Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Pictured at the launch of this year’s Western People West of Ireland Women’s Mini-Marathon at the Mall in Castlebar were former winners Nora Pieterse, Sarah Keane and Edel Reilly along with Jeanette Slattery, Charlie Lambert, Ray McNamara and Deirdre Donnelly of Mayo Sports Partnership. Picture: Michael McLaughlin

The 2022 Mayo.ie Western People West of Ireland Women’s Mini-Marathon is now a little over a month away and preparations continue to ramp up ahead of what will be the first Mini-Marathon to be run in-person in Castlebar since 2019.

After a two-year hiatus, caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, organisers are working hard to ensure that this year’s event, which will take place on Sunday, May 1 to coincide with the Mayo Day weekend, is the biggest and best yet.

In 2020 and 2021, while restrictions prevented the Mini-Marathon from taking place at its spiritual home on the Mall in Castlebar, the event was held virtually. Despite the challenges created by the pandemic, the virtual staging of the event proved an enormous success.

Women around Mayo, around Ireland and around the world embraced the opportunity to run, jog or walk the 10k distance of the Mini-Marathon in their own localities. Training for the event offered participants a reason to get out and reap the benefits of exercise at times at which stress and anxiety levels were high for everyone.

The Mini-Marathon also offered an opportunity for Mayo natives living overseas to feel connected with home, at times when international travel was tightly restricted. Mayo people in the UK, the US, Australia, Dubai and many other locations around the world took part in the event, running in spirit and in solidarity with their loved ones at home.

The in-person Mini-Marathon may be back for 2022 but organisers are keen for that sense of global connection to remain. For that reason, the 2022 West of Ireland Mini-Marathon will be a hybrid event; along with the in-person event in Castlebar, the virtual element of the race will remain central to the day’s festivities.

Organisers are hoping to welcome as many participants as possible “Home to Mayo” in line with the themes of this year’s month-long Mayo Day festivities, to run or walk on the streets of the county town, but those who live overseas will also be able to take part simply by registering for the race via the QR code opposite and running their own race wherever they are in the world on May 1.

‘Home To Where The Heart Is’ is the mantra of Mayo Day 2022 and the Mini-Marathon is set to form a central component of the celebrations in Castlebar on the May Bank Holiday weekend. The county town is set to be a hive of activity as Mayo welcomes home the sons and daughters of the diaspora to celebrate all that is unique about the county and its people.

To register for the West of Ireland’s Women’s Mini-Marathon, you can fill out the registration form in this week’s edition of the Western People and send it to Mayo Sports Partnership, Mayo House, Castlebar or visit westofirelandwomensminimarathon.com to register online.

Entrants who register for the event before midnight on Saturday, April 16 will have their names included in a draw for a special Early Bird offer of two nights bed and breakfast with one evening meal for two people sharing at The Westport Hotel Group. This special Early Bird offer is generously sponsored by the Corcoran family and The Westport Hotel Group.

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