real life

Why so many people are in love with running. And how to join them.

Image supplied: Matilda Iglesias.

As a kid I used to love athletics and cross country. I would look forward to the sports carnivals, and competing with others, and getting ribbons for the races I loved competing in, like the 100m or 200m, and the relay. But sometime during my teenage years, I gave up running. I just didn’t enjoy it anymore.

It would take another 10+ years for me to fall back in love with it.

In 2011 things were rough going for me. My relationship had ended, my eldest child was starting kindergarten and I was adjusting to life as a single parent.

I was unhappy with myself. I knew that if I wanted to change then I needed to take charge.

I really thought about what I wanted in my life. Being there for my kids was a priority, which meant that getting healthy was a must.

I thought about all the things I could do to shape up. At the time I saw running as the epitome of being fit. So I put that down as a goal. To keep myself accountable I entered a fun run, Run For the Kids, in 2012.

Back then I had never heard of c25k (couch to 5km) or any other training programs for running. I figured I would just run until I couldn’t run anymore, then walk, and then run again. So that’s what I did.

Then April rolled around. I was nervous but excited to complete my first fun run.

When I crossed the line in a time of 28:14 I felt on top of the world. I did it. I finished my first race. It was at that moment I realised the satisfaction that running gave me, and I wanted more. I wanted to run further.

The next event I signed up for was a local event, “Run the Gap” held in the majestic mountains of the Grampians. The run was just a stepping stone to achieve my next big goal – to run a half marathon.

The Grampians

Since then I have done countless other races. I’ve competed in everything from 10km, to half marathons, to trail runs - even a few obstacle events. And I’ve achieved plenty of personal bests along the way.


Running has taught me a lot of things.

It’s taught me to believe in myself.  That I am capable of achieving things that once seemed impossible. It has also taught me that when you put in the hard work you reap the rewards.

I have discovered that running is my de-stress time. It helps me to unclutter the thoughts in my mind, and it also helps me to solve problems in my everyday life.

Not everyone is able to join a running club, but online communities like Run Zone are a great resource for any runner. There you can discover new runs, and learn and experience the joys and woes of other everyday runners.

Of course I’ve also experienced some low points in my running journey. But every hiccup has been a learning curve.

I’ve learned the importance of consuming fuel for longer events. I now know you can’t always rely on water stations being available when you need to get hydrated. But most of all I’ve learned the importance of a good pair of shoes.

As a runner your shoes are an extension of your feet. So treat your feet with love and care.

Take the time to get correctly fitted for a pair of shoes. Don’t get caught up in passing trends or being brand loyal. Invest in a pair of shoes that fit your foot.

In 2 short years, I’ve reduced my 5km time from 28 minutes to 22.

Anything is possible with running, so go out and crush it.

We're currently on a mission with The Athlete's Foot - to find the best run in Australia. Check out some of our reader entries below - and find out more about the competition here.

 [post_snippet id=301812]