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WOW Live
Runners gather at the start of The Echo Women's Mini Marathon, on Centre Park Road, last year. Picture: Gavin Browne
Runners gather at the start of The Echo Women's Mini Marathon, on Centre Park Road, last year. Picture: Gavin Browne
SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

Ready, steady, go... for it! Sign up to the virtual mini marathon today

“I WILL miss the rush of emotion that chokes me every year as I walk down to the start line to see women coming from every direction in the city, and we all converge in a common cause, to use our own pain and turn it into something positive. Of course, it has the added benefit that it gets people out exercising, one of the best ways we can look after our physical and mental health. “

These are the poignant words of Frances Drummond, who has taken part in The Echo Women’s Mini Marathon for many years, in memory of her beloved mum Philippine. She died from a very rare form of cancer and Frances has dedicated her life to cancer research, working at Breakthrough Cancer Research.

This year there won’t be one single starting line for The Echo Womens Mini Marathon — instead there will be many.

Yes, it will be different, when the virtual ‘6K Your Way’ takes place on September 20 — as people won’t gather all together in their thousands, on Centre Park Road. However the event can be as powerful, as poignant, as brilliant, as meaningful, as successful as ever before, as it marks its 39th year.

It will be ‘strange’ as we line up in ones, or twos, or small groups of friends, or family members — as we walk, run or jog our own 6K route. Some will take to the Marina, as they have done in previous years, but others will walk the routes around their homes, the roadways near their towns and villages, or wander over the fields in our Cork countryside.

But we have endured ‘strange’ now for these past few months and it hasn’t stopped us completely in our tracks. If anything it has showed us how to be stronger — stronger together… even when apart.

Many of us have used this time to support our neighbours, our elderly community, the vulnerable.

We’ve used this time too for personal growth and development, but also many have turned to health and fitness to see them through darker days. Some have undertaken amazing feats, all in aid of worthy causes, close to our hearts.

Today we are calling on the women of Cork… and the men, who are brave enough, too… to register for free on the mini marathon website. There are so many charities who still need our help and support in 2020 — probably more now than ever before.

Cork Athletics County Board spokesman John Quigley, said: “We are disappointed not to be down on Centre Park Road — this is our 39th consecutive year of the event. Our primary focus was continuity of the event, but even more importantly for the charities. We estimate that €1 million is raised for various different charities every year at the mini marathon. This virtual event will give them a chance to recover some of that.

“There is no fee to enter this year — there is an option to pay a small amount for a race number, or to get a number and medal. Any excess from this, as well as sponsorship from Cork County Board, will go to our chosen charity —Marymount, in memory of our former competition secretary and main organiser of the marathon for many years, Mary Maher.”

Editor of The Echo Maurice Gubbins also put a call out for the women of Cork to get involved this year.

The Echo has been involved with the mini marathon since it’s inception 39 years ago.

“Sadly, this year we can’t have that big day out. But we can still do a lot in our own places, for our own fitness and health and most especially for the hundreds of great causes the women of Cork assist through this event every year,” he said.

“Let’s make a date to get back together on the streets of Cork next year. Meanwhile, thank you all for supporting our event and for your huge contribution to Cork charities.”

Today we dedicate a special edition of WoW! to the mini marathon. Inside these pages, women from all walks of life share their story on why they are taking part in the event. Many of them are no strangers, having taken part for more than a decade. Generations of families, taking up the mantle to continue to raise funds for charities close to their hearts. We salute you and wish you all the best on September 20.

To those who have not signed up yet... what are you waiting for? You are just one small click away from making a big difference.

HERE’S HOW TO TAKE PART...

The event ‘6K Your Way’ is free to register. You can complete that however you want, either by walking, running or jogging in your back garden!

When you are registering you will have the option to purchase a souvenir medal and race number to be posted to you.

We are encouraging people to do the 6K on September 20 (We ask that you adhere to all government guidelines regarding public safety and social distancing when completing your 6K). You can upload your results via the results portal and you can download a certificate of completion.

The results portal will be open from September 18. If you can’t complete your 6K on September 20 you can also do it from September 18 to September 27.

Sign up here:

https://theechominimarathon.ie