This month we shine our spotlight to another amazing athlete, Wendy Bassett, a mum of 6 wonderful children and 11 grandchildren.
Over to you Wendy!
My running life only began 6 years ago at the age of 50. I have done a couple of runs previously just to be there if my son fell and needed help. We did the Nail Can Hill Run in Albury. My first one was tough but l got through it. I ran it again the following year but I never trained l just ran.
Then one day I found myself without a car through no fault off my own it was vandalized so l had to walk 3 kilometers to work and home again each day. One day I decided if I can walk it maybe I should run it. Well that was tough but I got through it and quiet enjoyed it.
One weekend I decided to try running a bit further and found it was very therapeutic as it gave me some me time. At that time, I was still helping my youngest son with his education and also helping my husband through depression. I found that running gave me an outlet, which helped relieve stress, and certainly made me fitter.
Then l heard about fun runs in the area and decided to have a go at one. It was the most wonderful day ever! l had played team sports before but this was different as this was something you did by yourself, but not alone, since all the other runners encouraged me along the way saying “you’ve got this, you can do it” it was so much help. And that was it, l had the running bug and continued running 4 days a week and entering fun runs. l loved it.
During one of the fun runs l met a lovely lady named Nadia Mellor who asked me if l would like to come join her and some others to train so I went to Wodonga and met all the people at the Wodonga distance running group. It was even more enjoyable having other people to run with. Without Nadia asking me to join the club, running might have been as much fun.
I would say my running journey really began when I started the 10k fun runs and with a little help and pushing from my amazing friend Stacey l did my first half marathon at Melbourne (I have now done 5). In 2016 I found my health wasn’t as good as it should be and needed surgery. Before the surgery l had a goal to run 30 kilometers with my teammate to help her train for her first Gold Coast marathon, and so l did that. 3 weeks post surgery, the doctor told me l would never run again but that was his mistake, if I was told that I can’t do something, then l have to prove it wrong. 12 weeks after my surgery l ran a half marathon.
During my recovery time my father became ill and I spent my days helping him. He told me “darling never give up on your dreams, l have lived my life and l have had a good one. So please keep training and believe in yourself. You can do anything l believe in you “. After my dad passed away, and his words still in mind, l started training with the distance running guys and this year we all ran the Gold Coast Marathon. l ran it in memory of my dad, and even finished in a better time than l trained for. Now my running journey continues and l will be back at the Coast next year for the marathon.
But none of this would have been possible without the guys from the running group, which includes Nadia and Chris Wilson who encouraged me all the way. My wonderful husband Tom and son Shaun who had to do so much without me as training for a marathon is very tough because you have to be really committed and a lot of family time goes on hold, so thanks for being there for me and doing so much. Also a big thank you to my dear friend Stacey who gave up her time to travel to the Coast and be my support team, l owe so much. And in closing this l say never give up on your dreams if l can you can. Never say Never.
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