Mother and daughter duo Mary and Sarah Jane Allen from Co. Laois will be lining out together at the start of the 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon in less than three weeks’ time and have really enjoyed building their fitness in preparation for the big day.
It’s been a busy few months in particular for Sarah Jane with her final year college exams at the University of Limerick taking up most of her spare time. However, she has managed to keep up the training and is feeling well prepared to tackle the 10km. The past couple of weeks were stressful with long hours of study but undoubtedly, the 23 year old has learned to enjoy the fresh air and mental health benefits of exercise.
The ladies took part in a 5km event recently and even managed to get more than the 5km route done as they strategically parked a little further away from the start line and ended up walking around 7km on the morning itself!
Sarah Jane has struggled with a knee injury in the past and did feel a slight strain while walking the hills so will be making sure she looks after it ahead of June 5th. Luckily the 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon course is almost entirely flat! Mary has ongoing lower back problems but she knows to keep the intensity down to reduce the chance of any issues.
Mary and Sarah Jane are really looking forward to the 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon and both said that they love the whole atmosphere and the day out in Dublin;
“It’s heartwarming to see so many women come together to raise much needed funds for Irish charities” says Sarah Jane who is raising funds this year for the Cuisle Centre in Portlaoise, a charity that provides support services for cancer patients and their families.
The ladies will be keeping family members who are battling cancer in their thoughts as they get through the 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon 10km route. In terms of goals they say they will be proud regardless of how long it takes but ideally would love to finish in the same time or even quicker than last years’ time of 1 hour 45 minutes.
The recent spell of settled weather meant more opportunities for Mary and Sarah Jane to prepare and soak up the sunshine; “We find it easier to get out and walk when the weather is pleasant but the heat can sometimes slow you down” admits Sarah Jane.
The pair tend to walk early in the morning or in the late evening when it’s a bit cooler however they got a session in on one of the warm days when it was around 18 degrees; “It gave us a taste of what we may have to contend with on the day itself” said Mary.
As I’ve often mentioned, it is difficult to predict the conditions for race day so the best advice is to be prepared for all conditions. With this in mind I would recommend layering your clothing so that you can easily take something off if it’s too hot and of course have a light rain jacket to hand if it does happen to be a wet day.
Over the past few years we have had some very sunny weather for the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon which makes it increasingly important to drink extra water and keep hydrated. There are water stations along the route but if you are walking, it would be a good idea to carry a bottle and make sure you increase your water intake on the days and hours leading up to the event.
So, we’ll have one final check in with Mary and Sarah Jane before they join the thousands of others taking part in the 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon but, it’s safe to say that they have put the hard work in so they can be proud of their achievements on the day. Making the commitment to complete a 10km walk, run or jog is in itself a great goal and a nice way to kick off the summer.