Why Do You Run? - Part 2

November 09, 2023

As I read through all the replies to my Facebook post, a woman named Julie really captured my interest with her comment that read, “I’d love to encourage / inspire other older females to start running. First time marathoner aged 52, started fit4life last September (never ran before) and was injured in training but still completed it.” I messaged Julie to see if she would share her story with myself and the Run Republic readers, and she was more than willing to do so.

“I started running just over 13 months ago, when I joined the fit4life group at Lusk Athletic Club. I couldn’t even run 300m without being out of breath. But I got over that and was running 5ks within about 4 weeks. I then went on to run a 10k at Annagassan which I really enjoyed, there’s such beautiful scenery up there. One thing led to another, and I did a half marathon in Bohermeen. I was running with a group of people who said they were signed up for the marathon and I thought ‘Maybe I could do that!’.

“I really like the discipline of the training. Our group met on Saturday mornings, and it was just such a sociable thing, it was so nice. We would start at about 7:30/8:00am and run around the country roads, which was really enjoyable most of the time!

“I started training in the middle of June for the marathon, and around September time I started having problems with my calf. I got some physio on it, but it just kept coming back. I stupidly ignored it then and carried on. Six weeks before the marathon, I couldn’t even put weight on the leg. I was really upset as I had been going out with all these people and it was their first marathon too and we were all going to be doing it together.

“The following weekend was the half marathon, and I couldn’t take part in that. I almost gave up on my hopes, but then I found a physio who said he might be able to get me back on track, but that I just have to adjust my time expectations. I was absolutely thrilled to even get to the start line. It was such a positive thing to be there and to be with all my running pals and to get through it.

“Everyone had talked about the support around the course and what a great atmosphere it is, but I don’t think you can really understand it unless you’ve ran it. The course was tougher than I had thought, there was a few more hills than I expected! But I was really sensible in my approach, if I needed to walk I did so.

“I completed the course in 4 hours 47 minutes and for me that’s brilliant, but I believe we shouldn’t even be talking about times, I think anyone who completes it is brilliant. The best way to approach is to go out and enjoy it, especially for your first because any time is going to be a PB.

“I was quite emotional at the end when I got over the finish line. You feel like you can achieve anything when you do something like that, definitely for me as I missed four or five weeks of training and most of the key long runs.”

Julie’s resilience and determination to even make it to the start line was truly inspirational and really blew me away. Her attitude towards first time runners worrying about their times and PB's was refreshing and unique, and I am sure she will inspire more women her age to join their local club and get running!

Stay tuned for more stories from runners who took part in the Dublin Marathon! If you would like to share your Dublin Marathon story with Run Republic, why not reach out to us? You can share your story by contacting us here, [email protected].

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