|with Mr Pinchy.|
Meet Kirsten a.k.a Kirk, who is a member of the crazy pants gang (if there is such a thing). This tall lass is usually decked in her bright tights when on the run, so you will definitely recognise her from afar. When she's not running, you'll see her volunteering at events.
Didn't you spot this clown at the Rollercoaster Run this year? Or a mad woman passionately cheering the runners at Buffalo Stampede? :)
Last month, she had the spotlight focused on her when she completed her first marathon ever at the inaugural Surf Coast Trail Marathon. Talk about a huge fanfare!
Funny Crazy Pants, how long have you been running?
I’ve been running on and off for about three years and trail running since September. I was never good at or interested in running and only started as my work did the promoting for a 5k event and paid for our entry. Then a girl at work conned me into Run 4 Kids 14km, then quickly had me signing up for Run Melbourne half marathon (justified by saying it was just another 7kms).
I must admit I got swept into trail running too, I went on a running camp and on my return I signed up with 5 days to go for Leg 1 of Surf Coast Century with a relay team I’d never met before (BONUS I’m still great friends with you/them). SCC scared the heck out of me, battling 21kms of soft and hard sand, running through ocean water up to my waist, slippery mossy rocks and climbing sketchy cliffs with a massive drop below, all while my cheap hydropack was chaffing my back off (I’ve now invested in a quality pack). I had nightmares but signed up to battle it all over again this year for 50km.
2. In this short stint of time, do you believe you have grown as a runner? What are the positive changes you see in yourself?
Well I couldn’t have gotten worse, hahaha. I’ve always been a run/walker and struggled to get my asthma under control when I first started. I’m now finding the breathing easier and can keep a constant pace up for a while. Most of the battles are fought in my mind but I’m a stubborn cow and will NEVER give up. Quitting is not an option for me but I do like a good fight. I experienced a lot of pain as a teenager/young adult (with major jaw and facial surgery) which toughened me up. Maybe too tough as it took me over a week to realise my leg was fractured even when I heard the snap and was in denial.
(The fracture happened in January this year.)
I’ve gradually become more confident in my ability with the help from my friends...it might be a Facebook post, a hug before a race, a message to say I’ve inspired someone to sign up for a marathon (please don’t hate me after), even a special loom made by a friend's child….it all helps to make me stronger. And of course there is the training, you can’t improve without the hard work and qualifying for Two Bays 28km was my turning point. Being in a race with qualifiers and cutoffs was stressful but what an accomplishment. Crossing the line with my six year old niece holding my hand and a giant grin on her face was golden.
|Crossing the finish line at Two Bays Run 2014.|
3. And the negatives, if any?
Injury. I’d always been jealous of people with crutches and I took it all back when I had to deal with them in January from a fractured fibular (leg). Getting my fitness back was a surprising struggle but has made me more focused. It broke my heart to cancel the solid racing I had planned (Roller Coaster, Buffalo Stampede and North Face 50) but then I discovered volunteering and saw what happens on the ‘other side’ and it has been a blast. I’ve dressed as a clown (one of my greatest fears), strapped a cow bell to me for a whole weekend of cheering and extremely hard work, hung out with international champion runners such as Anna Frost and Dakota Jones and collected life long friends from around Australia who I’ve made plans to run with in the future.
So technically there are no negatives to running.
(Talk about extreme positivity! :D)