Mini marathon with a difference

OFFALY Express journalist Vivienne Clarke decided to do the Women’s Mini Marathon last March and began training in earnest.

OFFALY Express journalist Vivienne Clarke decided to do the Women’s Mini Marathon last March and began training in earnest.

There were daily cross-training sessions, walking and cycling and then two weeks ago she damaged one of her Achilles Tendons which meant that exercising or moving for any length of time was out of the question.

With hundreds of euros of sponsorship already gathered for Action Breast Cancer through family, friends and work colleagues, she decided to try a different challenge for the day of the Women’s Mini Marathon.

It took just one phone call to the Manager of the Tullamore Court Hotel leisure centre Darren Cuskelly and a new plan was in place.

So last Monday while thousands of women from around the country headed to Dublin to take part in the Women’s Mini Marathon (the largest women’s only event in the world), Vivienne headed to the Tullamore Court Hotel where Darren had a plan in place to complete the 10K but on a variety of equipment which would mean no pressure on the afflicted tendon.

Darren put Vivienne through a series of warm-up exercises including ten minutes on the treadmill and numerous stretches, it was then on to the exercise bicycle (specially reserved for the occasion) for the first 5k, then it was a mixture of cross trainer and treadmill for a further 3k before concluding with 2k on the exercise bike.

Always a stickler for the importance of warming up and cooling down, Darren then insisted Vivienne go through another ten minutes of stretches and cooling down on the treadmill.

“Too many people just start off exercising without realising how important it is to do proper stretches and warm up. That’s possibly how Vivienne injured her tendon in the first place,” explained Darren.

“I’m delighted that I got to do the 10k this way as I didn’t want to lose the sponsorship. The money I raised will go to Action Breast Cancer. Darren and the staff at the leisure centre were very helpful and supportive and responded positively the minute I mentioned my plan to them.

“Darren is a hard task master, but I now know the proper way to go about training - for next year’s Mini Marathon!” added Vivienne.