Monday, February 24, 2020

Warming up in glorious sunshine ahead of last year’s Western People West of Ireland Women’s Mini-Marathon. Picture: Tomás Greally

The Women’s Mini-Marathon in Castlebar on the May Bank Holiday Sunday, widely regarded as the premier road race for women in the west of Ireland, is back for its eleventh year — with a slight twist. Previously known as the Western People West of Ireland Women’s Mini-Marathon, it is still being sponsored by the region’s leading newspaper but a new partner has also come on board, Mayo.ie.

The event is now called the Mayo.ie Western People Women’s Mini-Marathon and the event will be organised — as always — in conjunction with the Mayo Sports Partnership. To mark the new era for the renowned road race, a new route will be in place for the event on Sunday, May 3, 2020, although it will begin as always at The Mall.

It once again promises to be one of the exciting and fantastic events in both the Mayo and road racing calendar, with plenty of entertainment at The Mall. This year also marks the return of the Mini-Mini, a 2k fun run for school boys and girls of all ages. The ‘It’s For Girls’ initiative for teenagers and school-going girls returns once again, encouraging secondary school girls to take part in the Mini-Marathon.

For the last number of years, the Mini-Marathon has coincided with the celebration of Mayo Day, which also takes place each year on the May Bank Holiday Weekend.

In 2019, the Mini-Marathon had over 1,600 participants in the main race, with 700 children taking part in the Mini-Mini. The winner of the main event was Norah Pieterse from Ballina, who crossed the line in an impressive 37 minutes and 38 seconds. Over the past decade, the race has had over 25,000 participants and has raised €1.5m for local charities.

The Mini-Marathon is open to women of all ages and abilities who wish to run, walk or jog the 10k route.

Competitive runners can be sure of a high standard of racing – with Irish Olympian Sonia O’Sullivan a regular entrant at the event – but fun runners and those who just want to be part of what promises to be an exciting day are also more than welcome to take part. The Mayo Sports Partnership, a community leader in promoting active lifestyles, is encouraging entries from all girls and women interested in taking part and hope to see as many as possible taking to the streets of Castlebar to undergo the 10k at their own comfortable pace.

The registration period for the event opens today, Monday, February 24, and there is a special early bird fee of €20 for all entries before April 1, 2020. Entries thereafter will cost €25. All entries include an online booking fee.

For this fee, all entrants will get a t-shirt and a medal in recognition of their participation. Schools with students interested in the ‘It’s For Girls’ initiatives are encouraged to contact the Mayo Sports Partnership office. The registration for that aspect of the event is €10 while registration for the Mini-Mini is free. All registrations can be made by contacting the Mayo Sports Partnership office on 094-9064360 or online at http://www.westofirelandwomensminimarathon.com.

Be sure to keep an eye on the social media channels of the Western People and the Mini-Marathon for exciting competitions with some fabulous prizes as we build-up to the Mayo.ie Western People Women’s Mini-Marathon on Sunday, May 3.

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