Runner Eileen Byers with partner Kurt Halzhauser and one of her four children Elroy, 19 months.
Runner Eileen Byers with partner Kurt Halzhauser and one of her four children Elroy, 19 months. Samantha Elley

Mother of four conquers marathon

CASINO mother of four Eileen Byers has completed the New York City Marathon and in true team spirit even helped her fellow squad members across the finish line.

Ms Byers completed the 42km race in six hours and 11 minutes, an achievement she will hold with her for a lifetime.

"It was really hard, I'm tired and I'm really sore, but I'm really happy," she said.

"Some of the squad members were struggling, but because I was doing my own Eileen pace I came across them and helped them start running again, so I helped them get across the finish line."

Ms Byers applied to join the marathon via the Indigenous Marathon Foundation last year.

At the time she didn't think her application would be successful.

"The only running I'd ever done was to my front gate, on a netball court and running after my kids," she said.

Ms Byers believes it was her life story that got her through to the starting line.

"During the one-on-one interview (the coach) asked why I wanted to be part of the Indigenous Marathon Foundation team," she said.

"I told him everything - the drinking, the smoking, the unemployment, the teenage mum, being unfit, overweight, my learning problems - being over it all, over my life and wanting a change.

"A month later I got a phone call to say I had been selected from about 150 applications across Australia."

Over the past three years Ms Byers put a focus on her fitness, achieving 36kg of weight loss and reaching her current weight of 71kg.

"I'm still going to be training for more half marathons, so maybe I'll lose a bit more from that," she said. "But at the moment I'm pretty happy with my weight."

Ms Byers will head back to her home in Coombell, south of Casino, this week.



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