Family surprised mother by turning up at marathon finish
AS WARWICK mum Kym O'Leary pushed through the tough slog of the Gold Coast Marathon, she was shocked to find her biggest supporters were not where they promised.
Mrs O'Leary, who believed her husband Shaun and their children Charlee, 8, Layla, 6, and Oscar, 4, were in Warwick, was blown away to find her personal cheer squad, rallied for her at the 41km mark in the 42.2km run.
"It was just amazing to see them and have them at the finish line after I achieved something I really want to achieve," Mrs O'Leary said.
"Oscar thought I had won as I had a gold medal. When you finish, you receive a finisher shirt and gold medal.
"I had no idea the family were at the Gold Coast as Shaun played it down and said he and the family weren't coming. It is the first time he has surprised me at an event."
She had thought about running a marathon for the past two years but "there was never a right time".
"I just decided I am always going to be busy and decided to just go for it."
Fitting in her commitments as a mother of three children under nine and a job, Mrs O'Leary trained for the marathon as best she could. Her longest training run was a three-hour run in which she covered 29km.
Fast forward to the Gold Coast and she completed the marathon this month in four hours, 21 minutes.
Mrs O'Leary said her best friend Kathryn McConville spent three days at the Gold Coast around the marathon and moved around the course to cheer me on.
"She has been a great friend and supports my goals so it was great to have her there on the weekend of the marathon."
On a day of thrills, Mrs O'Leary was emotional as she talked about being joined by her mother Annie Bradford for the final 10kms.
"We didn't chat but just ran, it was great to have Mum beside me," she said.
"The last 10 kilometres was definitely the toughest.
"I did the final 10 kilometres when Mum ran her first marathon at the Gold Coast last year.
As for the best section of the marathon, she enjoyed running back from the Burleigh end towards Southport.
"The most exciting part was seeing the 250 metres to go sign. It is a huge achievement to run a marathon.
Six days after the marathon, Mrs O'Leary was back at the weekly Warwick parkrun but admitted her legs were tight.
She has run the half marathon in the Warwick Pentath-run and plans to do the same again in May next year.
Mrs O'Leary won't be doing another marathon just yet.
Her next running project will be a half marathon somewhere other than Warwick.