Novice run­ner steps up

Marathon ef­fort worth it af­ter mum fin­ishes Gold Coast event

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Erica Murree erica.murree@cnbtimes.com.au

NI­COLE Gibbs failed in her for­ma­tive years to im­press in in­di­vid­ual sports like run­ning but that has not pre­vented her from com­plet­ing her first half marathon.

The mother of two said she had played team sports all her life.

“No way was I a run­ner,” she said.

“Through­out child­hood it was hockey, net­ball and then as an adult touch and net­ball.

“Even af­ter hav­ing both my chil­dren I re­turned to play­ing touch once a week. “That was my ‘me’ time.” To­wards the end of 2012 how­ever Ni­cole in­jured her knee while play­ing touch. She at­tempted to re­turn to the field but soon re­alised that more than 20 years of net­ball and touch had taken a toll on her joints.

“So I did noth­ing, ex­cept be­came heav­ier and un­hap­pier,” she said.

“When my fa­ther died in March 2014 it made me re­alise life is short.

“I did not want to be 70 wish­ing I had done some­thing when I could have.”

So in April 2014 Ni­cole de­cided to try to learn to run.

As an in­cen­tive, she set her­self goals by run­ning 5km and 10km races dur­ing the next 18 months. To keep her hon­est she in­vited friends who she refers to as “my tribe” to join her.

Ear­lier this year Ni­cole and other mem­bers of the tribe chose to run the Gold Coast Marathon.

Ni­cole said that about five weeks out from the event she was strug­gling men­tally and doubt­ing that she could make it.

“I tried to let go of some of the pres­sure I was plac­ing on my­self and de­cided to have no time goals, I wanted to en­joy it as much as I could and fin­ish as strongly as pos­si­ble,” she said.

“I did not want to cross that fin­ish line re­gret­ting my run or hat­ing every mo­ment, or even worse in­jured.”

Ni­cole and run­ning mate Kim Cor­field set them­selves lit­tle goals; to stick to their run­ning plan, high five as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble, en­joy the whole run and fin­ish with a smile.

Af­ter hours of run­ning the duo crossed the fin­ish line hand in hand.

“We had started to­gether and we were go­ing to fin­ish to­gether,” Ni­cole said.

“All those early morn­ings be­fore work and on the week­ends were worth it, the run­ning the same loop through the back roads were worth it, the stretch­ing, strength­en­ing, rolling and deal­ing with the nig­gles were worth it.

“I never would have thought at age 44 this would be me. Never.

“I am now a half marathoner. It is still hard to be­lieve.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

MAM­MOTH MO­MENT: Coal­stoun Lakes run­ners Kim Cor­field and Ni­cole Gibbs are all smiles as the cross the fin­ish line af­ter com­plet­ing their first half marathon at the Gold Coast.

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