Published: 2018/10/06

Kylie started on the treadmill at home and tried to build up to a couple of kilometres before tackling a lap of Lake Wendouree.

Five years later, what started as a way to help get better on the netball court is now Kylie’s passion. Kylie clocked up her first ultra-marathon 50km in the Surf Coast Century event last month. Her efforts in the Paris Marathon were enough to qualify for next year’s Boston Marathon – one of the most coveted runs among runners.

Kylie said the key to stepping up for any distance was in setting little challenges and it was amazing how quickly you could build up confidence.

She encouraged anyone considering running or walking the inaugural Run for a Cause next month to give it a try and see how you go.

Run for a Cause, hosted by The Ballarat Foundation, will fill a void left by the now disbanded Run Ballarat.

The new event will feature new five-kilometre and 10km courses for walkers and runners, taking in Vic Park and Lake Wendouree.

Funds raised this year will support Ballarat’s #FoodBank appeal to alleviate food insecurity across the region. This year alone, more than 12 per cent of Ballarat residents will access food relief.

Kylie is the co-director for ParkRun Ballarat and said the free Saturday morning meet was fast growing in numbers each week. ParkRun is for all ages, above four years old, and features a strong contingent of walkers right through to elites.

She said the city’s running community was incredibly supportive and there was always someone to offer advice or a little extra encouragement along the way.

Personally, ParkRun allows Kylie a chance to give back to the sport and help others achieve their goals.

“ParkRun is a nice way to start every Saturday morning out among the community. It’s also a nice way for people to start being active,” Kylie said.

“It’s great we’ve got a fun run event back because there was a real hole there for the running community and others who like doing something for the community. The fact you’re supporting local charities is important.”

Free beginner group training programs are also underway via The Running Company and The Athlete’s Foot.

ParkRun is a volunteer-run event at Victoria Park each Saturday, from 8am.

Run for a Cause is on November 18.