Continuing our Runner Journey series, this week we share with you one of Lalor Running Club's favourite runners, Kirsty Branagan!
Why do you run, and how did you get started?
I run because I can. I am so fortunate to be happy and healthy, I never want to take that for granted. And because I love the social aspect, particularly the post run food and drink! I’ve been running since November 2016, when my trainer suggested I come along to parkrun. Within just a few weeks I was totally hooked!
Awesome, tough runs and races happen, what motivates you to get through?
I love running with friends, so most training runs and events I have my amazing Lalor Running Club team mates either running beside me or cheering from the sidelines. It really helps get you through knowing there are people willing you on! Plus, there’s the after event refuelling to look forward to.. I have been known to recite cocktail names in my head to get through a tough run
Looking forward to the Shepparton Travel & Cruise Four Vines Running Festival, which event have you entered?
I'm running the Top Pub 10km event. I am planning to slowly increase my wine intake each day, so I am ready for a big weekend.. oh, wait.. running training? Well, 10km is my favourite distance, so I’m looking forward to a super fun run with my LRC mates!
Which events are your favourites?
I love doing unique, smaller events. I absolutely loved doing the Cadbury Half Marathon in Hobart in January as it was my first and was such a great opportunity for a holiday as well as a run. My other favourite event is Wings for Life, such a unique concept and an amazing opportunity to run for those who can’t. Wine related runs are up there as well- Harvest Run in the Yarra Valley, Bravehearts Half Marathon in the Barossa.. and hopefully Four Vines gets added to the list in November! Also, it’s hard to go past parkrun- free, timed, every single week!
Where do you like to run and who do you run with?
To the pub? Ok.. really, anywhere my LRC friends are. I love company and get a lot more out of the people than the place usually. If I’m running alone, the Diamond Creek trail is great for long runs, and a freedom run at Mernda parkrun is a great local tempo run location. Lalor Running Club is my group. They are my inspiration, my support network, my friends, my entertainment. I love that we all come from different experiences, different life paths, but running brings us together in such a close way.
That's great, what tips do you have for newer runners?
Find your motivation, find your crew and run for your life! Check out your closest parkrun. You won’t find a more supportive bunch of people anywhere, plus it’s free- you have nothing to lose!! Also, get properly fitted for shoes. I would have saved myself a lot of pain and heartache if I had been wearing the correct shoes while training for, and running, my first half marathon.
What is your go-to pre race meal?
I like to start with a gin and tonic, then move on to a Pinot or Shiraz, and finish the evening with a Four Pillars Shiraz Gin, it’s like the complete meal. (Actually, mushroom pasta, but that’s nowhere near as interesting an answer!)
And your wine preferences?
Shiraz in winter, Chardonnay in summer, or anything someone else is pouring for me. Except moscato. That stuff is terrible!