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Meet the R4R Runners #23
Welcome to the 23rd edition of the ‘Meet the R4R Runners’ where we get to meet Tom. Infectious is not generally a compliment in today’s COVID world, but it’s an appropriate description for this fella.
The smile, the laugh, the enthusiasm he brings to each conversation is truly infectious, and he’s the type of person you just want to be around. He’s also a bit of a lunatic…
A few months after a significant injury (that you’ll read about later), this bloke knocked over a 100km ultra and whilst the effort in itself is awesome, it’s no surprise when you consider his attitude.
Tom is as resilient as they come and R4R is proud to have him as part of our community. So without further ado, let’s meet the man!
What is your name?
Where are you from?
Canberra. Born and bred.
What's your favourite thing about Canberra? (apart from R4R obviously)
I love the fact no matter where you live in Canberra, you’re only moments away from a nature reserve/mountains, or somewhere to get out and enjoy the outdoors.
How did you hear about R4R and when did you first attend?
Through mates, I can’t remember exactly who suggested I come along, but I’m sure glad they did. I believe it was some time in 2020..
What's your favourite thing about R4R?
The welcoming, friendly environment.
The community created through R4R is amazing, an absolute credit to Matt, Ben and everyone involved.
Is there anything you'd like to see R4R do?
Maybe some additional group training runs?
Have you ever run a marathon before? If so, how'd you go?
I’ve been fortunate enough to run both a few marathons and ultras. Made a pact with my siblings if they ever wanted to run a marathon, I’d run it with them. So was able to join my sister for her first, then my two brothers. They all did amazing, and it was so special being by their side to experience first-hand.
My best solo marathon was 2hr 55min at Gold Coast.
Are you planning on taking part in any races or events soon?
Nothing planned. Just enjoying running for the fun of it at the moment.
Which three people (alive or dead) would you like to run 6km with?
My Dad: He hasn’t been able to run for a long time now. Dad first got me into running. I have such fond memories doing running events together when I was in school. He ran his first Marathon in his fifties, and I was so proud of him I did a class speech on it..haha
Eliud Kipchoge: Who wouldn’t want to run with the fastest person alive? I love his philosophy on aiming to live a “simple” life.
Justin Vernon: (musician) I’m fairly sure he doesn’t run, so the 6k would give me enough time to ask him a lot of questions!
What does resilience mean to you?
The ability, courage, and determination to overcome.
The understanding life isn’t linear, and growth can come from overcoming adversity.
When you look back on the hardest moment/s in your life, is there anything you wish you could have told yourself?
Certainly, a number of hard times. Most memorable being an accident last year resulting in a few weeks in hospital with broken bones, brain injury and other complications. There was a time the thought of going back to a life and body as it was before the accident was out of the question. It was a really humbling experience, one which put life into perspective as I was forced to evaluate what was important.
If I could, I’d remind myself I had a lot of special people in my life, who were doing it a lot tougher than I was.
I was brought to tears on multiple occasions by the love and care I was a shown by others. Eternally grateful for all the support I received (including from the R4R community).
The experience reiterated anything is possible with the right attitude, hard work and support.
We've stopped the count on Benny A vs. Jonesy... So, who do you think takes out the R4R gift this year (both male and female)?
Not sure Lilli or Liam will give up the crowns without a fight. I’d like to throw a new one in the mix though - a good friend Miles. Miles has been injured in recent years but is an incredibly fast and talented runner. He’s showed amazing resilience being able to get through such a long period without running, as he loves it. He’s finally able to ease into running again, so should be able to join R4R soon. If he can get back to speed in time, and eats his weetbix, then lookout…