Last Sunday’s Tipperary Women’s Mini Marathon here in Thurles (European Town of Sport for 2012) was without doubt a resounding success.
The forecast of heavy rain & wind, accurately predicted by Met Eireann, arrived as expected somewhat spoiling the race warm up which began under the expert guidance of Thurles Leisure Centre fitness instructors Maria and Serena, in the grounds of LIT Tipperary. However this in no way dampened the spirits of the 1,246 women who gathered to enter the 2012 Tipperary Women’s Mini Marathon organised by North and South Tipperary Sports here in Thurles. As the Moycarkey Pipe Band led the participants up to the ‘Start Arch,’ positioned on the Jimmy Doyle road, the rain cleared away and thankfully continued in that mode for the remaining part of the day.
Catherina McKiernan addressed the crowd just before the start, saying how delighted she was to be back in Tipperary for her second Tipperary Women’s Mini Marathon, and wished everybody the best of luck. Mayor of Thurles local Cllr Michael Cleary then welcomed everyone to Thurles while the Mayor of South Tipperary County Council, Cllr John Crosse also welcomed the runners and wished all participants the best of luck. North Tipperary Councillor, John Hogan, then blew the starting whistle to commence the 2012 Tipperary Women’s Mini Marathon.
Some thirty five minutes later the first runners were back and entering the grounds of LIT Tipperary. In first place was Nenagh’s Siobhan Doherty, in a chip time of 35.51 followed very quickly by Catherina McKiernan in a chip time of 36.14. Third place went to Clonmel AC’s Angela McCann in 37.58, while fourth position went to Claire Annan in a time of 39.47. In fifth position was Aine Roche in a time of 41.00 and in sixth place was Marie Fitzgibbon in just 41.06.
All commented that the route was very fair and much less hilly than the 2010 route used previously in Thurles.
All the participants taking part, between runners, joggers and walkers were back in a time of less than 2 hours and 5 mins, which is faster than previous years and perhaps an indication of the continued success of the ‘Meet and Train,’ groups around Co Tipperary.
The 2012 Tipperary Mini Marathon was supported by a groundswell of local businesses and civic organisations. There was huge praise for the superb organisation and months of careful preparation from the hard working committee who were led by Elaine Cullinan and Valerie Connolly of NTSP and STSP. The organising committee included representatives from both Sport’s Partnerships, Thurles Town Council, LIT Tipperary, Thurles Gardaí, Tipperary County Athletics, Thurles Crokes AC, Tipp FM Radio and North Tipperary Civil Defence.
If you are interested in taking part next year get started now, with helpful advice to be found HERE.
For further details on these groups in North and South Tipperary, do check out www.ntsp.ie and www.stsp.ie
Photographs courtesy G.Willoughby, Thurles, Co Tipperary.