Words by Teegan Philpott

I CAN DO IT!!!!

I live in Mackay which has a large running community, but I wasn’t at all interested in running until I retired from netball in 2013. Post netball, I got fat and I got lazy! I needed to do “something.”  So with my labrador Norman looking at me longingly with his sad eyes, one day I just decided to run with him. At first, I couldn’t make it to the beach that was only 1.5km away and I’d need to stop and walk. While Norman was great in those early days, I soon realised that I was really missing being a part of a team to help provide me with motivation and inspiration to keep going. That’s when I found the amazing “LRC Running Club,” which is a social club for women who want to learn to run.

These ladies welcomed me into their group with open arms and now I’m doing things I never thought possible, often with them literally standing on each corner of a run encouraging me to finish. They are the ones who encouraged me to be a part of the 2014 Cruise Whitsundays Airlie Beach Running Festival, with 2 of them signing up with me for the team half marathon (7km each). Having only just achieved 5km, this was going to be a challenge! The event organisers had also asked me to MC the event, so I had no choice but to be there, as long as I could also run my 7km Leg. No problem, as I was doing Leg 1, and my husband would stand in for me until I returned! We all travelled to Airlie Beach together and made a weekend of it, we had a blast, and even improved our fitness levels. Surprisingly we were 1st women’s relay team across the line!

What really impressed me about the Airlie Beach Running Festival was the fun, atmosphere and support. I loved it that those who crossed the line stopped and waited for their friends or team mates who were still on their way; the kids who helped their mum through the last 50m and ran across the line with her were too cute; the sporting clubs who made a “team day” out the event, including my LRC crew; the volunteers along the way cheering and supporting everyone; the post event fresh fruit and BBQ; and of course, that amazing view. There is no doubt that this event has the most scenic half marathon course on the Queensland North Coast, taking in the beautiful coastline, 2 marinas, beach, rainforest and parks, finishing on the beach next to the famed Airlie Beach lagoon where a cool off is a must.

I don’t take my running too seriously, I’m fully aware that I’m no Cathy Freeman, but I do give it my best shot.  I’m still one of the slowest runners in my group, but I make it to the end… eventually. I’m doing things I never thought I could. Without the support of LRC, especially my running partner Judi, and cool events like the Airlie Beach Running Festival. My new goal is to run a full marathon before I’m 40, and I have signed up for the 2015 Gold Coast Marathon in July (eek I just actually said it out loud!). But I’ll defiantly be back, with my team, for the 2015 Cruise Whitsunday Airlie Beach Running Festival 2 weeks later!