Image – Ashee Jojo.
GOLD COAST, QLD:
If you’re a woman looking for inspiration and are keen to register for the 2016 Gold Coast Airport Marathon (July 2-3), there are two incredibly gifted athletes who can help you on your journey to achieving that reality.
Female long distance runner and four-time Olympian Benita Willis helped launch Girl Active last month (December 2015), an initiative born from RK Pod founder Ross Kingsley and Sam Hughes, who won the Airport Marathon back in 2000 in an amazing time of 2:44:04 (Joseph Kahugu from Kenya won the men’s marathon in a time of 2:16:39 that year, for those of you who are curious).
These days, Hughes is the City of Gold Coast’s senior active parks officer and leads the charge with the new program, specifically designed and catered for women of all shapes and sizes.
She felt an urge to support women striving for personal challenge and wanted to create a structured training program for them.
Hughes told Runglobal Australia it was important for women to have access to a range of fitness activities because the more active girls and women became, the more prepared they were to reach their goals and handle what life presented to them.
“Girl Active is about encouraging girls and women of all ages to lead healthier lives by reconnecting with others through a range of fun and supportive activities and events,” she said.
“It’s about having fun, and it’s a supportive environment…from beginners to more experienced women; it’s certainly not about competition or comparing yourself to others.”
Running as part of a group can encourage everyone to try a little harder, and Girl Active celebrates women everywhere who are running, jogging or walking their way to a more active lifestyle.
Hughes explained running was everyone.
“You don’t have to go fast, you just to have to go,” she said.
As an experienced Olympian, Willis was only too happy to jump on board and help with Girl Active’s launch in Evandale, saying it was a great social outlet.
“For women everywhere, they can sometimes get caught up in life and all the challenges they are faced with regarding work, family – not putting aside time for themselves,” she said.
“Through the Girl Active program, women of all personalities and fitness levels can meet other women and unite by a common fitness goal.
“These sorts of activity-based groups benefit runners as it allows them to set goals, be accountable and push themselves in the company of others who motivate and inspire.
“I love seeing people achieve goals, and I can’t wait to see these ladies at the finsh line of their goal race!”
Visit Girl Active for more information.