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Ultra Marathon running: It’s never too late

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Most professional athletes start excelling at a very young age. They are pushed through their childhood, teenage years and early adulthood to be the best they can be at their chosen sport.

Any parent will tell you how exciting it is to see those tiny smiles when their child wins their first race, game or fight. Unfortunately for a lot of athletes who started young, a professional career might be coming to an end in their early 30’s. For Meredith Quinlan however, this is where it began.

For Meredith, it started out of a desire to start some kind of sport that would allow her to enjoy more eating and more cooking when her metabolism started slowing.

SONY DSC“I started running when I was 31 years old. I was completely unfit at first it took me 6 months to progress to my first 5 kilometres fun run, starting out doing 15 minute runs at an oval near my home and progressing from there. 6 years later I found myself selected for the Australian Team competing at the Commonwealth Championships, 24 hour Ultra Marathon” she said.

After a few years of Ultra Running, injury knocked on Meredith’s door, and she took up Mountain Biking as cross training, after solid advice from her Physiotherapist. She was also quite successful competing and racing in Endurance Mountain Biking too, setting records and winning many medals.

“A major highlight in my career in Ultra Marathon running would be competing for Australia at the World Championships 24 hour Ultramarathon in France. The Australian Girls won the bronze team medal. It was the first ever Australian women’s team to compete and we medalled as well which was an upset for the rest of the world at the time”.

On paper the USA, Britain and France had the numbers stacked for places on the podium but the three Australians came through at the end with excellent totals. ” I think it’s a real honour to compete for your country. “

Injuries are an expected part of endurance running, and Meredith believes that making the most of injury time and staying positive is the key to success.

“Taking up another sport (mountain biking) seems to have worked out well in that respect. I also have the privilege of being supported by USANA Health Sciences for dietary supplements over the past 3 years. I currently take Usana Active Calcium chewable tablets, their Procosamine for my joints and vitamin D to assist the absorption of the calcium, which definitely is a necessity in getting back me back to full training as soon as possible”.

by Shane Downey

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