Model Grainne Gallanagh is swapping her stiletto shoes for trainers and running a mini marathon rather than stride the catwalk this September.
The Former Miss Universe Ireland, Grainne is this year’s ambassador for the Vhi Virtual Women’s Mini Marathon and it is a challenge that she is not taking lightly.
The well-known personality has been training since June and understands all the challenges associated with participating and completing the virtual 10-kilometre mini marathon which is to take place on Sunday, September 19.
She said: “I am so delighted to be involved in this - it is such a great thing to be involved in.
“The VHI women’s mini marathon is on every year and obviously this year, and last year, it has been virtual.”
The fact that the marathon is virtual means people can run wherever they wish - a concept that Grainne has readily embraced and she has used her training to showcase all that Inishowen has to offer, especially the coast and the breathtaking sunsets and sun rises off the coast of her native county.
“It is your own 10-kilometre route wherever you are which I think is a positive thing.
“It means that anyone can do it anywhere. You don’t have to be in a certain place,” the Buncrana-native said.
Grainne has been training every day since June and accepts that training is not easy: “It is really is not easy to just get up and run 10k, it takes training, it takes time and effort.
“It is a great thing to be involved with because it is all women. It is a lovely event, it is a very empowering event for women to be involved in.”
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Since Grainne began training many women and girls have reached out to her detailing their routes, their experiences and their expectations over the course of the last few months.
“I am delighted to be involved … and so many girls have written to me online to tell me how they are getting on and it is a nice community to be involved in.
“Telling me about their training and how they are getting on - you know you can walk, you can run, you can jog, whatever you are more comfortable with.
“It is just about setting yourself that goal to achieve rather than it being overly competitive.
“If you want to be competitive, great but it really is about the achievement of doing it.”
Grainne feels she has been building up her stamina, confidence and strength in recent months: “It has been tough and some days you say I am exhausted, I will do it later.
“It is just pushing yourself to get out and do it really.”
The well-known personality said that while she wasn’t a competitive athlete in the past and ran less than what she is doing in her preparation for the mini marathon she is enjoying setting herself the challenge of doing it within her own set time.
She said: “I did run before this but never competitively and definitely not as much. I would do a little, out and about, maybe once or twice a week but not to this extent which has been a new challenge to me as well.
“It is a good goal to have and obviously I want to run it and do it in a certain time so it is good for me to have that in my head and challenge myself.”
The Vhi Virtual Women’s Mini Marathon is still open for entries and Grainne is calling on women all around the country to join her and take part in this year’s Vhi Virtual Women’s Mini Marathon on September 19.
People can raise money for their preferred charity when they register.
The virtual event is one which you can participate in from anywhere in Ireland or further afield.
The fun is in the taking part and enjoying all that sport has to offer.
Register now by going to at www.vhiwomensminimarathon.ie and giving your details.
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