A tale of two runners
With 5,800 registered to take part in Sunday’s Gold Coast Marathon, you don’t have to look too far to find an inspiring story.
The effort it takes just to get to the start line is an achievement in itself but when the gun goes off, the countless hours spent working towards the ultimate goal are put on display and the real challenge begins.
Of all the would-be marathoners lining up on Sunday morning, you’d struggle to find a more contrasting story than that of TRR members Brian Lyons and Christine Baillie with Christine, a 55 year old grandmother, aiming to complete her first marathon and Brian Lyons, one of Tasmania’s top-end running talents looking to break the 2:30:00 barrier that has eluded Tasmanian runners since Dave Thomas ran 2:21:41 in Melbourne in 2012.
Christine entered her first fun run in 2011 – Hobart’s Bridge Run which she ran after finishing a night shift at 6am and necking 2 red bulls.
She came last.
For the next 3 years Christine entered as many fun runs as she could running purely for enjoyment and recalls that it involved ‘more walking than running’.
In 2014 she completed the 5k event at the Glenorchy Fun Run; it was the first event she was ever able to run the entire way.
Less than a year later, she’s lining up for her first marathon.
He returns to the course 3 years after attempting his first marathon which resulted in him not completing the race. Sunday will be as much about redemption as getting a new personal best.
When asked how he was feeling about Sunday’s race he quipped, ‘I was ready 2 weeks ago’.
To say that what Brian has achieved is purely a result of talent is to significantly understate the mental and physical exertion he has devoted in order to get the most out of himself.
He’s a runner who knows what he can do and on Sunday, we’ll get to see exactly what that is.