Kelly-ann Varey is heading to South Africa tomorrow to take part in the Comrades Marathon which is a 90 kilometre race being held on the 4th of June.
The Comrades Marathon is an ultra-marathon race which is run annually in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa between the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg. It is the world’s largest and oldest ultra marathon race. Each year they alternate the direction of the race. This year it is running uphill from Durban to Pietermartizburg.
It is expected 20,000 runners from more than 60 countries will take part in the race which they must complete within 12 hours. This is Kelly-ann’s first attempt at this event.
Kelly-ann won both the 50km and Marathon Australian titles in 2015, the only person to hold both titles in the same year.
When asked what Kelly-ann’s most memorable racing moment she told us; “That would be the year I won Wings For Life, such a different style of racing. It’s hard to hold a pace when you have no idea how many kms you have to hold it for! Such an amazing race and experience”.
When not competing or training Kelly-ann is a running coach for UP Coaching which offers a range of training options for all runners.
We asked Kelly-ann what is her proudest coaching moment; “I have so many proud coaching moments, too many to say them all! An amazing coaching moment was when I was asked to pace a fellow runner to a sub 3:30 marathon. I just love the smile on the faces when they achieve something athletes thought was never achievable. I love my job because I can help and guide runners set goals and achieve things they never thought they could do.”
We finished by asking Kelly-ann how she was feeling about Comrades Marathon; “The race doesn’t start till the up hill finishes at 48km so I just need to get there feeling good, then bring it home. My goal is to finish feeling good as I want to race it next year! I’m scared and excited as 90km is a long way.”
We wish Kelly-ann all the best!
Kelly-ann & Tim Sempf – Physiotherapist
Photo courtesy of Sport & Spinal Physiotherapy Gungahlin
Kelly-ann Varey – Photo courtesy of Mel Sykes-Bridge