Senn set for eighth tilt at tough marathon distance
FOUR years ago Judy Senn hadn't ever laced-up for an endurance event and hated even running any distance.
But on Saturday she will sweat it out in her eighth marathon during the inaugural Runaway Noosa Marathon.
The fitness flame was initially sparked by a Tough Mudder event and has since snowballed into a full-blown passion.
"I just started enjoying it (running) and it became very therapeutic to me mentality and physically,” she said.
She eventually worked her way up from 10km events to compete in her first full-distance endurance event at the Gold Coast in 2016.
"That was amazing and that was a massive one,” she said.
"You get to the 30km mark and people start collapsing and it's very full on.
"(But) I was hooked and absolutely loved it.”
Senn has since completed events in Victoria, New South Wales and on the Sunshine Coast.
But, just as she was on a roll she suffered a plantaris muscle injury.
After enduring 16 weeks away, Senn will make her return to the marathon scene on Saturday in Noosa.
"I can't wait, particularly because it's on home turf and I train on this track every day,” she said.
She said she normally crosses the line in four and a half hours, but was in it for the pure enjoyment.
"I'm not one of those people who go in for a particular time, I just like to finish and enjoy myself,” she said.
"My motto is Form, Focus, Fire, Fuel and Fun. I just chant that basically as I go to keep me focussed and to make sure I keep my form.”
The weekend will feature race distances for each level of fitness from 5km right through to the marathon.
The Noosa waters will also come alive as athletes dive into a variety of swim events on Sunday.
Ironman Oceania regional director Rebecca van Pooss said participation levels had exceeded expectations and he looked forward to a big weekend in Noosa.
"Numbers are actually a little bit above our forecast, which is obviously a great place to be particularly the marathon, that's exceeded our year one forecast for that one and the the swim is looking really strong for Sunday morning,” she said.
"We're so lucky here in Noosa that we don't really get a winter so we're getting a lot of southern states and even people from New Zealand coming over to enjoy a warm sunny winter's weekend in Noosa.”
The event has evolved from Noosa Winter Festival and the Noosa Ultimate Sports Festival.
It's the first time the marathon distance has been featured and van Pooss expected that it would grow into one of the region's premier running events.
"It's such a great course because it's a multi-lap one spectators can come down and see their runners multiple times and cheer them on and I think the runners will get a real lift out of that plus we've got a heap of entertainment and music out on course to keep them entertained as they go around,” she said.
"So I definitely see it as an event that will be on runners yearly calendars going forward.”