Vet Jana bound for NYC marathon

Vetwest Vet Dr Jana was fortunate to be selected to participate in the 2012 New York Marathon in November. Read her story about her experience.

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Dr Jana prepares for the Run Anyway Marathon around Central Park, NYC

"I couldn’t believe my luck when I received a phone call informing me that I was one of 25 people from across Australia that had been selected to represent the Heart Foundation in the 2012 ING New York City Marathon. I spent the year of 2012 hosting various charity events including a quiz night, movie night and a rooftop pool party to raise money for the cause. I raised a total of $7,832, and together with the other 24 runners we raised a whopping total of $198,763!

The latter part of the year was spent training for the marathon. This was to be my first marathon and increasing my mileage definitely took its toll in a number of tormenting ways.  I think I suffered from every over-use runner injury known including shin splints, piriformis syndrome (sciatic nerve compression), iliotibial band syndrome (an awful knee injury), and a stress fracture in my foot.  But I was determined to run this marathon and did everything possible, with countless visits to specialist sports doctors, physiotherapists, masseuses, and acupuncturists to make sure I would cross that 42.2km finish line!

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Participants running at the Run Anyway Marathon

So imagine my utter disappointment when, after a year of looking forward to this iconic world event, and with all the efforts of organising the charity events, the intense training, and its manifestations on my body, when I heard of the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Sandy that would ultimately cause the cancellation of the race due to concerns for participant safety. Unfortunately the decision to cancel the marathon was made due to mounting public response less than 2 days before the race, after runners from all over the world had already landed in New York. Of course we were all disappointed; however, it was an understandable decision and my heart goes out to the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

This lead to the organisation of the unofficial “Run Anyway Marathon”, where an estimated 20,000 people from all over the world in their colourful running shoes and t-shirts ran anyway on race day in Central Park. Some people ran the full 42.2km, others a half marathon and some ran a 10km loop. There was lots of cheering and high spirits and it was truly an experience of a lifetime. Many people were running in support of the victims of Hurricane Sandy - the Australian team raised over $1,500 and we all donated our breakfast packs and clothes for the unfortunate New Yorkers. Over 1,000 runners travelled to the worst hit borough of Staten Island to help clean up the destroyed homes and parks, and provide support, comfort and food for the victims. Gotta love that Australian spirit!

So the good news is that I’m doing it all again, hopefully next year without the injuries and natural disasters! For those who are interested, click here to read an article in the New York Times about the Run Anyway Marathon."

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Team Australia in NYC

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