Mini Marathon

Flora Women's Mini Marathon Route 2012

Wow what a week it has been!  The latest issue of the Irish Runner magazine was released this week and they did a “Hannah’s Progress” piece following on from the last issue where they featured my weight-loss story and Why Weight Ireland.  Again I have received amazing feedback and comments from people so thank you from the bottom of my heart.  The start of the article begins with the editor Frank Greally writing: “Few cover stories in our 30 year publication have prompted as much response as the feature in our last issue focusing on Hannah Nolan….the reaction of the story was overwhelmingly positive”.  To have read that about myself was very moving and it’s still hard to believe that it is me they are speaking about!

I do hope that more get to read my story and get some encouragement from it and I hope that more people get to feel how it feels to achieve their goal.

The new Spartans were selected and announced at the start of the week so well done to each and every one of the 26 Spartans.  For those of you who do not know what the Spartan Challenge is: 26 people – one from each of the counties in the Rep. of Ireland were chosen to train, with the end target the Dublin Marathon.  None of the ‘Spartans’ will have ever run a marathon before and some have only began their running journey.  From now until the Marathon in October they will train and take part in several various distance races to get them ready for the big day.  This challenge will test their abilities in life in so many ways.  As well as all the mileage they will need to endure, they will also have to blog and get votes from the general public.  Attempting all this while some of them will be working, studying or looking after a family will test their stress levels and in the end the person who improves the most, is determined to succeed and is motivated to win will be crowned King or Queen of the Spartans.  Since winning the Challenge last year it is strange seeing others taking part in the challenge but at the same time I’m really excited for them as I know that it will change most of their lives, like it has done mine.  How many of them up to a few months ago would have said, “I’m training for a marathon”?  The whole experience is amazing and something I will never forget and thank you to Spar Ireland and all at Spar who make this experience possible for people.  Without their backing so many of us may not have started, continued or even began running!

As the June Bank Holiday draws closer we have the yearly Women’s Mini Marathon on Monday which is the largest of its kind in the world with over 40,000 women running the 10KM route in Dublin City.  This year I qualified for the elite section so I am looking forward to the race, especially since I will be able to start a little closer to the front (last year was my first ever time running the race, and I underestimated exactly what 40,000 people looked like! I ended up getting stuck right at the back so was not able to run so much as walk/jog and trying to dodge people lol. The atmosphere was incredible though, so really looking forward to that.  As people will be picking up their race numbers from the RDS, Simmonscourt this weekend there is also the Woman’s World exhibition on which is Ireland largest female exhibition event in Ireland so it’s a fantastic event to see everything just for us ladies 🙂  They will have everything from fashion to food and for those of us interested in fitness they will also have stands like Irish Runner, Less Bounce (they do fantastic sports bras), KT Tape and various physical Therapists

Friday 1st June

Opening Hours: 12pm – 8pm

Saturday 2nd June

Opening Hours: 10am – 6pm

Sunday 3rd June

Opening Hours: 11am – 6pm

I will be there from 11am on Saturday at the Irish Runner stand so please feel free to come over and say “hi” – there will be some of the magazines available for free too 🙂

For those of you taking part on Monday, I posted these handy tips on the Why Weight Ireland Facebook wall earlier, which you may find helpful

    Women’s Mini Marathon 2012 Tips

  1. Plan your food. As the mini marathon begins in the afternoon, do try and make sure you leave the usual 2-3 hours between eating and running.  Don’t eat anything too heavy. Porridge is great for breakfast as it is a slow release energy food. If you are hungry less than 2 hours before your race, an oats bar, rice cake or even a slice of bread (white) is a great snack that will give you energy.
  2. Arrive in plenty of time. This is a big event with more than 40,000 people so make sure all your trips to the toilet are complete and make sure you don’t feel under time pressure and that you can take few moments to just relax and feel the energy in the air.
  3. Don’t forget to warm up. Do your usual warm up routine of walking and light jogging (a few stretches if you feel you need to, or have certain areas that are prone to getting tight).
  4. Go to the correct starting line area. You will have stated your approximate finishing time when you signed up for the race, so you will receive a colour coded number. The starting areas are also usually colour coded so you can run along side those with a similar finish time to yourself . You have elite, runners, joggers & walker sections; if you are a walker then please avoid going to any other section other than the walking section.  If part of a group, try not to walk in a line, be considerate of people trying to pass behind you.
  5. Once the race starts, relax, stay focused and run/walk your own race.  Try not to get pulled into a pace that is too quick for you.
  6. Drinking water: Only drink water if you need it.  Drinking too much water might give you a stitch so try and just take little sips.  There is a water station on route.
  7. If you begin to feel tired during the race, try focusing on the person in front of you.  This will keep your mind occupied so you can concentrate on crossing the line.
  8. Once you cross the line, cool down.  Walk around for 5 minutes and complete your cool down stretches
  9. Refuel – with the cool down complete make sure you rehydrate by drinking some water and if there is a snack available you should eat it.
  10. Enjoy yourself.  As this is a massive event, try and take it all in, meet new people and just have fun 🙂


Make sure you come back and let me know how you got on 🙂


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Hannah x

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