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People of parkrun: Melissa

Stories — Posted 05/08/16

Most people would be happy with just turning up each week for parkrun, but Melissa Chatley isn’t most people. Here’s her amazing parkrun story.

Name: Melissa Chatley

Local parkrun: Claisebrook Cove, WA

Attending since: August, 2014

“I’ve been a runner most of my life,” says Melissa, a project officer and occupational therapist from Inglewood WA. “Some of my friends had been attending parkrun, and I liked the idea of a weekly, five kilometre timed run.”

Life threw a major hurdle at the 34 year old mother of two in December 2014, when she had already been attending parkrun regularly with her husband and young daughter. While 19 weeks pregnant with her second child, Melissa was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

That wasn’t going to stop Melissa from staying active though. In between a gruelling six cycles of chemotherapy over three months, Melissa still turned up to parkrun every week. “I managed to run a few times with my husband and young daughter,” she remembers, “and when I couldn’t run, I volunteered.”

 

“The parkrun community has had such a positive impact on my recovery.”

 

In April 2015, Melissa gave birth to their second child. “I’ve not needed any further treatment,” she says. “And now I’ve been cancer-free for almost a year and a half.”

She credits parkrun, both the runners and volunteers, with contributing to her recovery. “I had so much support from the people at Claisebrook Cove. It was amazing,” she says. “parkrun and the parkrun community have had such a positive impact on my recovery.”

Melissa still attends parkrun at Claisebrook Cove each Saturday morning, accompanied most weeks by her eldest daughter. Eighteen cancer-free months later, she’s now feeling stronger and fitter than ever. “I’ve completed a total of 58 parkruns and I’m running personal best times over the five kilometre course now,” she says. ”It feels amazing. I’ve never been happier.”

Run better with Medibank 

Medibank is proud to partner with parkrun, a non-profit organisation that hosts weekly 5 km running events, all across Australia and the world. Best of all, it’s held early in the morning on a Saturday or Sunday, and it’s 100% free. It’s not about competing with other people – it’s about pushing yourself to be better, one step at a time.

Medibank is also the title sponsor of the Medibank Melbourne Marathon Festival, held on the 16th October, 2016. If you’re ready to take the next step up from parkrun, there’s sure to be an event distance that suits you with 3km, 5.7km, 10km, half marathon and marathon events all being held on the day.

To read more about the Medibank Melbourne Marathon Festival and get some tips on becoming a better runner, visit personalbetter.com.au.

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