A GOOD RUN: Kym O'Leary was first woman home at the New Year's Day Warwick parkrun.
A GOOD RUN: Kym O'Leary was first woman home at the New Year's Day Warwick parkrun. Gerard Walsh

Warwick runner aiming to step up to marathon

RUNNING: Kym O'Leary set herself the goal of running a personal best time in the last Warwick parkrun for 2018 and even surprised herself with her time.

O'Leary often competes in parkrun with her mother Annie Bradford and daughters Charlee, 8, and Layla, 6.

She had a best time for the 5km of 23 minutes, 30 seconds, in 2014, before she had a break from running for the birth of son Oscar in 2015.

"It wasn't easy to get back into running after Oscar's birth and I had a few injuries but I was close to my 2014 personal best a few times,” she said.

She put her faster times down to work in the gym with Kori McTaggart at Hybrid Strength and Fitness.

"He helped me get stronger and I just wanted to improve my personal best time by one second in the parkrun,” O'Leary said.

She managed to better her personal best time by 36 seconds on Saturday with 22 minutes, 54 seconds.

Three days later, on New Year's Day, she beat that new PB by another two seconds in Warwick, as the first finisher for the women in two successive runs.

She runs once or twice a week in addition to regular work in the gym.

O'Leary is keen to set a new personal best time in the first leg of this year's Pentath, the half marathon. Her current PB is one hour, 50 minutes.

She did all five events in the 2017 and 2018 pentath-runs.

At weekends, she often runs in a group of three with her mother and Grant Calvert.

"We chat a bit as we run,” O'Leary said.

She has yet to run a marathon but was at the Gold Coast in March when her mother ran her first marathon.

"I ran beside Mum for the final 10km and it was good to see her finish,” she said.

Now she wants to tick the marathon off her own bucket list.

O'Leary said she had to resist the "wanting-to-stop feeling” she sometimes experienced in running.

"You need the mental strength to push past the tough parts,” she said.

Her youngest daughter Layla has earnt her free shirt for her 10th parkrun as a junior, while oldest daughter Charlee has done four parkruns.

"I walked the Stanthorpe parkrun on New Year's Day with the girls,” O'Leary said.

Warwick parkrun is on each Saturday at 7am starting in Queens Park, just down from the rugby club.



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