VHI Women’s Mini Marathon 2023: All that’s up and about!

The VHI Women’s Mini Marathon is the biggest women’s mini-marathon in the world and returns this June Bank Holiday. If you are looking for tips on how to prepare for the mini-marathon, we have got you covered.

The mini-marathon is one of the most popular events of the year and is a great opportunity for fundraising. Whether you are competing and have been training for months or you are running for the first time and just want to sign up, there are a few things you should do to make sure you have the best time during the marathon and cross the finish line. We have covered everything in this article, from the registration basics to the expert advice about the top workout routines, and nutrition tips for the 10km road race.

vhi women's mini marathon

Image by Women’s Aid

Aimee Connolly, Businesswoman and Vhi Ambassador kicked off the 2023 VHI Women’s Mini Marathon at VHI Offices in Dublin on March 13th, 2023. 

This event has been running since 1983 and has seen impressive growth in the number of participants over the years, with over one million women taking part in the event. Additionally, the charities that have been supported through this event have seen a significant increase in their fundraising efforts over the years

vhi women's mini marathon

Aimee Connolly, VHI Ambassador, at the launch of VHI Women’s Mini Marathon Dublin 2023. Via Independent.ie

Key Information

The Mini Marathon will take place on Saturday, 4th June, starting at 12.30 pm. The route of the road race is as follows: 

The runners will start at Fitzwilliam Street Upper, and from there they will continue to Leeson Street Upper until they reach Stillorgan Road, where they pass UCD. From Stillorgan Road, they will continue to Nutley Lane, and from Nutley Lane, they will pass Merrion Road before ending at Pembroke Road.

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Via VHI Women’s Mini Marathon official

You can register for the race in one of the following ways:

  • You can register for the t-shirt and race number package, but you will have to collect the package in-person at our Number Collection centre in The Alex Hotel, Dublin 2. Your number/pack must be collected on Friday 2nd or Saturday 3rd June 2023 only, instead of posting it beforehand, which costs €30

This year’s Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon has seen a surge in the number of women taking part in the event. To gain insight into the running and running habits of Irish women, VHI commissioned a series of studies to be conducted with 500 walk-and-run participants. The main findings of the study included 43% of women who reported walking and running as normal during their menstrual cycle, 37% who reported reducing their activity while menstruating and 15% who reported ceasing their physical activity while menstruating. Additionally, the majority of women (57%) who reported menopausal symptoms found walking or running to be an effective way to manage the symptoms. 

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Image by Lovin.ie

David O’Leary, General Manager, of Women’s Mini Marathon, commented:  “We are delighted to bring the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon to the streets of Dublin city for the 41st time this year.  Not only is the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon an annual celebration of women coming together for fun, fitness and fundraising, but the event also plays an important role in promoting the health and well-being of women all over Ireland and beyond; something that is backed up by the findings of the consumer research conducted by our title sponsors Vhi. We look forward to welcoming 25,000 women into the city this June Bank Holiday weekend.”

In the lead-up to the 2023 VHI Women’s Mini Marathon, the majority of Irish women (77%) have expressed a desire to participate in a mass-participation event with their friends or family in order to reach their desired outcome. The main reasons for this preference are cited as motivation, companionship, encouragement, and safety.

Do’s and Don’t’s

  • It is recommended by health experts that individuals should not run on a daily basis. Instead, they should focus on strength and conditioning exercises on alternate days. Additionally, individuals should visit the gym, seek the assistance of a coach, and engage in resistance and weight training in order to develop lean muscle mass that aids in recovery, increases endurance, improves overall performance on a given day, and reduces or eliminates the risk of injury.
  • On the day of the event, it is recommended to consume a meal that is well-balanced in terms of protein, fat and carbohydrate content at least two hours prior to the event. However, it is important to note that the meal should not be served too soon in order to avoid cramping caused by a large meal.
  • It is important to consume two to three litres of water per day, particularly on training days. A balanced diet of sodium, potassium, and magnesium can improve muscle function, reduce the risk of muscle cramps, regulate blood pressure, and keep the body energised. Natural solutions include coconut water, water sachets, and a simple version containing water, lemon juice, and pink Himalayan stone salts.
  • Experts suggest that running shoes should not be purchased one or two days before a marathon. It is important to remember that one of the most overlooked aspects of running is footwear and clothing. This can lead to friction on the feet or discomfort around the waist. Instead, it is recommended to break in the shoes and wear them for a few miles prior to the marathon in order to ensure comfort.
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  • In the two days prior to the marathon, experts suggest a balanced diet of rest and light exercise. According to one expert, the most important thing to do during the 48 hours prior to the event is to “actually rest” in order to give the body a chance to recover and to ensure optimal performance on the day. Gentle exercises such as light stretching and gentle yoga should be done, as well as a minimum of seven to nine hours of sleep the night prior to the event. Additionally, it is recommended to go to bed early.
  • Doing some stretching after the event will help you recover. Experts also recommend drinking lots of fluids and electrolytes, taking a soak in a warm Epsom salt bath, or even getting a massage. Dry flotation therapy can also help with recovery.

What People Say…

Sorcha Ní Riain, diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, says, “I started running to improve my fitness again. I was sick a few years ago and it really took a toll on my body. My heart, my lungs; they weren’t working how they used to. I was tired all the time, and couldn’t walk even to the end of the street. I wanted to sleep all the time; I just didn’t really feel like myself anymore. I needed to get back into normal fitness, not even, like, elite fitness.”

“The thing that would have got me out of that was the running. Running is so powerful to put you back into that space, of visualising how you’d like to see your life play out, per se”, says Louise Kearney, being a runner all her life, founding comfort in her grief, now going through perimenopause. 

“Just throw the runners on, and as I said, bring one of the kids or text a friend. The girl I’m going with tonight, we randomly text each other and say, ‘Are you free in the next hour?’ Together, we’re just making sure that we make time. You know when you’re walking with somebody else, you might say, ‘Will we take the shortcut through here?’ But then you say ‘No, we’ll keep going’ because we’re having the chats. You motivate each other then.”, says Sharon Falton, a mother planning to walk the event with a friend.

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Sorcha Ni Riain, Louise Kearney, and Sharon Felton via Independent.ie

Looking forward, let us be the inspiration for women all over the world to reach their goals, show off their strength, and stand up for causes that matter to them. Together, we’ll continue to make a difference in our world and help future generations. 

So get your running shoes on, get your running buddies together, and mark your calendar for the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon Dublin in 2023. Let’s celebrate the power of women, stay healthy, and make a difference in people’s lives. Together, let’s cross that finish line and make the world a better place!

Luvya Bhatia
Luvya Bhatia

An upcoming M.Sc. Communication and Media student at University College Dublin, with a B.A. (Honours) in English Literature from Amity University, Noida, India. Previously worked as a travel journalist, content proofreader and social media intern in India with a number of different media organisations. Specialises in working on Travel and Lifestyle pieces for Babylon Radio.

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