaret loves walking on her own because she doesn't feel under pressure to keep up with people who walk faster.
Ms Howard walks nearly every day of the week and manages 4 to 5K in every session. She has walked The Echo and the VHI virtual mini marathons for the last two years as she likes to keep a bit of consistency even in lockdown.
Margaret regularly walks in her "absolute favourite place" of Tramore Valley Park. She says the park had a pop up cafe for a while where she got coffee and a toastie but she had to cut that out of her routine as she didn't want to "associate the park with the munchies".
"I am out there to exercise and that's it. With Claire getting married I have a focus. When I first did The Echo mini marathon my kids were small. They were always at the finish line.
"I was never a sporty person. I just like getting out in the fresh air and getting a bit of exercise."
Also out taking part in the mini marathon were sisters Patricia Dunne and Maureen Deady who both live in Douglas. The siblings were walking to raise funds for Arc Cancer care having participated in the marathon many times over the years.
Patricia has been doing the mini marathon pretty much since it started.
"Not every year but I think I have about five medals from over the years. It is a fantastic day out."
About 14 of their family and friends were scattered around the Marina walking as part of the event. Patricia says Arc House is an "extraordinary" charity.
Meanwhile, Sue Anne Byford from Douglas was taking part in the marathon for the first time.
"I kind of liked doing it virtually because you are able to get into your own headspace while running. Without having people with you you can get in to a stride and a rhythm. I found it fabulous. I like working out. I won't say I always do it but I like it. Fingers crossed I will do the real marathon next year."