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Run Like A Girl

Molly McLaughlin

The term ‘fun run’ may seem like an oxymoron, but the YMCA Women and Girls Fun Run one really will be fun, we promise.

The 2016 YMCA of Canberra Women and Girls’ Fun Run is happening on Sunday the 6 March and will offer prizes, a dress up competition and most importantly a chance to support an amazing cause.

The theme this year is ‘Heroes’, in recognition of the heroes big and small in all our lives. Since 2010 the Women and Girls Fun Run has raised money for OvCan, a small local group of volunteers which aims to raise awareness of ovarian cancer within the broader community, support women with the disease, and educate health professionals.

The five-kilometre race is open to everyone and has a focus on participation, although there are definitely participants with a competitive streak.

Kathy Sims is one of those, and has competed in more Women and Girls’ Fun Runs than she can count (she thinks it is probably around twenty.) As the reigning champion of the 60-65 age division, Kathy is 64 and trains and competes with a focus on middle distance on the track.

“My career was as a medical technologist so I worked in hospital laboratories,” says Kathy. “Since my retirement a few years a go, I spend some time working in The Runners Shop in Phillip.”

Kathy started running competitively relatively later in life at age 40, but that hasn’t slowed her down at all.

“I used to run a little bit before that,” she says. “When we came back to Canberra from Adelaide I started to run more, and I joined my husband who is a sprinter in his training sessions. Then I ran in the Masters Games and joined the Runners Club.”

As well as the solo race in the Women and Girls’ Fun Run, Kathy competes with her daughter, Alison, in the Mother Daughter Race and participates in the monthly Women and Girls’ Jogalongs.

“The Jogalong is a handicapped race, and I go off as one of the last runners, so they’re all on the way back by the time I get started!” she laughs. “There’s a lot of camaraderie among runners and I’ve made a lot of friends. The Women and Girls’ events are a good thing because women who are starting to get into running, whether they want to lose weight or just get fit, are able to try it out without being intimidated.”

Both Kathy and Alison are currently in training for the Australian Track and Field Championship in Adelaide in April.

“We do a lot of our training out at Stromlo Forest Park, its good for your ankles and knees because it’s on grass. I run on Black Mountain and Mulligan’s Flat too,” Kathy says. “It’s the fitness as well as the competitive side. Even though I’m in my sixties, there’s always that pressure from myself to keep going, at least for now!”

the essentials 

What: 2016 YMCA of Canberra Women and Girls’ Fun Run
When: Sunday 6 March, the run itself starts at 9am
Where: Stage 88 in Commonwealth Park
More info: For more information about the fun run, click here, and for the Women and Girls’ Jogalong, click here.


Molly McLaughlin

Molly McLaughlin was less than thrilled to move to Canberra a couple of years ago to study Arts and Economics at ANU, but she can confirm the city has grown on her since then. Along with writing for HerCanberra, she spends her time reading, eating noodles and planning her next adventure. More about the Author