Keenan keen to run half marathon

WHILE most people jump in the car to travel 20km, one woman is happy to pull on runners and let her legs do the work.

Raylene Keenan has entered the Gold Coast Airport Marathon being held the first weekend of July and it can’t come quick enough.

Keenan tackled the 10km section at last year’s event and wants to take it up a significant notch this year and run the 21.5km half marathon.

"I didn’t go too bad last year; it was a good achievement and I enjoyed it," she said.

"I didn’t do a huge amount of training in the lead-up, probably not as much as I should have done."

Keenan was spurred into running several years back after giving birth to her son and also from witnessing how much family members have gained from the sport.

"My brother and aunt and uncle do marathons in Brisbane, so they were my inspiration," Keenan said.

"I watched the half marathon last year and it was incredible."

She wasn’t always keen on running; her love during her junior years being judo and reached a very high level.

"I did it nationally for 10 years and was training four to five times a week," she said.

"It was a really great experience as a kid."

The Harbour Festival 10km run in 2010 was a warm-up to the Gold Coast, and she’s mirrored that this year.

"I wanted to beat an hour and got just under it, so I was happy with that," she said.

Taking to the road three to four times a week, Keenan gets itchy feet on her days off if she’s not out pounding the bitumen.

"I love it. I’m addicted," she said.

Her fitness regime has been dictated by a Pat Carroll training diary and follows it each week.

She ran 17km in one hit for the first time last week and surprised herself with the ease with which she accomplished the distance.

The feat’s given her a jolt of confidence her legs can last the journey.

"I’m really excited about it, I want it to come earlier," she said.

"I want to beat sub 2 (hours) 30 (minutes)."

Keenan couldn’t have better company during the run, as her uncle Lance Hughes will be beside her.

"He’s just been selected for the Australian triathlon team to go to Beijing (Beijing World Triathlon Championships in September)," she said.

Now she’s started running she can’t stop and although Keenan has written it in stone, competing in a 42km marathon wouldn’t be out of the question.

"My aunt is being very persuasive in getting me to do it next year," she said.

"She hasn’t told me she’s doing it, she just wants me to do it."

Next year might see a swap from the one-dimensional to three, meaning she’ll add bike riding and swimming into the mix.

"I’m thinking I might try triathlons, we’ll see," she said.

Keenan is also raising money for the Queensland Cancer Council and anyone wanting to donate can visit or call Raylene on 4972 0733.

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