Local grandma gears up for Gold Coast Marathon

IN THE RUNNING: Sue Spargo of Byron Bay is about to compete in her first half marathon in July on the Gold Coast.
IN THE RUNNING: Sue Spargo of Byron Bay is about to compete in her first half marathon in July on the Gold Coast. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

ONE Suffolk Park grandmother is setting out to show the young ones that being older doesn't mean you can't do certain things - like running a 21km half marathon, for example.

Sue Spargo, 59, is gearing up for Sunday's Gold Coast Marathon.

"My daughters have both done half marathons and I've always been there supporting them and I thought this time I'd give it a go," Mrs Spargo said.

"It's been a really great journey for me - I've never run more than a few kilometres in my life."

She said she'd decided last year that she'd like to give it a go and started training around Easter this year.

"I'd told a lot of people so I felt I had to do it now," she laughed.

Since then she's been training hard - running in shorter distances three times a week and completing a larger distance once a week, as well as walking the Byron Lighthouse walk every other day and swimming.

She started her long distance running at 5km -"which nearly killed me," she said - and she's built it up to 21km in past weeks.

It's been a huge journey for her and overtaking general older age injuries sore knees and sore hips, she said.

"You just have to keep going."

Nervous and excited, she said she'd really love to complete the half marathon in two hours and ten minutes.

"My main goal is that I do it all and don't have to walk at all" - an inspirational feat for anyone.

A former primary school teacher at Byron Bay, she said she's received a lot of positive feedback and support from past students.

"They think it's wonderful, they're so encouraging. It's good for them to see that old people can still do stuff too."

As she runs along the main road from Suffolk Park to Byron Bay she has many people yelling encouragement and words of support out the windows of their cars at her.

"It's good to have goals and achieve them if you can."

Her possible next goal?

She let it slip that if all goes well, next year she might take on the full 42km marathon for her 60th birthday.

Topics:  gold coast marathon

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