Olympian goes the extra mile

Currently on the World Triathalon circuit, Kate McIlroy has improved her world ranking from seventh to fourth and is gunning for a place in next year’s Commonwealth Games. From her European base in Banyoles, Spain, the 31 year old shares how her mother’s cervical cancer inspired her to lead Team Pink Ribbon in this October’s Auckland Marathon.

“I watched the toll cancer took on my mum physically and emotionally and got an insight into what women affected by breast cancer must go through. I also felt that if exercise is a preventative factor, then I can inspire women to exercise, whether it be a simple 10 minute walk or a triathlon!”

Kate’s advice for aspiring marathon runners is to invest in a great pair of running shoes, have a weekly training plan and don’t over train.

“With running shoes, you want to make sure your feet and body are well supported. It's also really important to plan out the weeks leading into race day in regards to training load. To minimise injury, the general rule of thumb is to increase your training 10% each week.”

Kate encourages a measured approach to building up fitness and says “Start slowly and gradually build your volume as the body needs to adapt to the load you are putting it through, it’s better to be cautious with any aches and pains, take a day or two off to let your body heal and recover!”

The Foundation still has a number of special gold charity places for the Auckland full marathon and are seeking runners to join Team Pink Ribbon and run alongside Kate. Runners will be granted a spot if they can commit to fundraising $2,000 for the full marathon.

Funds raised will go towards breast cancer awareness, education and supporting women with breast cancer.

One person who’s signed up for Team Pink Ribbon is Georgia Smith. Her mother, Lynne was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year and is half way through her chemotherapy. With Lynne responding well, Georgia felt she needed a goal for herself.

“I knew this was the perfect way to achieve something special and get my fitness up to scratch. “
Her aim is come in under the 2 hour mark for the half marathon but admits that training in the cold is hard. “I've just got to put my shoes on and get out the door,” she says.

The North Share café worker is already close to achieving her other goal of raising $6000 for the NZBCF. Her advice for fellow Team Pink Ribbon members? “Get vocal and tell everyone what you’re up to.” Georgia and the NZBCF would like to acknowledge all of her supporters for their generous donations.

If you’re keen to help fight breast cancer and would like to apply for a NZBCF place in the Auckland full marathon clickhere. Runners who sign up to Team Pink Ribbon will receive:

• Training plans and nutritional advice
• Hints and tips from Kate McIlroy, NZ Olympic Triathlete
• An invitation to a Gold Charity Runners training day
• An online fundraising page with space to tell your story and show how much you’ve raised
• Unlimited expert advice and tips on how to achieve your fundraising target
• A Pink Ribbon Active running shirt
• Entry to our post-race celebration and hospitality area
• The priceless feeling of knowing that you are helping save lives

Go on, you know you can do it!

Alternatively, if you already have your own place in the Auckland Half or Full Marathon you can still be a part of Team Pink Ribbon To join the team as an own place runner please email fundraising@nzbcf.org.nz or call Faye on 09 304 0967