Women's Mini Marathon Story
Since bursting onto the streets of Dublin in the summer of 1983, the Women’s Mini Marathon has seen over 1 million women take part in this high-profile athletics event, with the starting line a melting pot of accents from across Ireland and the UK!
At the front of the pack are elite competitors, vying for glory. Most who take part though, are there to raise funds for charities. Since 1983 an estimated €223 million (2021 values) has been raised by participants of the Women’s Mini Marathon for a host of worthy causes across the island of Ireland.
Since 2017, Vhi has been a strategic partner with DSD to organise and deliver the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon. Vhi has maintained its amazing support as the mini marathon went virtual for 2020 and 2021 and in 2022 the Vhi Mini Marathon came back to the streets.
In early 1983 a few athletics afficionados, including Frank Slevin and Frank Greally, met in Stillorgan to explore how to promote athletics among women. It was only 18 months since the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF, now World Athletics) recognized the first world record in the women’s 10,000 metres. Dundrum Athletics Club was selected by the group as the club to host a women-only 10,000 metre race in Dublin, and it was branded the “Women’s Mini Marathon”. In 1983 we had our first race and demand was huge with over 9,000 women turning up on the day.
Since then, the WMM has grown into a major event on the Irish athletics calendar. Due to the global pandemic, 2020 saw the event go virtual, which was extraordinarily successful with over 22,000 women running in their local areas all over the world. With restrictions still in place, the 2021 event also took place virtually, and this time participants could use our brand new app to track their virtual progress along the Dublin route. They even got their own Finish Line in the goodie bag!
Thankfully 2022 saw the race resume in the streets of Dublin. The wet weather didn't dampen the spirits!
Since day one, the Women’s Mini Marathon has had stiff competition at the front. Notable Irish winners are the super-consistent Catherina McKiernan (1997, 1998, 1999 & 2004) and Sonia O’Sullivan, Ireland’s finest athlete, who took gold in 2000 while setting the course record with a blistering 31:28, and then returning on top in 2003 & 2005. DSD’s very own Maria McCambridge showed sheer determination and perseverance, coming 3rd in 2013, 2nd in 2014 and then claiming the top spot in 2015. Linda Byrne, another DSD member, claimed gold in 2010 and in 2012 when she went on to represent Ireland in the marathon at the London 2012 Olympics.