FORMER Toowoomba resident Shannon Meiklejohn may not have blitzed the field during her high school cross country, but she is determined to complete one of the world's most famous marathons.
Ms Meiklejohn will take part in the New York marathon in November to raise money for cancer research.
The former St Saviour's College student has always had a penchant for adventure after a stint as a tour leader in China.
“I became involved in a company called Inspired Adventures,” Ms Meiklejohn said.
“They are a fund-raising agency working with numerous Australian and international charities to assist them to raise funds via charity challenges.
“Last year I accompanied a group to China to do a five-day trek along the Great Wall of China, and after hearing all their stories of fund-raising and how they prepared physically for the trip, it inspired me to get out of my comfort zone and really challenge myself to do something huge this year.
“I knew that out of all the adventures, a marathon would be the most challenging for me to train for and complete as I am not a runner.
“I remember being in the cross country team at school one year, and at the interschool competition they had to wait for me to finish before the next race could start.
“I love the idea of running through the streets of New York as I have never been there before, and think it will be a great way to see the city.”
Ms Meiklejohn and her friend, Tara Diversi, are fund-raising for the Cure Cancer organisation while training for the marathon.
“Like everyone, I have had family members and friends affected by cancer and have seen many people do battle with the disease through my work as a health professional,” she said.
“The only way we are going to find a cure is to fund research and that is what the Cure Cancer Australia Foundation's main focus is.”
To prepare for the gruelling 42.2 kilometre marathon, Ms Meiklejohn runs every day.
“I have been doing lots of running,” she said.
“Small runs during the week and a long run on a Saturday or Sunday.
“We have signed up to do the Gold Coast half marathon in a couple of weeks and may even try to do a marathon somewhere before we go, just so we know what we are in for.”
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