Great health road

Follow Medibank IT coordinator, Julie, on her journey to the Great Ocean Road Marathon.

When Julie’s daughter asked her to do a 10 km run with her, it was the start of a new journey to better health and fitness. Although she would regularly go for a leisurely 3 km jog at weekends, 10 km was definitely a challenge. Julie’s goal was simply to finish the event without feeling exhausted and to raise $800 for charity – but with hard work and training, she achieved this in a heartbeat.

From there, Julie caught the fitness event bug. Taking part in programs by Can Too – a non-profit that provides professional coaching for fitness events, with participants encouraged to raise money for Cure Cancer Australia – Julie has continued to challenge herself and has gone on to raise over $11,000 for cancer research. It’s a cause that is close to Julie’s heart, having lost numerous close relatives to cancer at young ages, and she is now contributing further to the organisation as a Can Too mentor.

This year, Julie’s goal is to run the Great Ocean Road Marathon – an iconic marathon event held along Victoria’s stunning coast in May. We had a chat about her training, motivation and experiences…

How is your preparation for the Great Ocean Road Marathon going?

I eat the correct foods and do cross training at home with a stationary bike and weights. I also include the training program with Can Too coaches. I have attended Step Into Life programs as well. I look forward to seeing all the locals out cheering us on, which is unique to the Great Ocean Road Marathon. It’s not often you get a whole town involved in cheering strangers on! I also like the commentators’ comical and interesting comments.

What motivates you to stay healthy and fit?

I feel good in myself when I am fit and healthy. I have at times not done any exercise for a short stint (say over Christmas/New Year) and have felt sluggish.

What have you gained from your experiences with Can Too?

Each program is unique but each one has the same feel about it – belonging to a big family to get you through the tough times and knowing you can do it.

What challenges have you faced on your journey to better health and fitness?

While I could run, I could not swim. I struggled putting it all together (breathing, arm movement and kicking). I also struggled with the bike riding but with perseverance and help from my fellow Can Too-ers and experienced coaches I have managed to complete my first Triathlon.

Why did you decide to become a Can Too mentor?

My first experience with a Can Too mentor was running up a hill which I said I could not do. My mentor said of course you can, just look at the top and run to it. I wanted to share my positive experience and mentor others in such a way that they could achieve anything they wanted.

You have raised an impressive amount of money for cancer research. Tell me a bit about what this cause means to you?

Supporting Cure Cancer Australia is close to me as both my parents died at an early age from bowel cancer. If there was a cure for this disease I would be elated to know I have helped even in a small way.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to take on a personal health and fitness challenge, but who might feel a bit daunted?

Believe in yourself and there is help out there. Whether it be Can Too, Step into Life or another program. Don’t give up on yourself.

The Great Ocean Road Marathon festival runs over Saturday 17 May and Sunday 18 May 2014. To register for an event or for more information visit greatoceanroadmarathon.com.au

Recommended reading - Eat clean recipe book

Recipes

Wild Quinoa Salad Recipe

A colourful, nutty salad to brighten up your summer weeknights.

Read more
Recipes

Goji-Nut Bar Recipe

Packed with the protein of nuts and the natural sweetness of dates, these snack bars are a winner

Read more
Recipes

Apple-Passion Bircher Recipe

Start your day out right with a fantastically fresh and light bircher muesli

Read more
Recipes

Mini oat pancakes recipe

Indulge your tastebuds in these sweet and nutritious pancakes.

Read more
Recipes

Zucchini and Carrot Salad Recipe

Mix it up with buckwheat, quinoa and brown rice and add avocado sauce for a finishing touch

Read more
Recipes

Coco-Cacao Truffles Recipe

Power up your afternoon with these scrummy treats

Read more
Recipes

Papaya, Coconut and Flax Smoothie Recipe

Fresh and light, this papaya and coconut smoothie whisks you away to a tropical island

Read more
Recipes

Avocado Sauce Recipe

Creamy and delicious, this avocado sauce is great for dressings, tacos, as a spread or as a dip

Read more
Recipes

Herbed Buckwheat with Brown Rice and Quinoa Recipe

Get the most out of your grains with this nutritious blend

Read more
Recipes

Lentil Salad Recipe

Whip up this salad in a flash for a warm, crunchy and herb-infused dish

Read more
Recipes

Sweet Potato Pizza Toast Recipe

A healthy way to indulge your pizza craving, with the rich goodness of sweet potato and tomato

Read more
Recipes

Brown Rice Fritters Recipe

These yummy and nutritious fritters are delicious in salads, sandwiches and wraps

Read more
Recipes

Seeded Snack Bar Recipe

Crunch on these tasty snack bars for a revitalising afternoon lift

Read more
Recipes

Vermicelli Noodle Salad Recipe

A crunchy, veggie-ful dish to keep you feeling nourished and vibrant

Read more
Recipes

Spinach Sesame Recipe

Bring out the green goodness of this nutritional powerhouse

Read more
Recipes

Broccolini and Cauliflower Soup Recipe

This creamy soup is as filling as it is flavoursome

Read more
Recipes

Sweet Potato Hummus Recipe

Impress your guests with a yummy rosemary-infused hummus

Read more
Recipes

Sweet Potato Fries Recipe

Did someone say fries? Try a lighter take on a fast-food classic with the goodness of sweet potato

Read more
Recipes

Blueberry and Lemon Infused Water Recipe

Refresh and recharge with this sweet, light summer beverage

Read more
Recipes

Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Here's how you make Brussels sprouts delicious- seriously

Read more
Recipes

Mini Chocolate Cakes Recipe

These naturally sweet little cakes are the perfect chocolatey treat

Read more
Recipes

Green Smoothie Recipe

Get your green fix with this refreshing smoothie, the perfect way to energise your day

Read more
Recipes

Sweet Potato Medley Quinoa Recipe

With the fresh flavours of pomegranate and avocado, this colourful salad is a summery delight

Read more
Recipes

Pumpkin and pea risotto recipe

Nothing says comfort like a creamy risotto – and this one is as light as it is tasty

Read more
Recipes

Fresh Salsa Recipe

You'll never buy packaged salsa again with this yummy recipe

Read more
Recipes

Bean Salad Recipe

Chop up your veggies, toss them in a jar - this colourful and filling salad couldn't be easier

Read more
Recipes

Spicy Bean Dip Recipe

Light and tasty, this protein-rich dip is sure to be a hit.

Read more
Recipes

Homemade Toasted Muesli recipe

This muesli is quick and so yummy – especially when you have a serve straight from the oven.

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.