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Meet the R4R Runners #44
Welcome to the 44th edition of the ‘Meet the R4R Runners’ where this week, we get to meet Murray. If you’ve been to a Friday morning R4R, odds are you’ve met Murray… and if so, odds are you remember him.
He’s a cracking bloke, loves contributing to communities, and has plenty of insights, wisdom, and good stories to share. R4R is better for having people like Murray and it’s a pleasure to have him in the Rag this week.
So without further ado, let’s meet Murray!
What is your name?
Where are you from?
Originally Newcastle but I then travelled around a bit in the Navy (ADFA, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Nowra) and I’ve now lived in Canberra for over 20 years across a number of different stints
What's your favourite thing about Canberra? (apart from R4R obviously)
I love that everything’s central and that the bush is on your backdoor wherever you are. If you love walking or running trails what’s not to love?
How did you hear about R4R and when did you first attend?
I saw the morning group out and decided to just join in. I’ve been running with the group for about 18 months now but have only ever run on Wednesday night once
What's your favourite thing about R4R?
It’s great seeing familiar faces but also meeting new folk & learning more about them and their stories in life. For me, it’s great to unpack stories together and not just get a concise sound bite. It’s interesting the various connections we have and the way we can support one another
We're coming up on our 3rd birthday soon, do you have any ideas on what we should do before we turn 4?
I had a thought a few years back about having a Dock to Dock swim that goes from the Courts in Civic through to the Dock on the Foreshore. Could see people swimming into & around the boat harbour with people lining the foreshore boardwalk cheering them in. My guess though is that the lake is a bit too festy for that.
Going back to my youth in Newcastle they used to have a Santa Pub Crawl – with about 10,000 santas, santesses, and elves all getting together for the occasion – I think it might have got a bit out of hand and it’s now a distant memory (for those who clearly weren’t there!)
Perhaps we could have a Santa fun run on the Wednesday before Xmas and see how many Santas, Santesses, and Elves we can get?
I don’t mind it! What's the longest you've ever run?
This was earlier this month when we did the Head to Head run for Bravery Trust’s Bravery Trek in Sydney. With Singh, Tiff, Fraser & Chris from R4R, and a handful of others we ran from North Head in Sydney to South Head via all of the Navy bases – it was 59km all up. A magical day raising awareness for veterans’ health and mental health and raising much-needed funds to support them. We’re still raising funds and we’re on track to raise more than $100,000.
Are you planning on taking part in any races or events soon or are there any just gone?
My next biggie is the UTA 50km in Katoomba in May next year and I’ll probably do a few longer trail runs like Snowies marathons in preparation.
Which three people (alive or dead) would you like to run 6km with? Everyone loves running with Singh – let’s be honest. I’d love to run with Katherine Switzer from the 72 Boston Marathon – what a trail blazer!!! I’d also love to run any section of the Larapinta Trail in the NT with an Arrernte elder to hear their voice, understand their continuous culture better and appreciate their connection to their land.
What does resilience mean to you?
I’m sure it’s something different for everyone. For me, resilience is generally about being able to get back up when you are knocked to the ground. But it’s also about realising when you are doing things to yourself and those that you care about that are forcing your ground. It’s about being able to reach out and say ‘I’m not OK’ and being open to being helped back up onto your feet by others around you. Finally, it’s about us creating a society and groups within it which provide havens and respite for those that are struggling so that when we find ourselves on the ground there is safety, there are options, there is empathy and there is hope.
When you look back on the hardest moment/s in your life, is there anything you wish you could have told yourself?
At the hardest point in my life I was diligently bashing away and tirelessly persisting to make progress; doggedly racing to get ahead and be successful. Sadly I was racing off in the wrong direction; running away from those who cared for me most, exhibiting behaviours that further isolated me and closing out my options and rescue paths. My advice to myself would have been to encourage me to stop, to take stock, and to reconsider those things that I was rushing to get done. It’s easy to convince yourself there is only one path ahead yet when you take stock and when you invite others to help you there are often some really different paths with simply amazing outcomes.
Murray, that was an awesome read! Thank you.