Up to 40,000 run in Dublin mini-marathon


Thousands of women, and a few stray men, trudged on weary legs through the sun-soaked streets of Dublin this evening after they ran and walked the annual Women's Mini-Marathon.

Up to 40,000 people took part in the event, raising millions for their favourite charities.

Pauline Curley from Tullamore, Co Offaly, was the winner of the mini marathon, completing the 10km race in a time of 35 minutes and four seconds.  Many competitors took part merely for the fun, however, with some kitted out in elaborate, and possibly stifling, fancy dress.

The Flora Women's Mini Marathon - the biggest all-women's event of its kind in the world - began at 3pm with runners, joggers and walkers completing the ten kilometre course through the south of the city.

The event has grown steadily in numbers since it began in 1983, with its popularity increasing significantly.

Around 440,000 women have entered the event since its inception, raising €85 million for charity.

In 2005 alone more than €9 million was collected.

Previous winners include acclaimed athletes Sonia O'Sullivan and Catherina McKiernan.

Met Éireann said the runners enjoyed temperatures of up to 24 degrees with light south-easterly breezes, good sunshine and humidity in the afternoon.

Motorists are warned to expect delays and diversions as the streets clear and traffic begins returning to normal.  Thousands of people will also be returning home this evening following bank holiday weekends away and the main roads will be busy.