getback Middle Park Exercise Physiologist Jayd Temby took on a huge challenge when she started training for the Melbourne Marathon just 18 weeks before the event.
It’s a moment many of us dream about – entering the MCG with the crowd cheering you on. But when Jayd Temby started training for her first marathon just 18 weeks ahead of the event, there was no certainty she could go the distance.
‘I’ve always loved running,’ Jayd explains, ‘but it was just part of my exercise program each week.
‘Then at the end of last year I saw a post on Instagram saying “if you can run 15 kilometres now, you can probably start training for the Melbourne Marathon.”’
Not many of us decide on the spot to take on a marathon, but Jayd says that running one was always on her ‘bucket list’.
‘I thought, “I’ll go and see if I can do 15 km”. Then I did 15 km, and I ended up starting a marathon training program about 18 weeks ago.’
Putting in the hard yards through a cold and wet Melbourne winter doesn’t sound like a dream run, but once she started the program, there was no turning back.
‘The volume per week was usually around 40 to 50 km, with some load management,’ Jayd says.
‘But I stuck to the program. It was just about getting the kms into the legs.’
The marathon kicked off on a brisk but sunny Sunday morning in October – perfect conditions for your first marathon.
‘The weather was perfect,’ Jays says. ‘It was a still morning and the hot air balloons were out, which was a good sign.’
And after years of lockdowns and cancelled events, the crowds were out to cheer on runners from all over the world.
‘The atmosphere was absolutely crazy because you have people cheering you on, no matter who you are,’ Jayd says.
‘The pros get priority at the starting line. They had a motorbike in front of them to clear the way because they’re doing three minute kilometres and they’re very tunnel vision.
‘It was really cool seeing the Kenyans and Ethiopians flying along.’
Jayd says the first 10 to 15 km went relatively quickly as she adjusted to the race conditions.
‘You’re in a big group, so you’re just trying to dodge people and get a place on the concrete.’
But it became more of a mental battle around the 33-34 km mark.
‘A few people were cramping up, one guy fell to the ground and you see paramedics with people,’ Jayd says.
‘I wasn’t hobbling too much and I I knew I could keep going.
‘If I’d stopped, I might not have been able to keep going, so I just kept at a slow pace I could maintain.’
Friends cheering her on through the last kms as the MCG came into sight was the motivation she needed to finish strongly.
‘The crowd was massive entering the MCG and in the stands near the finish line,’ Jayd says. ‘It was an awesome experience’.
Her eyes were firmly on the finish line, but she couldn’t resist panning the crowd for her family. Luckily, they spotted her and made enough noise for Jayd to wave as she strode towards the finish line.
While it was enormously satisfying to finish her first marathon strongly, Jayd thinks she will ‘have a bit of a spell’ from long distance running for a while.
‘I’m definitely not ruling out another marathon through,’ Jayd says. ‘Now I have a time to beat!’