Justin Knight-Gray and Vanessa Corbet after their events on Sunday.
Justin Knight-Gray and Vanessa Corbet after their events on Sunday. Peter Carruthers

Reluctant runner 'just keeps going' with support of crew

HALF marathon competitor at the Airlie Beach Running Festival, Vanessa Corbet was initially a reluctant runner but the support of a loving running community now has her hooked on jogging.

After experiencing illness Ms Corbet was looking for something to get her active, she was invited to join parkrun participants each Saturday morning for a light 5km run by local athlete Justin Knight-Gray.

"And I said bloody running, it's not for me, I cant even run 100 metres,” she said.

"And he said 'yeah you can, come along to our parkrun'.”

"It got to the point that I was was trying to hide from him, but because his kids attend our childcare, I would see him all the time.”

"It got to the point and I thought I will just go.”

Ms Corbet said she began walking the 5km course then progressed to running the complete distance.

From there she joined the Whitsunday Running Club and soon set a goal to run the 21km distance at the running festival on Sunday.

"I started volunteering at first for the Running Festival last year and then the Great Whitsunday Trail and the triathlon. And it was from being inspired by watching the likes of Justin that I thought 'you know what I am going to give it a crack next year'.”

"It's been fabulous and through the support of the running club and especially Mark (McConkey) that make it possible.

"Thank god I didn't cry, that was my aim when I came across the line because it has been a long journey and I am not a runner.

"I am more like a tortoise, I just keep going.”