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Meet the R4R Runners #27
Welcome to the 27th edition of the ‘Meet the R4R Runners’. This week we get to meet Ana who is a regular at the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday runs, and whenever we even think about needing a photographer, Ana is already there helping us out.
It’s people like Ana, who not only give their time to R4R, but think of ways they can give more, that has seen the type of growth we’ve seen. Outside of that, Ana is a pleasure to talk to and is always willing to chat. It’s beginning to sound like a broken record, but we really are lucky to have people like Ana representing R4R.
So without further Ado, let’s meet Ana!
What is your name?
Where are you from?
What’s your favourite thing about Canberra? (apart from R4R obviously)
I love the people and the culture. No matter what you’re interested in, there’s always something to do and people to do it with!
Also, I love that I can horse ride ten minutes away from the city! You can’t do that in many other places. Canberra is pretty unique.
How did you hear about R4R and when did you first attend?
Oh my gosh. Honestly, I saw a bunch of people running past me when I was jogging around the lake one day! I assumed it was a military training session (or potentially a cult). Luckily, the hats tipped me off about R4R. I madly googled it as soon as I got home, found the website and have been coming ever since! (Turns out maybe it was a cult, but a fun one)
My first run was in February 2021
What’s your favourite thing about R4R?
I could never have imagined when I rocked up for my first run, so incredibly nervous, that R4R would become such a massive part of my life. It took me a few weeks before I was brave enough to introduce myself to anyone at the Wednesday runs, but now I have made so many great friends through R4R I genuinely cannot imagine what my weeks would look like without it. Everyone is so friendly and great to chat to.
R4R has helped me understand how important the feeling of community is for my well-being. I love that people are wild enough to get up at 6:15 am in the middle of winter to run 6k in the freezing cold!
It’s also helped me stick with running despite injuries, illness, uni and the general chaos of my life.
Finally, the mushroom tacos at the Dock are delicious. Easily a favourite thing.
Is there anything you’d like to see R4R do?
Merch merch merch merch!!! I’m praying for a racing singlet…
(Also, just throwing this out here, but maybe a ladies run one time?)
Have you ever run a marathon before? If so, how’d you go?
Absolutely not!! After having to drop out of the Canberra half marathon this year (and having a big cry on the side of the road lol) I have realised that I’m a little too injury prone for that training at the moment. I’m not saying never, but it’s not on the cards anytime soon.
Are you planning on taking part in any races or events soon?
Team R4R city2surf! So excited, can’t wait. It’s going to be an absolute blast.
And with that, please remember that if you want to do the City2Surf, register, and we’ll book a bus to take us up and back on the same day.
Which three people (alive or dead) would you like to run 6km with?
My Grandpa. He is my favourite person in the entire world and my running idol. He used to be an elite runner when he was young and even won a master's world championship in his 70s! He’s 89 now and still walks at least 8 k even day. He motivates me every day, and I get so much strength from his dedication and grit.
Molly Seidel. She was the bronze medalist in the marathon in Tokyo, has a really inspirational story and a balanced attitude towards running. She also has the most kudos’d activity on Strava, which is a pretty cool claim to fame (gotta do it for the kudos)
For my third pick, can I cheat and say anyone who I haven’t run with before at R4R? Everyone has such diverse stories to tell, and it’s such a privilege to hear them.
What does resilience mean to you?
It’s about grit, passion and perseverance. There will always be challenging circumstances that come up, and sometimes you’ll feel bad or not be able to do the things you want to.
The most important thing to remember about resilience is that it’s a muscle - it gets stronger every time you use it. It’s not built through the big wins, the ones that are so easy to focus on and celebrate. Resilience grows every time you choose the action that’s getting you closer to the kind of person you want to become.
It’s about choosing to go to those 6:15 am runs when it’s easier to hit snooze, or reaching out to friends even though you haven’t spoken in a while.
It’s also about choosing to rest, or be kind to yourself, or ask for help when you need it. Those skills get easier every time you practice them too, and they are just as important.
Show yourself - every day, in some way, that you choose resilience.
When you look back on the hardest moment/s in your life, is there anything you wish you could have told yourself?
I have a chronic illness, narcolepsy, which means I struggle with sleep and fatigue. This has had a big impact on almost every aspect of my life, as well as my mental health.
The most important thing I tell myself when I’m sick is that the bad times will pass.
I still never know where the line between challenging myself enough and pushing too hard is, but I’ve gotten better at showing myself kindness and resting when I need to. Life is not a race; it’s about the journey.
Most importantly, when in doubt, put on some music and get outside however you can. You’ll always feel better afterwards. (I generally find that the more ridiculous and upbeat the song, the better. Current recommendation is Edamame by bbno$)
That was a fantastic edition, Ana, Thank you!