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Meet the R4R Runners #26
Melissa and Sunday
Welcome to the 26th edition of the ‘Meet the R4R Runners’. This week we’ve got a first of its kind where we get to meet a couple! Melissa and Sunday have been a consistent force at R4R on the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday editions.
Both are warm people who are very welcoming and I enjoy every conversation I get to have with either. It get’s said often because it’s appropriate, R4R is a great community because of people like Sunday and Melissa and we’re grateful for their involvement.
So without further ado, let’s meet the first R4R Rag for two!
What is your name?
Where are you from?
Born in Canberra, grew up in Nigeria. Moved back to Canberra in early 1993 after completing my University degree.
Bowral originally, then moved here for uni and stayed.
What's your favourite thing about Canberra? (apart from R4R obviously)
I like a lot of things about Canberra, if I must choose a favourite thing, it will definitely be the country town vibe (6 degrees of separation).
Canberra has many big city benefits without the traffic. It’s a lovely place to raise a family. We’re also really lucky there’s so many places to run. Countless trails, two all weather athletics tracks, paths by the lake or the grass track at Stromlo.
How did you hear about R4R and when did you first attend?
My wife (Melissa) told me about R4R and our first run was on the 21st of April 2021 with our daughter Bella.
I was doing a rehab class at my Physio on Wednesday evenings opposite the Arc de Resilience and noticed a lot of fit people gathering for a run at 6pm. Yes I had runner’s envy. A few of friends also mentioned it to me and I looked up R4R. My first R4R was on 21 April 2121 with Sunday & our daughter Bella.
What's your favourite thing about R4R?
Open door policy, everyone is welcome to join.
The awesome people & vibe of the group. I really like that it’s inclusive & that everyone is made to feel welcome. There’s always someone to run with & you can push the pace or take it as easy as you like. There’s absolutely no pressure what so ever. You don’t have to even run the full 6km. You just need to turn up.
Is there anything you'd like to see R4R do?
A community running event
It’s great you’re organizing a group to run the City2Surf. I’d definitely like to see some sort of pub run from The Dock to The Jetty in summer. I just pity the pavement.
On that note, if you’re keen to run the City2Surf, Shooter/Benny & The Dock are organising a bus to take us up on the morning to run the race, have lunch, and then pick us up and bring us home the same night. It should be a great day with already 15 people committed to the bus! So please sign up and let us know if you’re keen for a spot on the bus… Back to the Rag!
Have you ever run a marathon before? If so, how'd you go?
Never ran a marathon, but thinking about running a half marathon next year.
No not yet & I have no plans for a marathon at this stage. The time commitment for a marathon is huge and it would be hard to fit the extra training in. I’m focusing on shorter distances at the moment.
Are you planning on taking part in any races or events soon?
Yes. Coconut Chase 8k run in Hawaii, Canberra Runners Shop 5k and the Sydney City2Surf.
My next event is the ACT XC champs, then the 8km Coconut Chase in Hawaii, 5km Runners Shop, NSW Short Course XC, City2Surf etc..many! It’s wonderful that these events are happening again.
Which three people (alive or dead) would you like to run 6km with?
In all honesty, this is a hard one for me to answer. After taking up active running about 5 years ago, I’ve been privileged to run and strike up conversation with a lot of people. To my surprise, I have learnt a lot from those casual chats and brilliant exchanges. That said, I like going with the flow, as you never know who you might run into next.
Of course my top three people are my immediate family - my husband Sunday, and daughters Millie & Bella, however aside from them it would be:
1. My Grandama - she passed away almost 11 years ago and I still think about her most days.
2.. Grace Tame - what an incredibly resilient human! She’s also a pretty good runner.
3. Ricky Gervais - we all need a laugh with someone that doesn’t have a filter.
What does resilience mean to you?
For me resilience is always about looking at the upside of every difficult situation. Have a chat to someone, always seek for help. Don’t take life too seriously and have a laugh as much as you can. Most importantly, just.keep.moving.
Keep living, keep turning up, never giving up no matter how hard life gets.
When you look back on the hardest moment/s in your life, is there anything you wish you could have told yourself?
Looking back at some of the hardest moments now and how I\we pulled through, one important lesson I’ve learnt is, people care and don’t go it alone. It is a phase and it will soon pass. Don’t underestimate the importance of physical activity. A walk or a run or whatever get’s you moving will do you a lot of good. Lastly joining community groups like R4R, offers an environment where people can share their stories with like minded people.
I have ongoing health issues. Although it can be very scary and challenging at times, it has really put things into perspective for me. I focus on the things I can do instead of the things I can’t. I look for the positives in every bad situation and it gets me through. Running has also really helped me. I’m blessed to have the best support around me with my family and friends.
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)?
Lili Mooney and Andrew Ponsonby
Andrew P and Lili - however if my friend & training buddy, Leanne Pompeani ran she’d take it out for sure.
That was an awesome edition. Thanks Sunday & Melissa!