Team Homelink/Easi-Cab and friends and supporters were at the Flora Mini Marathon, helping us to continue to run our services.
It was 1.30 on the bank holiday Monday in June. I stepped off the Luas in Saint Stephens Green Dublin. 40,000 women mill around, all wearing t-shirts with numbers pinned to the front and charity logos on the back. What’s this, what’s happening? Have I got off the tram in another dimension, music blaring out of loudspeakers attached to lamp posts, while Elverys Power Team try to compete with their own speakers and 10 minute Warm Up Sessions. I look down to see that I too am in the uniform.
I look around, everybody is moving around the Green in an anti-clockwise direction. We seem to be following signs with arrows and colours. Yellow this way, blue this way, pink goes there. What does this all mean? I must have spoken out loud as the lady to my right said “you’re yellow”. "Ohh" I said, "thanks". I take my place with the throng of yellows and we move slowly off Stephens Green onto Lesson Street where we come to a stop. I had time to take stock. All around me, as far as the eye could see, there were women. The road and pavement were full of them. Their coloured t-shirts making random patterns as they stood around in groups chatting excitedly.
I notice some hairy '"women" wearing candy-coloured nylon wigs that gleamed in the sunlight. Every so often a loud cheer went up somewhere in front of us and then en masse we would shuffle forward a couple of yards. To my right I see a pooch dressed in an identical t-shirt to the person on the other end of his lead. We continue to do the cheer / shuffle for the next 15 minutes, Then as we come to the turn in the road that brings us to Fitzwilliam Street a huge ear-numbing cheer goes out all around me as the masses see the start-line at last, still at least ½ a kilometre away.
Shuffle, Shuffle, Stop. Shuffle, Shuffle, Stop. We continued at this pace for a further 7 minutes. The start-line looms ahead, through three arches of blue, green, and yellow balloons. And we're off, for me the Mini Marathon has begun. I can now say I am a part of the largest European women-only event.