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Love is a marathon for nursing student Sophie Curnow


Jessica Nelson
29 June 2018

Before competing in a marathon, nursing student and fitness guru Sophie Curnow usually takes a rest day a day before the main event no matter where she is in the world.

This this time the 29-year old will join her mum for the Southern Cross University 10km Run before tackling the Gold Coast Marathon a day later.

For Sophie it isn’t about having a warm up, but rather about spending a milestone moment with the woman she loves most.

“Less than a year ago my mum was diagnosed with early onset dementia,” Sophie said.

“My mum and dad have raced the 10km before together, and although she said it wasn’t about what time she could achieve, I remember she cried when I told her she made it in under 60 minutes.

“This year she decided to the 10km run again, and I’ve decided to run with her. My dad will be cheering us on before he runs in the half marathon the next day.

“My mum is really excited and she knows she can do it. There is no pressure though … if she needs to walk we’ll walk.”

Sophie said she is excited her parents are taking the time to travel the world, including this two-week trip from their home in Victoria to the Gold Coast, to continue the family running tradition with #TeamSCU.

“I feel pretty good about the whole situation as my mum is still only young and was diagnosed in the last 12 months, so at this stage she’s still completely like herself and nothing too dramatic has happened. Though we don’t know how quickly things might change, so I’m glad my mum retired last year so her and my dad can go on lots of holidays this year like they’ve always wanted to.”

Sophie is soon to graduate from the Bachelor of Nursing at Southern Cross University Gold Coast campus, and last year claimed a silver medal at the UniSport Australia National Distance Running Championships, run in conjunction with the Gold Coast Marathon event.

When Sophie first moved to the Gold Coast from Victoria nine years ago, she said running “terrified” her, but she gave it a crack and now runs at least four times a week, adding it “changed my life”.

In 2013 she ran her first marathon and in 2014 ran in the New York Marathon raising money and awareness for the Heart Foundation. A year later international running shoe brand Asics selected Sophie to film herself running the Gold Coast Marathon using a GoPro - and ended up on the cover of Women’s Running magazine.

This year Sophie is again front and centre: she’s featured on the Gold Coast Marathon campaign poster, fist pumping the air.

“I always hated running - that’s why I wanted to get good at it. The Gold Coast has amazing atmosphere in the mornings of getting up and getting moving. Running gives me an instant mood booster, and on the days where I don’t feel like going, those are the days where I fight to get out there and it’s honestly when I need it and love it the most. I think of all the people who can’t run and all the people who choose not to and how they are missing out on such a good feeling.”

Sophie said she originally moved to the Gold Coast in pursuit of sunshine and beaches and after five years of working in the fitness industry she wanted to meet more friends, so enrolled at University. She said it was the best decision she ever made.

“When I started the Bachelor of Nursing at Southern Cross I met two of my closest friends, started working at a nursing home and absolutely loved the degree I was studying,” Sophie said.

“Choosing Southern Cross University was the best decision, and I am thrilled to pull on the team singlet as part of #TeamSCU again with my mum and dad at the marathon this weekend.”