The Sunshine Coast Marathon had it all, pony rides, jumping castles, face painting, amazing scenery, the RMA spirit, the big race atmosphere and a great course.  

Lining up for my 20th half marathon I never imagined when I started running 3 years ago I would be writing this race recap.

My journey has been similar to so many of my RMA friends. After 3 children and being overweight I started running for some time out and to get a little of me back. Whilst I had previously enjoyed going out for a run occasionally before children I would never have considered myself a runner. My first half marathon back in 2013 was really tough. I was still breast feeding and whilst I wanted to challenge myself (having never run more than 15km and only then the weekend before), I finished in a time of 2.37 and couldn’t walk for days.

I persisted and slowly running become a part of who I am and not just exercise. Every time I laced up I learnt something about myself as a person, a mother, a wife. I was so fortunate that very early on in my running Nicole started RMA and I suddenly felt that I belonged. I had a community and I had friends all over the country supporting me and caring about me and that was the beginning of something pretty special that changed my life and the life of so many others.

Over the last 12 months I have been very consistent with my training. Unfortunately that consistency has also led to consistent results. I have come in at 1.40 for all my half marathons for nearly 12 months. About 6 weeks ago I decided I wanted more and with the help of Jodie Oborne as my coach I began training smarter.

So this leads me to Sunday 21 August. It was my usual race morning routine but this time I knew I had a sub 1.40 in me. As I made my way to the start I could see Cassie Fien, Solly Litchifield and Christie McKay in the line up, three of my all time favourite runners.  It felt good just to know I would see them zoom past and be inspired by their strength and determination. As with most South East Queensland events there are so many familiar faces and so much support you know that you’re part of something great. The gun went off and completely contrary to Jodie’s advice I was out like a flash. This was it. I was going to make this one count. I knew I had to bank some fast kms at the beginning to take into account a slow down at the end and I did just that.

Out on that course I felt so much support. The ‘Go RMA’, ‘well done Ana’, ‘looking strong’ lifted me to work harder, push harder, dig deeper. The support from Harry at Fisiocrem and their team before during and after the event makes all the difference. Seeing my kids and husband at the finish line despite the fact that I couldn’t acknowledge them made it all the more special. And finally looking down at my watch…not only had I cracked my 1.40 I smashed it. A 1.35 was more than I had  hoped for and much fast than I could have ever imagined I would be as a runner.

RMA thank you for believing in me more than I believed in me, you gave me the confidence to take a risk last Saturday and achieve what I once believed was impossible.

To those out there slowly building, this is the story of 2.37 to 1.35 in 3 short years. Believe in yourself, I believe in you and so do thousands of other Running Mums!