Hi my name is Ashley Barnes and I am a mother to 2 children (Hamish who is 4, and Piper who is 2). I first began running in September of this year (2017) when I went to my first local parkrun in Orange NSW. I wanted to increase my own fitness as I could barely run for maybe 300 metres before I needed to stop and walk for a bit, and having a disabled child, I was going to need this strength! But finishing that parkrun, and being apart of such a supportive community, sparked an interest to keep doing it and trying to better my time each week. My first goal was to be able to run the whole 5kms without walking.
I was about 3 weeks into doing parkrun, when I heard that Carcoar was having its annual running festival in early November this year. Initially, I straight away said no because I have still not yet reached my goal of running 5kms without walking. (And to be honest, I was embarrassed to enrol when I knew I could still not make 5kms without walking), but it kept coming up on the radio or my Facebook news feed. So one night, whilst Facebook scrolling, I bit the bullet and signed up for my very first running event for the 6km Carcoar to creek dash.

To say I was nervous and scared was an understatement.  My husband was very supportive of my decision to do it, and encouraged me to keep up my training. This along with parkrun each week, helped me to feel more confident and happy to do the running event.
Come the day of the Carcoar Cup, I came prepared to the event with my water bottle, headphones plugged in to my phone for music, and my family as a cheer squad.
In my head, my goal for the 6kms was to be able to just run as much as I can and cross that finish line! I started slow and paced myself well. I surprised myself as I made it to the first 1km and a steep hill. The rest was just a blur as I continued to jog and walk intervals. Running back into Carcoar, I remember telling myself, I want to be able to run across that finish line…so I pushed hard! It was hard work, but getting that medal placed around my neck, and then getting cuddles from my adoring fans (hubby and kids) made it all so worth it and straight away, I had already set another goal – “I’m going to do the 10km next year!”

Also on my list, is the Orange Running Festival 10km, Sydney City 2 Surf and possibly the Melbourne City 2 Sea.
A friend of mine introduced me to the RMA group a few weeks back, and I have been following everyone’s journeys and I can’t wait to be reaching my own goals. I will be signing up to join the RMA program in the new year – I can’t wait to represent RMA.
Thankyou all for inspiring me and helping me reach my own personal goals.


By Ash Barnes