June 2nd 2019

Testimonials

Ainslie Heinke

The Mackay Marina Run will always be on my race schedule. It is a well-organized event and it is a fast, flat course that will see you chasing a new PB. I know I smashed mine in 2018! The Mackay running community is strong and running this event surrounded by friends makes it even sweeter. See you all next year gang.

Jen Harmer &
Di Clulee

In 2018, Jen & Di were first time pacers in the BMA Mackay Marina half marathon event

Jen & Di meet at LRC Running Club and both started running, let’s just say, a little later in life.
We both had minimal running experience, but shared the same goal – to run our first half marathon

Since 2012 we have run the Mackay Marina Run half marathon every year, and after several other halves we both joined Mackay Road Runners to gain a little more running knowledge and set our sights on the big one – the full Marathon.

Training for the marathon became our social outings and great friendships were made with many hours of early morning starts – some as early as 3am

In 2014 Jen & Di ran a full marathon at the Gold Coast and have completed four more since.  Last year they were lucky enough to run New York City Marathon with 55,000 other runners – an amazing experience.  We still pinch ourselves some days, as this was by far the best experience of our running lives.  Lots of memories made and lessons learned.

We are about to start training for the Melbourne marathon (October).  We’re not out there to win;  the benefits of health and friendships outweigh any podium finish or prizes

One thing is for sure….the BMA Mackay Marina Run features on our running calendar every year!

Andy List

What distance are you doing in the BMA Mackay Marina Run and is it your first time running in the event?

I will be running the Half Marathon. I’m going to be running as a pace runner for either 1hr30min or 1hr 40min (finish time) this year. This means I set a constant speed and try to keep the group of runners around me for the whole course. I have run this event 7 times now and have run pace runner for 3 of the events which gives me a great feeling of satisfaction running alongside someone who is achieving a personal best and providing them support along the way.

How did you get into running?

BMA Hay Point had a Health and Wellbeing program about 10 years ago which led me to setting a goal of running the 5k event at the Marina run. I joined Mackay Road Runners and started to train for my first Half Marathon the following year. I ran my first marathon at the Gold Coast a month after running my first half marathon.

What is your training schedule like?

I do a long run Saturday morning with a social bunch with a coffee afterwards. Between 20k to 36k depending upon what stage my training is at. It’s a great start to the weekend. I run a couple of short runs during the week when I can fit it in and try to run with Mackay Road Runners on Sunday. If I train for a marathon I will run 5 days a week and cover up to 100km in each week.

Do you like to run solo or in a group?

I rather run with a group as it is a great social outing and I am more motivated to be at the run when others are there.

Do you run with or without music?

I never run with music as I would rather interact with other people and I find it’s much safer to have all my senses focused when on the road.

Do you have any other running goals past the Mackay Marina Run?

I had hoped to run the Gold Coast marathon in July again this year, but I have struggled with small injuries and getting the opportunity to train. I have reset my goal to running Melbourne marathon in October. Melbourne marathon finishes with a lap inside the MCG which is an awesome experience.

Gavan Porter

What distance are you be doing in the BMA Mackay Marina Run and is it your first time running in the event?

I am doing my first ever BMA Mackay Marina Run as the half marathon. I didn’t think I would enjoy running that distance; it has been a challenging but rewarding journey to build my strength and endurance up to a point where I now find running long distance enjoyable in training.

How did you get into running?

I enjoyed middle and longer distance running at school but unfortunately, I let life get in the way and let it all go by the wayside for nearly 20 years. I forgot how much I did enjoy it and have renewed enthusiasm since running regularly again from December 2016. It has been one of a few things that I have invested in over the last few years that has improved the quality of my life.

What is your training schedule like?

It usually involves at least one longer mid-tempo run on a Saturday morning between 15-20km with a great group of runners that leave from the BCC Cinema carpark. In addition to this I probably have added another 2-3 other runs during the week ranging from 5km to 10km which might include the Mackay Road Runners event on a Sunday, a midweek training run from Bluewater Quay, or a dash from Parkside Plaza around the hospital and back on a Friday morning. When I don’t have weekend commitments a trail run is an excellent option, getting a little lost and found in nature on a Sunday morning.

Along with this I have a regular yoga practice between training runs that I believe has helped prevent soreness and injury, improved the quality of my thinking and approach to life, and kept the urge and danger involved with overtraining at bay!

Do you like to run solo or in a group?

I find it good to mix it up. Group runs are important to keep you accountable to your training plan when you have the urge to slack off. This has also allowed me to meet a great bunch of people in the running community in Mackay who have helped motivate me and rekindle my love of running. The solo sessions are equally as important though so that I can feel confident in mentally motivating myself when I come across more difficult stages of the competitive events (particularly a 21.1km run).

Do you run with or without music?

Mostly without music is great, particularly on group runs catching up with running mates and keeping each other motivated. On the odd occasion I may run listening to an audiobook on a solo run where I need a little more motivation.

Do you have any other running goals past the BMA Mackay Marina Run?

I am looking forward to exploring some trail running later in the year including the 15km Recreational Course at the Mackay Mountain Marathon Mountain Bike and Trail Running Festival at Eungella in August. I am likely to add more events to this as the year goes on.

Elspeth Ledwy

What distance are you be doing in the BMA Mackay Marina Run and is it your first time running in the event?

Half marathon. It will be my second time doing this distance at the Mackay Marina Run, in the past I have done 5kms and 8kms.

How did you get into running?

It was after I had my two daughters; I needed to find something just for me. My husband supported me to get out on Saturday mornings and give it a go. It is my “me time” and I process so many thoughts when I am running.

What is your training schedule like?

It must fit in with my life. This means 4am starts, often on the elliptical at home while the rest of the house is asleep because I prefer morning training. My favourite runs are Saturday morning runs, before the sun is up, with my girlfriends.

Do you like to run solo or in a group?

With my two beautiful running friends, Floss and Stacey. The three of us share an amazing friendship. I could never do it without them. We understand how hard it can be to fit our running around life… we are busy working Mums. We run together at least once a week, then we go it alone on the other days. We also manage to fit coffee, breakfast and loads of laughs in after our long runs.

Do you run with or without music?

WITH. One of our group even breaks out in sporadic dance moves at times, the laughing can mess with the breathing a little and she has been known to lose her visibility lights in the process. I am a super slow turtle runner, so without music I really struggle.

What are your running goals past the Mackay Marina Run?

To run for as long as I can. Even if I am at the back of the pack, the endorphins that running gives me make me better in every other aspect of my life.

Cathy Harrington

What distance will you be doing in the BMA Mackay Marina Run and is it your first time running in the event?

5km Corporate Challenge. I have participated in the BMA Mackay Marina Run every year since 2009 – 5km only but never ran the entire way without stopping.

How did you get into running?

I run for stress relief and physical fitness.

What is your training schedule like?

I have been training solo and trying to teach myself to run up until a few weeks ago when I joined LRC Running Club. I’m hoping that they will help me to run the 5km without stopping. This will be my 10th year of the BMA Mackay Marina Run and I’m determined that it will be the year that I run the entire 5km without stopping!!

Do you like to run solo or in a group?

Both – I have enjoyed running with LRC.

Do you run with or without music?

Without – focusing on the mental game of convincing my legs to keep going when they want to stop and enjoying the peace around me.

Do you have any other running goals past the BMA Mackay Marina Run?

I have always enjoyed the goal of the BMA Mackay Marina Run each year. I know I will never be a long-distance runner, but I do enjoy the small challenge of the 5km; who knows maybe the 8km could be a goal one year!!

James Wortley

What distance will you be doing in the Mackay Marina Run and is it your first time running in the event?

Half Marathon which is my third.

How did you get into running?

In 2004 I had a heart virus which led to an irregular heartbeat. After 11 years and 4 operations the heart finally got back into rhythm. I then decided to challenge myself and complete a marathon within the next 12 months. After all sorts of injuries through training I finished the Gold Coast marathon. It felt unbelievable working hard toward a goal and celebrating the achievement with my family.

What is your training schedule like?

I try to do 3 to 4 runs per week. Around 8-10 km’s on a Tuesday morning, 13 km’s Thursday and 20-21 km’s on Saturday. Depending on how I feel I will do the Mackay Road Runners’ run on Sunday.

Do you like to run solo or in a group?

Group training. It makes it a lot easier getting up early in the morning when you have people to run with. It is a great way to meet new people and share stories and jokes on the way.

Do you run with or without music?

I would miss the banter if I listened to music.

What are your running goals past the Mackay Marina Run?

I am currently training for the Gold Coast Marathon. The first time I did the marathon I tore my calf muscle at 28 kms then struggled home to finish. My goal is to get under 4 hours. I’ll then look at Townsville and maybe Melbourne marathons.

This year we are celebrating 10 years of the Mackay Marina Run – will you be going to the 10-year reunion event on the Friday evening before the run?

Absolutely. It is a good time to reflect and celebrate how far the event has come over the past 10 years and meet more aspiring runners.

Meleah Bickley

What distance will you be doing in the BMA Mackay Marina Run and is it your first time running in the event?

I have registered for the 8km, this will be my 5th Mackay Marina Run. My first was 2013; I did the 8km because I was told the singlet was great in the 8km. I only missed last year due to breast cancer treatment.

How did you get into running?

I joined the local learn to run group LRC Running Club (then known as Layzee Runners). LRC is a great introduction to running for beginners. I had never run before, I’m more of a swimmer, and I just wanted to tick running 5km off the bucket list.

What is your training schedule like?

I’m currently only running Saturday mornings 7-8km interval. The rest of the week gym and riding. I like entering the BMA Mackay Marina Run every year as it gives me a goal to train for.

Do you like to run solo or in a group?

ONLY group – I only run for the social interaction. I have a reputation for talking all the way.

Do you run with or without music?

No music (too busy talking).

Do you have any other running goals past the BMA Mackay Marina Run?

Not really as I don’t love running that much and only run for social.

Jen Smith

What distance will you be doing in the BMA Mackay Marina Run and is it your first time running in the event?

I am running the half. I have completed the 5km event, the very first year of the BMA Mackay Marina Run in 2009. More recently I have done the 8km and then did the half in 2015 & 2016.

How did you get into running?

I have been running on and off for years but would never stick to it consistently. In 2015 I was interested in running the half and remember talking about it with my husband and a friend. My husband made a comment along the lines of “she’s been talking about it for years but still hasn’t done it!”. That gave me the motivation and the push to say “Right, I’ll show you!”. Needless to say, I’ve been running consistently since!

What is your training schedule like?

I run 3-4 times a week and was mixing it with strength training. Since the start of this year my focus has changed. I am still running but I am now training for triathlons with the help of Nikki Giles. I was stuck in a rut with my training, times were getting slower & I needed to do something different. Have rediscovered my love of running, but also enjoying the challenge of swimming and cycling!

Do you like to run solo or in a group?

I like to run in a group because then you are accountable and must go to training sessions. However, I run with a speedy group and generally end up solo at the back. Love the friends I have met through running and the Saturday morning coffee after the long run.

Do you run with or without music?

I am mixed. I enjoy running with music and without! I think I prefer running without though!

Do you have any other running goals past the BMA Mackay Marina Run?

With my group, there is talk of us possibly going to the Gold Coast & Melbourne running festivals. One day I would like to do a marathon…..

Lisa Fraser

Lisa Fraser from Charters Towers posted a tidy time in the half marathon placing 4th female. “For me, the Marina Half is my favourite half marathon. I love the loop around the river and connecting with like-minded runners. It is a very well run event and worth driving the 5hrs to be a part of. I look forward to 2018.”

Martine Miller

“What a perfect start to a Sunday. The event was well organised and run smoothly, from the ease of picking up the race packs, to the races running on time, plus the fruit and water was a welcomed sight at the finish line. I will most definitely be back next year to cross off the half marathon from my bucket list.”

Elliarna Mitchell

Elliarna Mitchell smoked the field to win the 5km fun run. “I really enjoy travelling to Mackay each year for the Mackay Marina Run. It’s always such a fun day with heaps of atmosphere and plenty of running buddies to catch up with. The scenery along the course is fantastic and running through the cheering crowd always gives me a lift.”

Peter Run

Peter Run from Brisbane, first in the half marathon. “I didn’t know what to expect when I entered the Mackay Marina Half Marathon, but everything turned out great. The event had an arrangement with the Ibis Hotel where my race pack delivery and a van ride to the start line were part of the accommodation deal. That was just fantastic. The race itself was well organised. The volunteers are friendly and helpful.”

Michael Galea

“I ran my first Marina Run five years ago and love it that much that I have run every year since. It’s a well-organised event with a great atmosphere and views to match. I highly recommend this event to anyone from the novice beginner to the elite athlete, this event caters for all.”

Matt Stevens

Matt Stevens from major sponsor BMA describes his experience. “I hadn’t run a half marathon for years but I heard about the Mackay Marina Run from working with BMA. The event was advertised internally and BMA really encouraged workers to sign up and support the occasion. The event had an awesome atmosphere and it was particularly pleasing to see all the BMA shirts out on course. The circuit was great, but the highlight was definitely to finish the run at the marina with all the friends and families cheering you home. A great event that was very well supported by BMA and the community!”

Louis McAfee

Louis McAfee from Brisbane smashed the 8 km record. “I really enjoyed the hospitality at the Mackay Marina Run. The close local community added a relief to an otherwise tough race. Seeing where Australia’s best female distance runner, Benita Willis, grew up was the highlight of the day. The race itself was a great course. To end on such a beautiful harbour made the pain worth it. However, it is the community atmosphere that will make me return in years to come.”

Paul McKenzie

Local runner Paul McKenzie aims to be one of the few ten-year competitors in 2018. He talks about what the annual event means to him. “The Mackay Marina Run is one of the best running events to accomplish every year. I’ve competed in all the Mackay Marina Run so far. I have this event every year as one of my goals to achieve, beating my personal best time each time. I enjoy the run so much. The event is well organised and it grows each year. The half marathon is a wonderful flat course, running through the magnificent Goose Ponds and over both the Ron Cam and Forgan bridges, and across the mighty Pioneer River. The run continues on the Bluewater Trail, hugging the river through the Bluewater Quay and down to the historic boat ramp. The start and finish of the run is at the beautiful Mackay Marina Village making it a festival to remember. Having the half marathon run early in the morning makes this scenic route breathtaking and the run itself is a very comfortable one. The shorter runs and corporate runs utilise the breakwater wall, keeping this event close with all other runners and supporters. I definitely recommend it to anyone wanting a new challenge or to participate in a great event, whether to do a personal best or simply just wanting a nice run with friendly people, then this event is for you.”

Alice Gordon & Katie Murphy

Sisters Alice and Katie talk about what a wonderful experience the half marathon was. “The 2017 Mackay Marina run is one of the most memorable experiences we will probably ever participate in. For all of those who aren’t elite runners; for all of those who don’t feel they have the fitness to do it; and for all those who just love to casually run – well here’s our story, which we hope will inspire you to enter the 2018 Mackay Marina Run.

We both run casually 2-3 times a week fitting in an 8km run (at the most) where we can. One crazy afternoon we thought, ‘Let’s enter the 8km marina run.’ No more than a week later, we had an even crazier thought and discussed entering the 21km. We aimed for 2 hours 30 minutes given our minimal training history and for us we were just super excited to participate in an event that is considered a signature running event in Mackay.

“It’s difficult to describe the feelings when you enter an event a bit under prepared, but alongside your sister, you feel that together you have the strength to get through it. So together at the end of the pack we started.

We can honestly say from the very beginning the atmosphere was exciting, the event volunteers were helpful, and the run was absolutely beautiful. Along the way we chatted to other runners, learnt about their experiences and goals, and thought to ourselves: can you believe we are doing this!

Well we finished – in 2 hours and 14 minutes. The feeling was unforgettable, almost overwhelming. Here’s hoping our story may inspire many of you to trust yourself and believe in your dreams. We hope to see you at the 2018 Mackay Marina run”.

We are pictured with our proud father, Sandy Strong.