“Since then, my sister and I have walked, jogged, even hopped to the finish line in memory of our father, grandparents and our many friends”
The first Vhi Virtual Women’s Mini Marathon will take place from October 1st to October 10th, 2020. The event is replacing the annual Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon, which traditionally attracts 30,000 women from across the country to the streets of Dublin and has gone virtual this year.
Women all over Ireland are invited to Live Life to the Power of 10, completing the 10k event ‘their way’ over the course of 10 days, while raising millions of euro to support Irish charities.
Among the thousands of women who are taking part in the event is Caroline Brennan from Cloonfad, who is the Co. Roscommon ambassador for the event.
Caroline is working as a Medical scientist in Sligo University Hospital, and is currently working towards completing her Masters in Biomedical Science later this year. 2020 will be her eighth time participating in the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon, though the first virtually.
Caroline explains: “The Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon has always been one of the highlights of my year. Over the years I have raised funds for charities close to my heart, and in more recent years I have encouraged friends and family to join me. This year is a little bit more significant to me and my family, and we want to make it that little bit extra special by encouraging as many of our friends and family to join us virtually for this year’s event. We have chosen to share the funds we raise between two charities very close to our hearts – Cancer Care West and the Mayo/Roscommon Hospice.
“In recent years, we as a family have seen first-hand the fantastic work both these organisations carry out, and the invaluable support they provide to families, friends and the patients they care for.
“In 2015, my grandmother passed away, following a brief illness. The hospice palliative care team was an invaluable support to both her and us in that time, and enabled us to provide the best care for her.
“That summer, my sister, mother, and aunt took part in the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon in aid of Mayo/Roscommon Hospice in memory of our grandmother. At this time, we did not know we would so soon come into contact with the hospice team again.
“In January 2016, my wonderful father was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour, and despite best efforts, our dad passed away that September, leaving us completely heartbroken. When dad was diagnosed, my sister and I, along with some friends, decided to take part in the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon for Cancer Care West, a charity that provides invaluable support, hope and encouragement for families just like ours on site at Galway University Hospital.
“Since then, my sister and I have walked, jogged, even hopped to the finish line in memory of our father, grandparents and our many friends. As I mentioned earlier, this year is more important for us as a family, as this year we would have celebrated our late grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary in January, and our father’s 60th birthday in November, making us all the more determined to take part and encourage as many friends and family to join us to raise much-needed funds and awareness for two exceptionally deserving causes”.
Caroline continued: “This year we won’t be able to make it to Dublin, but my friends and family are looking forward to taking part in a socially distanced version at home to raise some much-needed funds for our charities”.
* Registration for the event is now open on www.vhiwomensminimarathon.ie.