October 24, 2023
Kingaroy’s Go Getta Girl running club entered 21 runners in the annual Melbourne Marathon Festival this year, joining more than 40,000 other participants.
The club began in Kingaroy 17 years ago to help members prepare for a range of running events.
It now has members from across the South Burnett, as well as others in south-east and central Queensland who have moved away but retained their membership.
Due to the COVID pandemic, it had been several years since the club had gone to a major event as a group.
“But the Melbourne Marathon gave members a reason to set new goals and train for 12 months to achieve them,” vice-president Donna Clark said.
“Runners made the trip to Melbourne supported by four other club members who acted as the support crew.
“I’d like to give a huge thank you to our support crew,” Donna said.
“Sometimes it is harder supporting the runners than actually running.”
This year’s Melbourne Marathon offered a number of events ranging from a full marathon (42.2km) and a half marathon (21.1km) down to a 10km run.
Seven Go Getta Girls members took part in the full marathon, including four who had never run a marathon before.
“Our first time marathoners included a 70-year-old and a 69-year-old, and our youngest marathoner was 53,” Donna said.
“As for our seasoned marathoners, two completed their third marathon (Ros Heit and Mandy Camfferman) and I completed my tenth.”
A further eight club runners took on the half marathon, with two entering for the first time.
Half marathon ages ranged from 24 to 84 years old, with the oldest runner (Angela Clarke) the only woman to enter the over 75 age category.
Angela – who only took up running at the age of 50 – had also completed another half marathon just two weeks before the Melbourne event.
A further six runners aged from 23 to 64 took part in the 10km race – two of them also for the first time.
Donna said the Melbourne roll-up was the largest number of Go Getta Girl members the club has ever had at a marathon event, and this year’s Melbourne Marathon on October 15 was also the biggest ever held.
But preparing for it demanded serious commitment.
“With a year of training and up to five hours of running time during the events, athletes have to be top physical condition, and serious training started a little over four months before the event,” she said.
“Marathoners trained four mornings a week with three 6km to 12km shorter runs and one longer run on the weekends.
“The longest long run was 34k and runners completed 12 or more half marathons on their weekend long runs during the four months.
“The half marathoners and 10k runners trained three mornings a week with two 5km weekday runs and a long run on the weekend.”
Anyone interested in joining the Go Getta Girls can contact president Annette Kruger on 0407-670-084 or vice president Donna Clark on 0409-620-923.