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Meet the R4R Runners #51
Welcome to the 51st edition of the meet the R4R Runners. I hope everyone is having a cracking holiday and gearing up for the new year ahead. This week, we get to meet Jess, who is a salt-of-the-earth type of person, who’s always up for a chat, always greeting you with a smile, and always willing to have a laugh. Jess is the type of person that has helped build our community into what it is today and she’s hit the rag out of the park with her answers. So without further ado, let’s meet Jess!
What is your name?
Jess or @_jessticulate on Instagram or @_outRAGEjess on Twitter!
Where are you from?
From Young – about 2 hours west. Moved to Canberra almost 20 years ago to attend ANU and aside from a few brief stints away, I’ve called Canberra home ever since. Almost a local!
What's your favourite thing about Canberra? (apart from R4R obviously)
I usually always talk about how liveable Canberra is, the four distinct and beautiful seasons, the lack of traffic, the proximity to Sydney/coast/snow, the green spaces and the like… but honestly, it is the people. People like you Matt! Your response to experiencing tragic loss was to reach out and help others – how inspiring. I feel like the R4R story, the R4R community, is very Canberra. I’ve always found Canberra to be an inclusive and welcoming place that celebrates diversity – and this is what I love about it. I have 20 years’ worth of friendships in this town, and I meet new and wonderful people every week at R4R – how lovely!
How did you hear about R4R and when did you first attend?
I saw R4R on socials in early 2021 – I loved the concept, it looked like it was all the things I had loved about parkrun but enhanced with beer!
After a particularly hard break-up last year I knew I needed to do something to give my mind a break from the grief and that came in the form of running, and R4R was crucial to getting me through that time. Looking forward to the run, meeting new people and being part of a movement gave me purpose and the hope of happiness.
What's your favourite thing about R4R?
The beers are good. The running is important. But the chats and human connection are crucial.
I like the simplicity of R4R – come, do 30 minutes of activity whether that is running 6 kms, walking 3 kms, or any variation in between and then hang around afterwards to talk to friends, talk to strangers, simply connect with others. It is simple and it is beautiful.
Is there anything you'd like to see R4R do?
I love the idea of an R4R volunteer takeover – something we volunteer together, whether it be parkrun vollie takeover or if there is another local social cause looking for volunteers?
I also like R4R themed runs! Any excuse for a tutu!!
(I also really liked the R4R bring a friend run – I think it might be nice to have those more often)
What's the longest you've ever run?
I’m usually just a 5km-and-done type runner but there are a number of weekends I've gone out on the trails of Ainslie or Black Mountain for a 10km run that has turned into 15-17km because I've got lost on the trails. But isn't that half the fun?!
Are you planning on taking part in any races or events soon?
I'm not really one for competitions - I just enjoy just running to clear my head and look for cats in my neighbourhood.
But I did recently do the Canberra Times Fun Run because a few friends were doing it and the FOMO got to me on the day. (And I had a great time, so maybe I can be convinced to do more events!)
Which three people (alive or dead) would you like to run 6km with?
The people I would most like to run with are not necessarily runners - but I wasn't a runner for the first 30 years of my life either! Haha.
If I could convince Paul Keating to take a turn around the lake with me, that would be the absolute best!
And if I could cure my Dad’s chronic illness, even just for a day, I would love to take him out for run. Mainly because if he was out of breath he might talk a bit less… haha This is definitely where my chattiness comes from, we are peas in a pod!!
I also would never say no to running with Chris Hemsworth – unfortunately he’s never asked.
What does resilience mean to you?
Finding the courage to start a new day when you know it will be just as hard as the day before.
When you look back on the hardest moment/s in your life, is there anything you wish you could have told yourself?
They all sound like clichés, but they are true – it will pass; you will not always feel like this; and it's just a matter of hanging on until the scenery changes.
It is always important to acknowledge when bad things happen to you, but important to remember that good things have too. Holding on to the little moments of joy in a day might not balance the scale against grief or loss but it does help you to survive the worst of it. And joy can be found every day - a purring cat, a courtesy wave from a merging driver, fresh sheets, your favourite song on the radio or sharing wine with a friend. Good things happen every day but they can be hard to see through the fog of despair, so having friends and strangers to help you see them is vital.
I am indebted to my friends (and strangers at R4R!) for all the kindness they showed me last year – checking in, listening, inviting me out for runs and just getting me through to the otherside.
A silly old quote, but a goody – a run can change a day, many runs can change a life.