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Marathon has Southern Cross University support


Zuleika Henderson
3 July 2008
Would-be fitness aficionados hoping to find motivation to get off the couch might take inspiration from Southern Cross University staffer Peter Brown.

The Lismore local and SCU purchasing/supply officer is preparing to take on a 21.1km run at the Gold Coast Marathon this weekend, the 18th time he has participated in the event.

The half marathon is one of a number of events at the Gold Coast Marathon this Sunday (July 6), including the Southern Cross University 10km run.

But Peter needed no encouragement from his employer, having been involved in with running groups for more than 20 years and completing numerous runs non-competitively all over Australia and New Zealand every year.

“I first started running in the Gold Coast Marathon in the 1980s and it’s been interesting to watch how it has grown now that it is in its 30th year,” said Peter.

“I was really pleased to see the University get on board and support this event. It’s a Queensland National Championship event but people still come from everywhere to run for fun – and that’s what it’s about.”

Despite his experience, the veteran runner takes training seriously. He runs in rain, hail or flood with Ballina Athletics and Northern Rivers Hash House Harriers and often uses his lunch hour to increase his usual workout sessions from three to six times a week.

A typical recent weekend took in a 20km run on Saturday, followed by a six km run over rough terrain on the beach on Sunday.

But Peter also admits there are some secrets to successfully sustaining fitness over time.

“In the case of running, I’d say technique plays a large part in preventing injury,” said Peter.

“An older runner that I know once said to me ‘I run silently,’ and I knew exactly what he meant. Running with a low impact technique can go a long way to avoiding things like knee and ankle injuries.

“The other thing is that people who enjoy what they’re doing will generally keep going, and as a result they get fitter and change their lifestyle. I’ve seen people change their lives completely – but you have to enjoy it, and I always have.

“My wife decided that if she couldn’t beat me, she’d join me, and now she’s a convert too.”

The first event of the Gold Coast Marathon kicks off at 6.25am on Sunday 6 July at the Race Precinct, north of Southport Pool, Gold Coast Highway, Southport and will conclude at 2pm. Professor Paul Clark, Southern Cross University Vice-Chancellor, will fire the starter's gun for the 10km run at 9.30am, before heading off for the 7.5km walk.

And for anyone still unsure about getting active, Peter has a parting thought.

“There’s a quote from Lord Somerset that says ‘Those who don’t find the time for exercise must find time for illness.’ He knew what he was talking about.”

Photo: Peter Brown prepares for his next challenge. (High resoloution photo available.)