Why I Run: Peter Ryan
If anyone knows the strength, stamina and sheer hard work it takes to run a marathon, it’s Peter – he’s done it every year since 1978.
“Finishing the marathon was one of those supposedly impossible challenges,” he says. “I thought I’d only do one. It feels so amazing to finish. I was hooked after that.”
Every year since then, nothing has stopped him from getting out there – even when health problems slowed him down.
“In 2013 I had open heart surgery in May, and ran the marathon in October,” he says. “Well, when I say ran, it was mostly walking. I had two or three friends who got me through it.”
"Age is no real reason to stop running.”
Peter is passionate about sharing his love for fitness, and he has been awarded an Order of Australia for his work setting up a footy program for kids with intellectual disabilities. “When you do something and you really enjoy it, you hope others will get the same benefit out of it.”
But he can't quite tell you the secret to running success.
“I don’t know how I get through marathons," he admits. "Early on you want to finish it. Then you want to run a good time. The fact that I haven’t missed one has been an enormous motivating factor in the last 20 years. Age is no real reason to stop running.”
And of course, having friends along for the journey helps. "I enjoy the social part. You just talk the whole way. You’re just cruising along.”
This year, because of a knee injury, Peter wasn’t able to complete the full marathon, but he still got out there on the day and walked as far as he could. And that’s the real Spartan spirit.