FITNESS has always been a part of Eileen Newby’s life.
In her 20s she played hockey, tennis and squash. Running was part of her training for these activities.
When she was in her 40s, her youngest daughter wanted to run the four kilometre City to Surf and so she accompanied her. This started her back into running.
Her daughter abandoned running for horses, but the following year Eileen decided to run the 12 km section for a personal challenge and for the last 20 or so years she has run most City to Surfs and various other events in Perth.
Four years ago, she said she was starting to get a little cross at these events with walkers and strollers ending up in front of the runners and she noticed that the half marathon and marathon runners had their own area, so she decided that the next year she would run with them.
After nailing the half marathons and approaching 62, Eileen told Have a Go News that she had always had the thought at the back of her mind to run a marathon.
“It was clear time was not on my side and some urgency was required if I wanted to commit to stepping up to this distance. I downloaded a training program and followed it and I ran my first marathon at 62 years of age,” she said.
“I thought it would be like running two half marathons, but it was very different, it took me just over five hours and it was very challenging.
“I was very sore at the end and it took me about three weeks to fully recover, however I was hooked and with a few tweaks in training the next year I ran the Sydney marathon at a faster time and attended a family party the same night and wasn’t sore at all.
“I am now four weeks into training for the Auckland marathon to be held at the end of October and my daughter and son-in-law will run this one with me.
“Auckland is my home town, so it will be very special for me and I have a lot of support from my family, school and hockey friends there, although they find my marathon running amusing,” she said.
Eileen says running marathons is a personal challenge and it does require discipline.
“You cannot just go out and run a marathon, there is discipline required to get up early and train even when you do not feel like it,” she said.
Her advice about training is that when you don’t feel like training it’s best not to think about it and just get out there and do it.
One of the benefits of running means that she can eat and drink whatever she wants.
“I am hopeless at dieting. Running means I can eat Christmas cake which I love all year round and enjoy a wine or two without thinking about my weight,” she said.
As a fulltime accountant she loves her work however she works inside all day and running means she gets to go outside and enjoy our beautiful city.
“Kings Park is a special place for me and I love running in the hills past all the beautiful gardens. The plants seem to smell different every week,” she said.
This active woman enjoys watching sport, both live and on television, gardening, reading, live theatre and the orchestra.
She now takes a day off a week to look after her first granddaughter, who is 15 months old and she says that she has a secret plan to train her to run with her.
Not one to sit still Eileen has just taken up kayaking which she says is relaxing and fun and allows her to go to some places which you cannot reach by road or foot.
This 65-year-old power house doesn’t believe age is any barrier to being healthy and strong and her advice for readers…
“Get up and go for a walk, once you are fit try a little 10 step jog… going faster means you will see more things.”