#whywerun - Riine Ringi
"I was born in a tiny country called Estonia and in 2012 I came to Australia as a backpacker. First plan was to travel around the world and then go back home, but I absolutely fell in love with Australia, especially the Gold Coast, so I decided to stay.
I kept running and occasionally signing up for marathons. Years went by and somehow I started to run out of motivation. I kept sleeping in and I didn't feel guilty if I skipped training or two. I guess I grew out of being a solo runner and I needed a buddy who can keep me accountable. In July 2019 I joined the Rat Pack multisport team. They swim, cycle and run together, but I only joined with the running part (I'm a really bad swimmer and way too clumsy to be on the bike). I started training under coach Nigel Hyland, who is just amazing. I have to say my whole running world changed and I was motivated again. My weekly running mileage went up to 130km (previously it was around 80-90km) and my training schedule had more structure. Suddenly I just got faster and better and also I really started to believe in myself. And of course I enjoy the social aspect, meeting so many incredible people. Our sessions are definitely hard. But knowing that we all suffer together helps us to get it done. After training we always have coffee and catch up. We really have grown together. Absolutely love it!
For years I've been thinking about entering the GC50, but I always have chickened out because the race is in the summer when it's humid and hot on the Gold Coast. And of course 50km sounded extremely daunting. But last year my self image improved and I signed up for my first ultramarathon, My training was broken down into 3 essential parts:
My goal was to run 4:10 min per km. Having no experience I thought this should be a manageable pace and I knew if I could keep that momentum happening I probably will end up doing a course record. Let's be honest I actually really wanted to do a course record! I tried to keep an even pace all race long. The first half I kind of felt like a caged animal and the pace felt way too easy but I stayed true to the plan of pace early and I knew I would thank myself later. Second half definitely got harder but the physical, mental and heat training paid off and I was able to cross the finish line with the time 3:27:35 (4:09 min per km average), which was the new female course record. I was beyond happy.
I'm so grateful that almost 7 years ago I took a leap of faith and started running to beat my nasty addiction. That road has been full of rolling hills, different pavements and lots of crossroads and no matter what the weather has been, I stayed strong and kept pushing on. Having a natural competitive nature, as well as being a goal oriented person, running is perfect for me. Every run has its own and different challenges. When pushing your body to the limit everyday there is an obstacle or challenge to overcome. A niggle, a strain, the weather, time, work schedule. All these challenges faced daily make for a strong athlete and even stronger person. It really is the cornerstone of my being. Running allows me to achieve amazing things and find focus in a crazy world."