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In Ireland, recent research has shown that female participation in sport centres largely around solo activities – with running being one of the most popular. Be it for physical benefits, mental release, or working towards the end-goal of a major event – more Irish women than ever are out n’ about running at all levels. For many, the challenge of a marathon is the ultimate goal.
Let’s not forget that the Women’s Marathon has only been an Olympic Sport since 1984, and it was a mere eight years before that in 1976 when Katherine Switzer famously became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon – a race which was interrupted as officials tried to tackle her to the ground and stop her from running the distance.
Women have been running the Dublin Marathon since it began in 1980, and the capacity of the event has grown significantly in recent years – with a 30% increase in entrants since 2015 taking the overall capacity to 20,000, making it the fifth largest marathon event in Europe. There has also been a rise in the number of female entrants, with 6,615 women set to take to the streets of Dublin at this year’s event – that’s an increase of over 2,000 women participating since 2015.
So, on this episode we’re joined by an Irish sportswoman who WON the Dublin Marathon in 2013, and returned the next year to defend her title, coming second with a PB of 2:34:19… This Olympian has also represented Ireland on the world stage in middle-distance running, but she’s in the FAIR GAME hot-seat to talk to us about the biggest race here on home soil – it’s MASTERING THE MARATHON with MARIA McCAMBRIDGE.
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