2018 comes into view

The accumulated running joy of 2017?  It’s bigger than Point to Pinnacle!  More massive than a marathon!  Vaster than an ultra.

  • January:  Cadbury Half Marathon, George Town Super Sprint Triathlon, Usain Bolt trip to Melbourne, Albert parkrun in Melbourne.
  • February:  Beauty Point Super Sprint Triathon.
  • March:  Coles Bay Half Ironman – runner in a team, Tassie Trail Fest Half Marathon in Derby, Devonport Super Sprint Triathon.
  • April:  🙂
  • May:  Great Ocean Road Marathon.
  • June:  Launceston 10.
  • July:  Run Melbourne Half Marathon.
  • August:  LRC Scottsdale to Bridport Half Marathon, Adelaide Marathon.
  • September:  Ross Half Marathon.
  • October:  Run & Walk For Your Heart 5km, Auckland Marathon, Lake Taupo parkrun in NZ.
  • November:  🙂
  • December:  Bruny Island Ultra Marathon.

Happy events punctuated by parkruns and the Launceston Running Club program.

Let’s not forget some wonderful training runs with The Running Group, regular Friday runs with Louie and sometimes with Pauly too and some Saturday long runs with Janette.

2017?  A year of goals accomplished.  I couldn’t utter the words Bruny Island Ultra until November.  Getting to Bruny was my focus but it was day by day, run by run, one step at a time and a let’s see how we go thing.  AND we did it!  I won’t forget those happy tears at 42kms when I realised I would finish the whole 64kms.  I won’t forget those happy encouraging smiles and laughs of my two beautiful sole sisters as we shared our joy.  There was no question that they could do it and they could’ve gone so much faster but they ran with me and got me to the finish line.

2017 in other areas of life: downs and ups

Pauly and I extensively renovated a rental property that started in April and was supposed to take six to eight weeks.  Thanks to a shortage of trades people this was blown out to five months.  But the happy result is the property sold quickly.  Renovating while training for long distance runs has to be one of the silliest things we’ve done yet.  But if we wait for the optimal time we’d never get any running done.

Things on the farm?  They are the same.  We are in Year Three of limbo.  And yes, we are over it but we are content and keep doing our best with what we have and know.

Pauly had an extended 60th birthday celebration culminating with a gathering on the farm.  Planning the 60th always involved a large shindig on the farm but in the times leading up to this milestone birthday we thought we’d be long gone;  the gathering was sweet not only for the birthday but a celebration of still being here.

Blondie daughter #1’s boyfriend became Future Son-in-law #1 when he proposed on top of Marion’s Lookout at Cradle Mountain.  Special times.

People close to us lost people close to them and together we grieved.

In September we lost the second of our much loved ancient pussy cats.  After much deliberation two little kittens came to join us but were struck down with a mystery virus and our hearts were broken all over again.


The goal to run a marathon in each Australian state and both islands of New Zealand is happening.

  • Done:
    Tasmania:  Ross and Cadbury
    Victoria:  Melbourne and Great Ocean Road
    Queensland:  Gold Coast
    South Australia:  Adelaide
    NZ North Island:  Auckland
  • To do:
    New South Wales
    Western Australia
    Northern Territory
    Australian Capital Territory
    NZ South Island

2017 has seen Janette run her third marathon, Louie her ninth and me my eighth with Louie running her second ultra and Janette and I our first.  Pauly?  Ummm think it’s about 13 marathons and three ultras.  His plan is to do as many long distance events until he simply can’t tie up his shoe laces and even then I’m sure I’ll be tying them and he’ll shuffle out of the old folks home to do a speedy distance with me huffing and puffing behind.

The red letter box at the top of our 1.2km drive.  My first running goal.

2018 comes into view

There are plans forming and planes booked.  We are off to Western Australia for Perth Marathon.  Pauly and I are off to the South Island for the Motatapu Off-Road Marathon.  We’ll all be at Cadbury for the half and we’re all going to Run Melbourne.

Pauly and I would LOVE to get to The Great PukeokaHu man v Horse race again!  We’re going to try!

I have my heart set on running Sydney Marathon.

And let’s not forget triathlon.  Triathlon training was shelved as we concentrated on training for the ultra, I’d like to do at least one super sprint in February.

November 2018 will see us celebrating the wedding of Blondie daughter #1 and Future Son-in-law #1.  Then it’s down to Bruny Island Ultra again where Pauly will be running solo and having a bit of a crack at a faster time.  I shall be behind the wheel of the Quacker-Mobile as supporter.

~ Point to Pinnacle 2013 – we ran up Mt Wellington ~
~ that Holy Grail of running events ~
~ 21.4kms from sea level to 1270m of elevation ~

And that Dear Reader brings me to one last thing.

This is the last regular post of Unsporty Women Can Run for now.  This year has been exhausting on many levels, not so much running, that’s been the joy that keeps me sane, it’s the other stuff in life that has sucked me dry.  I need a rest.

Cadbury Marathon 2015, our first marathon

Thank you to everyone who has read, liked, commented and encouraged from both near and far.  This blog was started because I had no one to celebrate and share the new found joy of running with.  Now just over five years later the running tribe who welcomed me like a long lost family member is huge.  To the lovely Quackers who have graciously allowed me to share parts of their running journeys and especially to Pauly thank you for your love and friendship.  I never would’ve been able to achieve so much if it wasn’t for all of you and as I’m told regularly it’s my contagious enthusiasm that has lead to some taking on challenges that were before unthought-of.  To the Canadian Cheer Leaders, those lovely British Roses and the Australian cheerers – thank you will never be enough.   Thank you to those runners who have introduced themselves to me at events (that has always been special beyond words Are you the Unsporty Woman?  I’ve been asked.  Yes I am, I’ve replied.  I read your blog, they tell me ❤ ).  It’s always interesting to look at the reader stats for this blog.  Around certain events the stats go through the roof.  Some events I’ve written about haven’t had much information about them published.  Particularly this has been the case with Point to Pinnacle, Man v Horse and the Bruny Island Ultra.  I’m happy to think that my writing and happy snaps have assisted others to not only give the event a go but to find out and be prepared.  I will never forget meeting a young chap from Canada who told me that he ran the Point to Pinnacle because of this blog.  I am so happy to think I’ve helped others see that these endurance events can be done by ordinary, every day runners like me.

Thank you to the wider blogging community too.  Through the written word as we share our thoughts and experiences we find we are all just human; our goals and dreams have common themes.

Melbourne Marathon 2015

From letter box to marathon via a mountain and onto an ultra.  Truly Dear Reader, if running is something you would like to do please remember me.  The girl most unlikely to achieve as a runner has achieved.  Not because she is fast or has good endurance but because she kept trying and never gave up.  If I can become a runner anyone can.

Keep dreaming, believing and planning.

Happy New Year, may all your 2018 dreams come true.  I wish you health, happiness and enough.

I’ll be back to tell you about events and special moments, but for now regular blogging is taking a rest.

For the last time for a while, Happy running 🙂

The Annual Box Day Deloraine to Exton Run

It’s Boxing Day, 26 December.  Each Boxing Day Team Huey, Dewey and Louie plan to run our annual Deloraine to Exton run.  Frequently it’s minus Huey due to farming.  Today it was just Louie and Dewey.

We love this run.  We do, Louie, we really do!  Today was sunning, warm and humid; even with a 7am start it was hot.

We ran by paddocks of poppies and freshly baled hay.

Past the old Bowerbank Mill.

This is a running course that ordinarily we don’t run due to traffic.  Boxing Day public holiday?  The perfect day for this run!  It’s on the old highway but locals still tend to use it quite a bit.  There is little room to get off the road but enough when it’s quiet.  We saw two cyclists.  One had high vis and the other was all in brown.  Seriously?  All brown?  Runners and cyclists are in car and truck territory.  We need to be seen.  There is considerable debate in Australia about registering bikes.  If I was Prime Minister for a day I’d legislate that all runners and cyclists have to wear high vis when running / riding on the road.  Ok I’ll get off my soap box and get back to our run.


Even the steers were looking for shade.

A view of Quamby Bluff.

And there we are before we turned around and went back again.  How come I’m red as a beetroot, hot and sweaty and Louie is looking fresh and cool???

We’ve had Boxing Day runs in all weathers such is summer at 41°South.  One year we ran as far as Bowerbank Mill and had to turn around due to torrential rain and a thunderstorm.  Today was lovely.  Thank goodness for long runs with Louie.  Sixteen sweaty warm kms of happy.

I hope you had a lovely Christmas.  Nothing says Christmas like a great big bowl of cherries and a plate of Cadbury Roses chocolates.  Festivities done it’s time to get back into preparing for the next big run and today was the perfect way to start.  Thanks Louie.


Happy running 🙂

Sweet things

It’s that time of year.  A time for sweet things.

A Visit to Sydney

Pauly and I zoomed off for a night in Sydney to see my son #1 who can’t get home for Christmas.  It was a sweet thing to see him.

A visit to Melbourne

After the night in Sydney we zoomed down to Melbourne to see my Blondie daughter #1, Future son-in-law #1 AND to meet Grand Kitty #1, Sherbet.  She is adorable!  It was sweet to meet her and it was lovely to see the sweet humans too.

Celebrating friendship and running

Louie made this wonderful shadow box celebrating Bruny Island Ultra.  I LOVE it!  It has pride of place on the running memory wall.


That sweet time of year.  A time to look back and a time to look forward.  Our tree is a mix of gifts, craft creations made by little hands now grown and some I have bought.  A special one was added this year.

This may have been from one little boy but I shall hang it on the tree in the years to come and remember the little four year olds who hugged me and said goodbye as they go off to Kinder in 2018.  I will also remember one very special mummy who wrote me a card telling me how important story time in the library has been to her.  She told me how shy she had been but that through story time she met some other mums who are now close friends.  I will hold these sweet things in my heart.



But this is a running blog.  For the first time in ages there isn’t a marathon plan on the fridge.  We are at the end of the sweetest year of running yet.  It’s time to rest.  I’m running as I feel.  I’ve done some slow hot 5kms.  A 10km out in the bush.  A 7kms around the Sydney harbour.  A distance here and a distance there.  The next run is the Cadbury Half Marathon in the middle of January.  I will be running this for the pure joy of being able to run.  Running adds life to my days.  Friendship and love to my heart.  Health to my body.  Clarity to my mind.  I love running.  Sweet things?  Being able to run is a sweet sweet thing.

Merry Christmas from the Unsporty Woman.

Happy running 🙂

Turning ‘if only’ into reality

As I packed our things for our four day stay on Bruny Island, I checked the list.  One essential item was Pauly’s Quacker Supporter cap that Louie had made for us last year.  He had never worn his before.  I looked at his and I looked at mine hanging on the same hook in our wardrobe; I reached for his and took mine as well.  I might turn from supported into supporter during those 64kms was my unspoken thought.  I put the caps on the dashboard of our car because I knew that unless it was there Pauly would forget to put his own.  I sat mine just under his in case I needed it.

My supporters cap stayed on the dash for the whole entire 64kms of the Ultra.  I didn’t need it.  Here is the story of how the Unsporty Woman turned into an Ultra Marathoner.

At the start

We (that’s me) elected to start at the earliest time slot of 4:30am.  Solo runners and teams must finish by 2:30pm.  We had 10 hours.

The plan was to run the flats and the downs and to power walk the ups.  There is an enormous winding up that goes for over 1km right at the start line.  It was dark!  At each 2km mark there is a sign declaring how many kms done and how many to go.  Those 2kms seemed to whizz by.

Bruny Island Ultra Elevation

We had a great time Louise, Janette (Daisy) and I.  Louie and Daisy are much faster runners than I am but they went at my pace.  Sometimes they would get ahead and I’d just keep plodding at my pace until the next support stop; they waited for me at each stop or walked slowly until I caught them again.  It worked perfectly and at no time did I feel pressure to change my pace.  Louie and Daisy were kind and beautiful-hearted sole-sisters the entire way.

Grant and Pauly drove along with us and were so good at supporting. They were organised, enthusiastic and thoughtful.  There were a few people who wondered (myself included) how Pauly would go as support.  He does like a chat.  He likes to chat a lot.  This might come from spending most of his time with cows.  Cows don’t tend to be good conservationists so when he gets to be with people he likes to natter away.  He reigned in his chatting and stayed on task the whole time.  Grant of course was awesome, he has done this before three years in a row and knew exactly what he was doing.  The play list was wonderful and the cheers and encouragement from both our supporters were exceptional!

Posing on the bridge where Pauly famously received the title of Troll on the first Quackers Trip to Bruny. We can’t say why.

The kms ticked away.  I was feeling awesome except that I didn’t feel like eating.  The team picked up on this and each 2km I managed to eat simply because they insisted.  Eating frequently in the early parts of a marathon are important because often when that 32km point comes food is the last thing a runner is interested in.  I knew that this would be even more important for an Ultra so I ate away at my chews and gels and sipped on my electrolyte drinks.  Bananas and a swig of coffee turned out to be what I really felt like so that’s what I had.

There were 101 solo runners and 110 teams with all up 690 runners. Only the solo runners had bibs. It was rather damp during the ultra but the days leading up had been in the mid 30s so we were grateful for the cooler damp day.

In training I’ve found it incredibly difficult to keep running after 32kms.  I was still running at 32kms on the Ultra, still running at 40kms and at 42kms which we clicked over in 5:16:00.  At this point I knew that I would make it to the finish so of course a few tears leaked out at this unbelievable realisation.

After 50kms my knees were shot.  The road has a terrible camber almost all the way.  My left knee and inside quad were on fire.  I kept running with a few steps of walk.  By the time we entered the national park I was pleased to see a great big hill.  Louie had said that in the last third of the race that I would be looking forward to the hills and she was right.

Finally the last sign came into view.  62km mark, 2kms to go.  And there were Grant and Paul, the car was parked and they were ready to go up that last huge hill to the lighthouse and the finish line.  I ran as much as I could. Louie and Daisy were so gracious and made me go first.  We got to the lighthouse.  We got to the finish.

This run was over two years in the making for me.   After hurting my right knee in our calf shed 15 months before and having to shelve my dream for a year, finally I got to be at the start line.  I was thrilled to be there.  I had my supporters cap ready but I didn’t need it.  But honestly just to be at the start line made me feel like a winner.

Our little tribe of Quackers grouped together to get their weakest team member over the finish line of an event that had become as important as my first Holy Grail Running Event, The Point to Pinnacle.  At times I felt like they wanted me to achieve this dream more than I did.  They cared enough to make this run all about me.  I am humbled beyond words by their love, care and support.  Daisy was running her very first ultra too and yet they went at my pace.

It was a day when what if‘ became real.  Where dreams became history.  Where goals were authenticated by action.

To those who cheered from both near and far thank you so much.  To my tribe, The Quackers, thank you will never be enough.

If I can become an Ultra Runner anyone can.  No matter what goal you are chasing please keep chasing it.  If you want it you can make it happen.

From letter box to mountain via a mountain and onto an ultra.

Happy running 🙂

We did it – Bruny Island Ultra

Celebrating with bubbles.

Grant and Pauly were an organised, energetic and thoughtful support crew. We will hire them out. Ask for a quote. They were simply wonderful!

Daisy and Louie ❤❤ both four hour marathoners. They ran with me every step of the way.   Thank you Sole Sisters x

More later.

Happy running ☺

See you on the other side

The lucky Tiki has a big job to do.  In less than four sleeps he will have to do his thing.  The Maori Tikis that Pauly bought for the three little Duckies were washed and packed away.  Tonight I got mine out and have sewn him into my running shorts.

Inside my favourite Lorna Jane shorts is also a heart bead.  The people who sew for Lorna Jane randomly add hearts.  They can be anywhere in the garment but not all garments have them.

My shorts have a lucky Tiki to keep away that bad spirit of self doubt and a heart bead that is a symbol of love.  And I’m wearing my INKnBURN Healing Mandala running top.  Luck, Love and Healing.  I think I have the bases covered.

I don’t feel ready to run Bruny Island Ultra in four sleeps, but I am prepared.  Next stop Bruny Island.  See you on the other side!

Happy running 🙂

Trust your training

I’ve run eight marathons.  None have them have been easy.  All of them frightened me.  The Marathon is a distance I humbly respect with the expectation that I will try my best and hopefully go from start line to finish line.

I’ve been so close to withdrawing from Bruny Island UltraHave I committed to something bigger than I can do?  The question has hung in my mind for weeks and weeks.  Auckland Marathon seems such a long long time ago.  It seems like ages since I laced up my shoes and ran a really long run.  But actually it isn’t.  It was only four weeks ago.  Training since then hasn’t been that good but I’ve got it done.

Trust your training.  A friend said this to me just before Point to Pinnacle 2013, that Holy Grail of running events that I honestly thought I’d never be able to do.  I trusted my training and I got to the top of that mountain.  I’ve trusted my training and got to the finish line of eight marathons.

I’m going to trust my training again and be at the start line of Bruny Island Ultra this coming Saturday at 4:30am.  I’ll be lining up beside Louise and Janette.  Grant and Pauly will be support crew.  There will be laughing, there will be music, there will be determination and hopefully we will climb that last hill to the lighthouse all together by 2:30pm.

I have no doubts that Louie and Daisy can get to the finish, Louie completed the event last year.  I have more doubts that I can say that I will get there.  So I have decided to stop thinking about those doubts.  I’m not thinking of those 64kms.  I’m thinking of three half marathons or six lots of 10 with a little 4km finish.  I’m thinking of Pauly and Grant saying funny things at each pit stop.  I’m thinking of Louie’s amazing singing and Daisy’s awesome encouragement.  I’m thinking about all the people along the way who will boost us up with cheers.  I’m thinking of the fun and of being with two women who I care about more than I can say.  I’m going to do what I do when I line up for a marathon.  I’m going to put one foot in front of the other and hopefully, eventually I’ll get to that lighthouse and I’ll be able to say that I finished an ultra marathon.  I will trust my training and do my best.

All good happy vibes from near and far gratefully accepted.

Thank you Louie and Daisy for being at the start line with me ❤ hopefully we will get to the finish line together too.

Happy running 🙂

PS it’s been Birthday Week in our home.  Pauly turned 60 on Tuesday and had a celebration last night.

Cake made and decorated by Blondie Daughter #1

Salad preparation

10kgs of potato salad

Australian Man Ferns spray painted to look like New Zealand Silver Ferns with Pauys new medal rail in the background.

And while Blondie Daughter #1 was home we went wedding dress shopping ❤