The third annual Western People West of Ireland Women’s Mini Marathon will take place in Castlebar on Sunday, May 6, 2012. More than 5,000 women are expected to take part in this year’s event.

The event was officially launched in Áras an Chontae, Castlebar on Thursday evening, January 26, by Minister for Sport and Tourism, Michael Ring. The Minister congratulated the organisers and participants who have made the event possible over the last two years and wished them the very best of luck on the May Bank Holiday Sunday this year,

The event was dreamt up by the Western People in 2010 and enthusiastically taken up by the Mayo Sports Partnership. The inaugural event attracted some 3,000 participants, while 4,000 took to the streets of Castlebar in 2011. It is expected that this year’s event will be bigger and better than ever before.

In developing Western People West of Ireland Women’s Mini Marathon, the intention was to create a fun day, encouraging people to get out, get fit and enjoy the company of other women.

The 10k race is open to serious athletes, fun runners and walkers. It also acts as a major fundraiser for charities and over the last two years, local charities have succeeded in raising €1million through the Mini Marathon. Some 60 charities were represented in the Mini Marathon in 2011.

In addition to the event itself, the benefits the Mini Marathon brings for Castlebar cannot be underestimated. “Holding the Western People Mini Marathon in the County Town is something we’re very proud of in the Western People and we are thrilled with the economic benefit it brings for Castlebar. Again this year, we are hoping that the town comes out in force to welcome the entrants,” said Cróna Esler, deputy editor of the Western People, speaking at the launch of the event in the county council chamber, Áras an Chontae.

“The mini marathon has become a major event in Mayo Sports Partnerships calendar and is a vital focus now for women who participate in our walking programmes such as our ‘FitWalk Programme and running programmes such as Fit4life ‘meet and train’ programmes throughout the year. The revenue from the mini marathon has also allowed us to develop many new programmes some targeting minority groups in disadvantaged areas as well as ‘introduction to athletics’ programmes for national school children in Mayo. The Mini Marathon has also allowed us continue our ‘Special Participation Grant Scheme’ which funds worthy sports programmes in clubs and organisations throughout the county. We are really looking forward to the 2012 mini marathon and a new impetus in Physical Activity throughout the county. ” added Anne Ronayne, Community Sports Development officer with the Mayo Sports Partnership.

Entrants must be over 15 years of age. To enter, fill in the form in the Western People or enter online at Entry costs €20.

 Mayo Sports Partnership

Mayo County Council


Co. Mayo


Andrea Farrell (Administrator) Main Office No: 094 9047025

Charlie Lambert (Coordinator)    094 9047256

Ray McNamara (Sports Inclusion Dev.Officer) 094 9047023

Anne Ronayne (Community Sports Dev.Project Worker) 094 9047022

Email: [email protected]