Marathon effort

Seven first-time marathon entrants will lead a charge of more than 50 Gippsland Road Runners in the Melbourne Marathon on Sunday.

Members of the Trafalgar-based group Kellie Romano, Naomi Gostling, Nicole Taylor, Prue Cox, Deb Brown, Britt Frendo and Janice Winter have been clocking up to 80 kilometres a week in the lead up to the event.

Club president Tracey O’Brien said about 30 runners would participate in the half marathon – including 22 first-timers – and about 15 others were running in the 5km and 10km events.

Ms O’Brien said for the past three months the participants had been training four to six days a week.

“They’ve been training on hills, (doing) speed work, and one long run a week,” Ms O’Brien said.

“Their commitment and their dedication over the three months has been unbelievable.”

Ms O’Brien said everyone was excited and, for many, the event was the realisation of a goal they “never thought they could dream of”.

Ms Romano said 42km was a length she had been working towards for several years.

“I’ve done quite a few fun runs now, done a fair few half-marathons, so I thought it was about time I go for the full marathon,” Ms Romano said.

Ms Romano said she could not imagine training for the event alone after receiving so much support from fellow road runners.

“We talk the whole time. I don’t see them all week, so our weekend long-distance run is a chance to catch up,” she said.

“A lot of us have got kids. We’ve got a lot in common.

“Talking makes the time go a lot quicker.”

Ms Romano said she had not set a specific time to complete the event in and was happy just to finish with her family and friends waiting at the finish line.