INTERVIEW WITH ANNE BOYD
Interviewed in February, 2015
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Interviewed in February, 2015
I turn 69 in April. I started training with Sean’s Beginners last April – so not quite 10 months.
My 10k time has come down from 69 minutes to 63 minutes but more significant has been my improvement in distance. I managed the Melbourne Marathon last October in 5’31’55 (5th in age category). Even if pretty slow, I was thrilled with this result for a first marathon in my late 60s. And I’d never have made it without all the expertise and encouragement I received from Sean and Jo, as well as from others.
Yes. I attended the training camp at Tallong. It was great fun, despite the rain and cold: a fantastic first experience of trails preparatory to the Southern Highlands Challenge (HM) in which I undertook the 21K.
Yes, for some arcane reason Channel 9 Today Show decided to take up my story as older beginner runner as advance publicity for the Sun Run (Dee Why to Manly). It was only my second 10K. At that time I didn’t really imagine I would ever run any further. The hills were a challenge but I loved the experience of running along the cliff tops by the Ocean and the general vibe of the race was really inspiring. I was already in love with running so I hoped I’d keep building distance.
Gosh, that’s a hard one. There are so many. I joined Sydney Striders and often do their STaRs (Sunday long runs). We run all over Sydney and often in fantastic places. However, if pinned to the wall, I’d probably nominate the Southern Highlands Challenge Half Marathon as my absolute favourite – despite getting stuck in the middle of a creek and having to be rescued by some younger runners. Running in the Wingello State forest and through farmland on dirt trails was just the best. You really get to feel at one with Nature and it’s just so BEAUTIFUL
Of course Helen-Louise is way faster than I am but nevertheless we sometimes get to do strength training together and have occasionally jogged home from events in which we both competed. The most memorable was after City to Surf, we jogged home to Pyrmont so that I could get the Ks I needed for that stage of my Marathon training program. It was funny heading home as we passed people on the street the comment was “Hey, aren’t you running in the wrong direction!” We also sometimes get to do some swims together. Last year we travelled to a lot of the same events as each other’s support team. Now that she has moved out of home again it’s fun (if unexpected) having running as a shared passion.
I love all the training we do. Jo is an awesome trainer and makes it all fun. But I’m thinking probably the Fartlek around the white fence is my favourite so far.
I’m hoping to compete in the Gold Coast Marathon on July 5 as my ‘A’ race for this year. Two reasons: firstly, I’d love to run a qualifier’s time for Boston which is 4:55 for a 70yr old and travel there as my special treat for turning 70 in 2016; secondly, (a bit silly) Melbourne doesn’t give a Finisher’s T shirt whereas the Gold Coast does for ALL their events. So far, I have their 5.7K and 10k. For me, just finishing is really what running a Marathon is all about. Right now I’m struggling to overcome some left hip trochanteric bursitis. Probably an overuse injury – I have to confess to running a LOT in 2014. It’s very frustrating being confined to cross training this month. I really miss SWEAT and Striders. Last year I was thrilled to earn the runners up trophy in my age category in the Sydney Striders Super Series so this year I’m hoping to go one better. I’m also hoping to complete as many of the monthly 10ks as possible. It would be a BIG thrill to break 60’!
You bet. I think it’s so important to have a structured program to work to as well as a support group of other runners at a similar level. Even now, confined to four weeks cross training as injury ’time-out’, Jo has taught me how to substitute work in the gym on the cross-trainer for what we’d be doing in the morning sessions in the Park. I find myself visualising the different terrain and running conditions as I ramp up the levels and heart rate to coincide with hills especially. Still miss the people though. I think that’s also really important. As part of SWEAT I feel like I’ve gained an extended family. The other runners are just so kind and supportive – even some of the elites.
Well, I’m afraid maternal love trumps all: so Helen-Louise wins out there. I’m a huge fan of Matt Hudson as well But there are so many others! Sean would have to get two thumbs up for being totally inspiring. He really leads from the front! It’s also pretty awesome to meet our SWEAT Olympians and Commonwealth games runners like Vic Mitchell and Ben St Laurence at social events.
Gosh, are we talking runners or ALL sports? Among runners, outside of SWEAT, I think it would have to be Michael Shelley. His Commonwealth Games 2014 Marathon performance really took my breath away. In all sports: I have to confess to being a secret TV tennis fanatic and my two favourites are Lleyton Hewitt (for his consistent ‘never say die’ attitude and ‘come from behind’ wins from his teens on) and Roger Federer for his astonishingly precise and elegant tennis (he makes it look just so easy. I think of him as the Mozart of tennis!)