Last Sunday, I woke up late. I had 30 minutes to get up and make the train to Dublin for this years Women’s Mini Marathon. I rolled out of bed, had a couple sips of tea, threw on the leggings and t-shirt closest to me, and ran out the door.
Now, I wouldn’t have woken up when I did had it not been for my Mini Marathon companion, Ciara, whose messages to my phone managed to break me from my sleep. Ironically, the last time we partook in this adventure together, the roles were reversed.
We met each other at the station, just in time, and arrived in Dublin just a half hour later. The run didn’t start until two, so we (thought) had enough time to get food, collect our t-shirts for our chosen charity and get to the starting points. Oh how naive we were! The city was chaotic that day, with roads closed, transport full to the brim, we couldn’t get anywhere. I ended up doing the mini marathon with only a Mars Bar and a bottle of Lucozade in my tummy!
After much deliberation, we (well, Ciara) decided on the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre as an absolutely brilliant cause. As we were short on time, and Ciara was passing their centre on the way to her starting point, she collected a t-shirt for both of us, which I changed into, when we met up again, mid-run.
I wanted to pick a good charity. The first time I did the mini marathon, I raised money for the Irish Cancer Society. I will never forget waiting in the crowds to begin, and a young boy, who I doubt was more than four years of age was propped up on his fathers shoulders. It was clear he had cancer. Yet, this young child cheered on for all these women, a lot of whom were also raising money for the Irish Cancer Society. Cancer doesn’t discriminate, and that boy was an example of that. I just wanted to do something, anything I could to help him and anyone else like him. And that same feeling took over me this year.
I think most girls can say they have experienced some form of unwanted attention from men. And, unfortunately, this attention take the form of violent attacks. I don’t need to explain this. The #metoo tag has done that job for me. Looking around through the crowds of people that day, I couldn’t help but wonder how many of the women I passed had been effected by this.
*Disclaimer* 13 Reasons Why Spoilers Ahead
I don’t want to talk like this is just a women’s issue. It’s not. Men are also raped. This isn’t always taken with as much seriousness though. The final episode in 13 Reasons Why, season two, dealt with this. Tyler was raped, in such a brutal fashion, it’s a horrific scene to watch, and I felt physically sick after. When I finished the episode, I hit Twitter and was actually shocked by some of the comment I had seen. Rape, for both genders needs to be taken seriously. It’s wrong. There’s not grey areas. It’s just wrong, plain and simple.
So, yeah. Rape is wrong. And that’s why Ciara and I chose the charity we did.
Societal issues aside, the mini marathon was fun. The weather was amazing, which was fab, though it just meant we were extra warm. However, The Dublin fire brigade were to the rescue, showering all participants with hoses. Ciara and I went straight for it! Other than that, we just carried on, checking out all the other charities people went for.
The weather definitely made it all that easier. About halfway through, we looked up and the crowds of people, wow, it was pretty inspiring! All these people out to help a cause, many of whom had a connection to it. It was really, really lovely.
In the end, we made it. And we got a fabulous medal to prove it. A brilliant day, with brilliant company. The DRCC was even so wonderful as to provide a room for us all after to chill. A new tradition is in the making.