Your Story: Runner loves a challenge
I HAVE been running since I was 11 years of age.
I took up running to help with my fitness for my other sporting passion, judo.
My father founded Gladstone Road Runners and signed me up, and I have been running with the group ever since it was formed in 1986.
As a kid, I ran in school cross countries and at athletics carnivals.
I was never a fast runner but I enjoyed the challenge and independence it gave me.
Being a member of, and growing up with, Gladstone Road Runners has always been a motivating factor with my running.
Nobody judges you there.
You may miss a few runs or put on a bit of weight, but when you arrive at Road Runners on a Thursday night the other members always welcome you.
It is also a real family- orientated club where our children, who were once pushed in running prams, are now running with us - and beating us.
Even though I wasn't a sprinter, I knew I could run for a long time.
In 2012 I ran my first marathon at the Gold Coast.
I have done two more now and am training for another marathon in 11 weeks' time down at Lamington National Park.
Marathons require a lot of training, but my friends at Gladstone Road Runners don't mind joining me for the occasional long run on the weekends for support.
The Botanic to Bridge is a great fun run to do if you have never been in one, because there are so many people who participate in Gladstone.
When you participate in a fun run you will be carried along by the atmosphere of the crowd.
It takes courage to start in a fun run. But remember, dead last is greater than "did not finish", which trumps "did not start".
If you were to ask me why I love running, it would have to be a combination of the challenge to see how far I can push myself and enjoyment of running with like-minded crazy runners.