Drumlish's Orla Lawlor is Longford Ambassador for the first Vhi Virtual Women’s Mini Marathon

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Drumlish's Orla Lawlor is Longford Ambassador for the first Vhi Virtual Women’s Mini Marathon

Orla Lawlor from Drumlish is the County Longford Ambassador for the first Vhi Virtual Women’s Mini Marathon from October 1 to 10

Orla Lawlor from Drumlish will be among the thousands of women taking part in the first Vhi Virtual Women’s Mini Marathon from October 1 to 10 next. 

Multiple Sclerosis sufferer Orla is the County Longford ambassador for the event which traditionally attracts 30,000 women from across the country to the streets of Dublin but has gone virtual this year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Women 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 euros to support charities.

Orla explained: “In 2007, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at the age of 23. MS is a condition of the brain and spinal cord, and all nerves in the body can be affected. Sometimes the relapses can be quite scary, but I am lucky in that my MS seems to be under control due to the combination of the right medication and a healthy lifestyle.”

In 2009, she walked her first ever Women's Mini Marathon in an effort to raise money for MS Ireland and she has entered the event every year since then.

Orla remarked, “I walked it the first three years, and then, inspired by other people running it, I set myself the goal of running it. I had never run more than a couple of metres before, so I started training, and worked up to 5km, and then in 2012 I ran my first ever 10km when I ran the Women's Mini Marathon in June.”   

Over the years, she gradually progressed from walker to slow jogger, to fast jogger and then finally to the runners’ wave where she has been for the past few years. “The Women's Mini Marathon started my love of running and I began to run longer races including several 10 Mile Races, Half Marathons, two 3/4 Marathons, and the Dublin City Marathon twice. Every year I raise money for MS Ireland and I am so grateful that I am fit to run. I believe that exercise has helped me to keep my MS under control, and running for MS Ireland is my way of helping others with MS.”   

She continued, “I am so grateful for all the friends I have made through running, many of whom also run the Mini Marathon every year. Running has made me fit and healthy, and it is so important for both physical and mental health. The Mini Marathon is my most special race every year and I am so looking forward to running it again (virtually) this year. It is such a unique event, so if you haven't done it before or weren't planning on doing it this year, give it a shot.

“Unfortunately due to Covid-19, this year's event in May had to be cancelled. However, there is a virtual event being planned and I will still be representing Longford by completing 10km near my home instead. Hopefully, I can round up a few other locals to run either their own route or the same route as me (in line with government guidelines, within my own county, maintaining a 2m distance from others etc). It won't be the big event that was planned but it will still be a great day and an opportunity to raise funds for my chosen charity MS Ireland.”

MS Ireland is the national organisation providing information, vital services and support to the MS community.  The charity provides a wide range of specialised services and resources on a national, regional and local level.  Visit www.ms-society.ie to find out more.

Registration for the the first Vhi Virtual Women’s Mini Marathon is now open on www.vhiwomensminimarathon.ie

Every participant will receive a Race Pack, including a brand-new finisher t-shirt and Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon commemorative medal.  For the first time ever, the Vhi Virtual Women’s Mini Marathon is offering women the opportunity to download and personalise their race number so each participant’s name will appear on their race number that can be worn whilst completing the 10km, their way, this October.

Entrants can set up a dedicated fundraising page with Givengain, the event’s fundraising partner at www.givengain.com

For further information visit www.vhiwomensminimarathon.ie or follow the event on Facebook at www.facebook.com/vhiwomensminimarathon or twitter @VhiWmm / #VhiWmm.