May 7, 2013
June 3: Flora Women’s Mini Marathon, Dublin, starting at Fitzwilliam Street and finishing at St. Stephen’s Green.
This 10km race, which is more of a girls’ day out, is loads of fun and has raised loads of money — millions of euro, in fact — for deserving causes over the years.
The streets of Dublin will resound to the pitter-patter of thousands of pairs of female feet as individuals and teams run their hearts out for the benefit of countless charities.
The women with big bobbing Adam’s apples and beards are actually fellas, but a blind eye is turned as they also are generating much-needed funds for the less fortunate.
Join the crowds behind the barriers along the route and cheer on the runners, because the pain on their faces ultimately puts smiles on those of others.
BEST OF THE REST
June 27-30: Discover Ireland Irish Open Golf Championship, Montgomerie Course, Carton House GC, Maynooth, Co Kildare.
Last year’s Irish Open, at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, was the first underwater version of the tournament, due to the torrential rain that accompanied each day’s play. Despite the weather, it was the most successful Irish Open to date, attracting record crowds, many of them in flippers and snorkels.
This year’s event promises to be every bit as memorable, though rumours that the organisers are paying appearance money for the sun to show up are a bit far-fetched.
What’s certain is that some of the biggest names in the game will be at Carton House, including the Irish Fabulous Four of Clarke, Harrington, McDowell and McIlroy.
June 6-9: 2nd John Ford Ireland Symposium, various venues, Dublin.
This four-day event could otherwise be called the Sean Aloysius O’Fearna Ireland Symposium, because that’s the name the legendary movie director went by when he was was telling his Hollywood friends how Irish he was.
He was actually born in Maine, the 11th child of an Irish family, which makes him infinitely more a son of the Ould Sod than that other famous ‘Irishman’, Barack Obama. I mean, O’Bama.
By all accounts Ford was a cranky old devil, but fans of his films will readily excuse that because ‘Pappy’ was a genius.
His 1952 Oscar-winning movie, ‘The Quiet Man’, shot in Mayo and Galway the year before, has done more than any big-money advertising campaign could ever do to attract overseas visitors to Ireland. It’s my all-time favourite film.
The symposium-cum-festival, which includes screenings, celebrates Ford’s work, and it’s appropriate that it takes place in Dublin, the capital of the country he adored until his dying day.
June 28-30: Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, The Curragh Racecourse, Co Kildare.
This race meeting is so posh that even the horses look down their noses at everyone — except the jockeys on their backs, of course.
Open to thoroughbred three-year-old colts and fillies, it’s a flat race run over a mile and four furlongs that was won last year by Camelot, ridden by 19-year-old Joseph O’Brien and trained by his father, Aidan, who has saddled every winner since 2006. Can O’Brien Snr. make it eight in a row this year with the highly-fancied Mars?
The Irish Derby lasts between two-and-a-half and two-and-three-quarter minutes depending on conditions, but a full, fabulous day of first-class racing is in store for the thousands who flock to the course.