May 17, 2016


Today FM producer and broadcaster Ann Gleeson is a familiar voice to many in the country and she, like thousands of others, will be taking to the streets of Dublin on the June Bank Holiday weekend for the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon. Along with several of her Today FM colleagues, Ann has been in training for the big day for several months now, and she talked to about how her training has gone.

It’s not the first time the Tipperary native has taken part in the Women’s Mini-Marathon and she is looking forward to getting out again in a few weeks time.

“Loads of people you know are taking part in the run, it’s such a well run event. And not that the 5k is easy or anything but 10k is a good slog and it is a real sense of achievement at the end of it then. Last year I did it with Roisin, from here [Today FM], and we made a point of stopping at every marker sign and took pictures of everything – we called them the stations of the cross as we went around, so we made a real go of it. When I was asked this year I was delighted to get involved as it’s such a great thing to do.”

“I’m running for Epilepsy Ireland because two of my brothers suffer from epiliespy. Every time I have done the mini-marathon, I think I’ve done it three times now, and every time I have run for Epilepsy Ireland and obviously it is a charity close to my home and to my heart because of the two boys. It’s a much needed cause and whenever I can help them out I will.”

The popular presenter has fond memories of her first Women’s Mini-Marathon as it was a personal milestone for her.

“It would have been three years ago [that I ran my first]. I had been sick myself for a while and I did a couple of races then myself after I got better and that was the first 10k that I did. It was such a great buzz. I actually cried at the end of the first one as I was so emotional after doing it, after going through so much and being able to do a 10k… and plus I was wrecked tired!”

As an experienced mini-marathoner, Ann explains how you can get through the race even if you haven’t been able to train like a pro.

“Let’s say if you didn’t have time to get out and train, but were fairly fit, you could definitely at least walk it. I think, on the day, because there are so many people around, so many people to take part you can’t help but get into the buzz of it, the adrenaline kicks off then and there’s always something very special when there are so many out running with you. When you’re out of an evening running yourself you could kind of go ‘Will I stop now, I could just go home now..’ but when there’s so many people around you, when they are all going for it, they’ve taken their time to train and raise money and get the t-shirts made, some people wear costumes and stuff like that.. you do get swept up in the hype and it’s a great thing to be part of.”

“In general, I would be a frequent gym goer, I’d go to the gym four or five times a week anyway but in the last couple of months I’ve started to go out on a run on a Saturday and Sunday and even if it’s just 2k or 3k, it’s just to get into the swing of running. It’s very different to going into the gym and do a class for forty five minutes to going outside to consistently run – I think it’s harder to keep going, to discipline yourself to keep going, so like I said in the last couple of months I’ve only had a chance to go out at weekends to pound the pavement as they say, but it’s just to get used to it, to get used to the feeling of the consistent running.”

“I would be ok fitness wise from the gym, but there are times you’d say ‘It’s really dark outside’ or ‘it’s really cold’, but as long as you go out and do a little bit and you can come back in and say, at least I’ve done something then that’s good. There are times of course when you just don’t feel like it at all but as long as you keep it semi-regular at all, then that’s ok.”

She will have a slightly unorthodox run up to the event herself she explained but will be tucked up in bed early the night before she laughed.

“Well, the Forbidden Fruit festival is always on that weekend, so I might go to that on the Friday and Saturday but I might leave off the Sunday. You’d need a lot of adrenaline to kick a hangover and then run 10k so you’re better off taking it handy, getting a good rest. In the morning then it’s best to eat healthy, don’t do anything out of the ordinary, just have something basic – I would have a banana on a bagel and some porridge. Nothing too filling and nothing that you wouldn’t normally eat yourself.”

It’s all worth it though in the end according to the producer of The Louise Duffy Show on Today FM says.

“Once you turn that corner and see everyone cheering, and you cross the line, get your medal, it’s just something then that you can give yourself a clap on the back whether you’ve come through sickness or you’re just doing it for fun, or raising money for a loved one. It’s a nice thing to be able to look back and say ‘I’ve done this’, and you can look forward to the next year then. If you struggle in the middle of it, the uphill out the N11 and you think it’s longer than you imagined, but once you get to the end, no matter what you told yourself in the middle of it, you always go ‘I want to do that again tomorrow!!‘.”

You can donate to Ann’s fund-raising here 


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TAGS: #Charity#running#Training#VHI Womens Mini Marathon