Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a 46 year old mum of 4 teenagers – 2 boys and 2 girls. I am married to Neil (also a Pom) – we moved from the UK over 10 years ago when the kids were young because we felt they would have more opportunities over here. Also I had suffered for years from chronic bronchitis in the UK so we wanted to move to a warmer climate (which fixed me, so yay!!) Neil was already working for a Sydney based company so it wasn’t too hard! I used to be a primary school teacher but am now a band conductor at various primary and high schools in and around the Sutherland Shire area in Sydney.
I have 2 adorable puppies, both pug crosses (just for the dog lovers amongst you). I am a huge animal lover and have been vegan for quite a while now. I am really enjoying this stage of my life now as I find I have more time to focus on myself and what I enjoy doing.
Tell us a bit about you and running – How? When? Why?
I started running about 18 months ago at Menai parkrun (well, run/walking) because Neil went every week and had made loads of great friends. Running was and is an important part of his mental health journey and recovery so I went along one week to see what it was like. I found myself caught up in the atmosphere and started to run a bit. I have been going every week since then and have met some amazing people and made some lovely friends.
In May I decided to find a learn to run group so I could run 5km without stopping and someone at parkrun recommended Rachel’s Runners. I messaged Rachel who was so encouraging and welcoming.
Neil announced a year ago (when 5km was the furthest that I had run) that he had signed me up for the Canberra Half Marathon this year. I thought he was crazy but liked his optimism! Fast forward a year, a few injuries, ups and downs, but I plodded on and have just completed my first half marathon at Canberra and am so excited about setting future goals!
What’s the best thing about running for you?
It’s a toss up between a few things. I love finding out how much my body is capable of (a body which had never run more than 100 metres before). I love the runner’s high and getting out in the fresh air which I find quite meditative, especially on the longer distances. I love feeling part of a huge family and being able to participate in events with friends and fellow Rachel’s Runners and other running friends from parkrun.
What’s your favourite piece running equipment?
My legs and feet!
What’s your biggest challenge with running?
I always find the first few kilometres of any run hard (mainly because of my asthma) but from about 5km onwards, I seem to get into a rhythm and start really enjoying it. I also struggle at times with being a relatively slow runner and obsess over my heart rate.
If you could invent a running or fitness tool or toy what would it be?
Super, super light-weight Asics Kayano running shoes.
Any tips for fellow runners?
My best tip would be to have a goal. I have been so much more motivated to get out and train knowing that I have an event to train for.