Caroline's story: How RFPB made me into a marathon machine

When I moved to Sydney 4 years ago I couldn’t run more than 5km and never even imagined that four years later I would be running my first full marathon and even better that it would be with some amazing new friends!

I started running with my best friend Armina and we ran several events including a few half marathon and obstacle runs. Armina had ran with RFPB group in 2011 and, after meeting Sophie through some mutual friends, I was inspired to join the group in 2013.;

Little did I know that I wouldn't just become part of an amazing group and run my personal best in a half marathon (2 hours 1 minute!) but that I would also make 3 new friends Michelle, Marsha and Alissa and 6 months later we would be running the Sydney marathon together! We met at one of the RFPB weekend training runs and started meeting up for extra training sessions and soon the 5 of us were regularly running together. 

I think it was Michelle who first mentioned that we should run the Sydney marathon when we were training for the Sydney Morning Herald Half with RFPB. I remember thinking she was crazy although somehow her logic made sense: if we're training for a half marathon we may as well keep going and train for a full marathon, after all we did have 6 months to do it! So, after many long training runs and, thanks to Michelle's well researched training program, in September 2013 we all very proudly crossed the finish line to claim our medals and finisher’s t-shirt for the Sydney marathon! 

I'm very happy that it hasn't stopped there and we've now all become close friends bonded by running and finding new challenges as well as enjoying many celebratory post run brunches together!

Since the half marathon and the marathon, we've taken part in the Kurrawa to Duranbah 30km on the Gold Coast, ventured into trail runs as well as regularly running around Sydney to keep up the training. 

Armina and I also recently formed a team with two other runners to run in the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Centennial Park.

We entered into the company’s charity competition and won the fastest all female team and received a $5,000 grant for RFPB as our chosen charity!

So for me running hasn't just been a way to improve my fitness or to prove to myself that I can do anything when I put my mind to it but it has helped me find some amazing new friends to share our successes together as well as raising money for a great cause.