Cover Girl Interview

IMG_2727A couple of weeks back I opened the December issue of Runner’s World (Au & NZ) to see a photo taken in Fremantle six months ago at the launch of On My Feet•. I was in the photo, ergo I was in Runner’s World. It’s a tenuous claim to fame but I’ll take it. It was a tad ironic that this happened just a few days after I had my major falling out with running. Really I only opened the magazine in the airport newsagents because I was bored, and I’m too old and cynical to be lured by women’s glossies hollering at me on how to change my life – FOR THE BETTER! Instead, I wondered if I my running malaise extended to articles on post-run snacks and classic running mistakes (& how to avoid them). It did, it turns out.

So I posted a photo of the magazine feature and cover on Instagram. The model featured on the front – her name is Joyce – contacted me asking if I could send her a photograph of the cover. I couldn’t resist asking Joyce how she ended up on the cover. I know a lot of runners, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never come in contact, even virtual contact, with any that look like her. I was curious if she actually was a runner or if genetics had bestowed her with the appearance of the idealised runner’s body, as opposed to the real thing. Here’s my email interview with Joyce who is Dutch and in her twenties.

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Joyce’s Runner’s World cover.

ER: Do you actually run?

Joyce: In my free time I run once or twice a week. I like to run short distances. So I don’t run more then 10km. Besides that, I keep my body strong with power training.

ER: How long have you been modelling?

Joyce: I started modelling when I was 19. My first shoot was a campaign for the sport brand Asics. The following year, I did some other shoots for a sport brand in Holland (Perry Sport). After that I didn’t do so much modelling because I was studying sport education for four years which allowed me to improve at many sports. Every year while studying, I did my internship as a sports teacher at different schools. So as you can hear, I am a sporty person.

When I finished my studies, which was in 2013, I started modelling full time. I travelled to many places e.g. Barcelona, Milan, Athens, Paris, London, Miami and Cape Town.

ER: How did you end up on the cover of Runner’s World Australia & New Zealand?

Joyce: I did the shoot for Runner’s World magazine in Cape Town. I worked a half day with a great team. They save all the pictures of me and the other models for one year during which the Runner’s World magazines worldwide can decide which pictures they want to use. So I guess Australia liked my picture, haha:)

It was such a great pleasure to work for Runner’s World, one of the best experiences til now!:)

So there you go. It sounds like Joyce actually does work out a lot. And even more impressively, she wears her claim to fame lightly. Unlike other people who only managed to get their mug in a group shot on page 18 but think it’s worth blogging about. Some people!

On My Fee is a voluntary organisation that aims to use running to help the homeless and long-term unemployed build self esteem and create pathways to training and employment. I manage On My Feet’s social media accounts so you can boost my self-esteem by clicking like on the On My Feet Facebook page and following us on Twitter  @OnMyFeetAus and Instagram @OnMyFeetAu. Thank you:)

View from the Finish Chute

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WAMC Club Rooms, Burswood, WA.

Yesterday evening I went to my first race event of 2015, not as a runner, but as a volunteer. Taking out family membership of the West Australian Marathon Club (WAMC) in Spring 2014, several months before we left Kuala Lumpur, smacked of good intentions but in reality setting up a new life got in the way of actually participating in any (bar one, on my own) event. I rejoined without the family for 2015 and one of the conditions of membership was volunteering for at least two club race events this year. The Burswood 5km Twilight Run seemed like a good option as it was an evening race and only 25 minutes from home at the WAMC’s club rooms.

It was nice to ‘rock up’ – that’s Australian for turn up by the way – without the usual pre-race nerves. Just the other kind of ‘I hope I don’t mess up’ nerves. Collecting money from non-registered non-member entrants was easy – there were only 16. My other job was to call out the number of each runner as they crossed the finish line and indicate if they were female. My fellow volunteer – now my Facebook friend who I plan to meet at a race next weekend – did a great job of noting down the numbers on the results list.

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And they’re off! The start of the Burswood Twilight 5km Race.

I think race finish lines must be some of the happiest places on earth, even if happiness comes in the form of tears of relief and vomiting. For the record there was no actual puking last night, but one lady was on the verge of retching. The majority of runners – there were 173 – wore WAMC club bibs which are made of fabric and pinned on the front of the torso. They are the kind of bibs that, if only pinned on with two pins, blow in the wind or fold over. I had to ask a few men to unfurl their low hanging bibs as I didn’t want to touch their bits. Thankfully I didn’t declare any men as females nor vica versa even though there were a couple of people, including kids, whose gender wasn’t clear until I got a close-up in the chute. It’s a short hair thing. Age-wise, runners ranged from around 6 or 7 to upper-80s. Most of the kids ran faster than I would have. Sigh.

Pencil at the ready....
Pencil at the ready….
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The finisher chute wasn’t empty for long.

All in all it was a lot of fun to greet finishers, and congratulate them on a job well done. It was also a real eye-opener into how fast runners are here.

Last night’s winner was Gerard Hill with a time of 16:21 in hot windy conditions. That’s 3:16 minutes per kilometre. The fastest lady, 22-year-old Hannah Castle, took a mere 18:41 minutes to complete the 5km (3:44 minute kilometres). I don’t think I could move that fast on a bike! Speaking of wheels, the fourth man across the line ran 17:06 – pushing a large toddler in a stroller. These elite runners made running look effortless. The winner popped over the line looking as if he’d been for an easy jog. Really, every person who ran last night was a winner, though only the top 3 finishers of each gender got medals. Even the lady who, on finishing, declared her run a personal worst was a winner in my eyes. At least she went out there and made an effort, which is more than most people (including me) did on a sunny Sunday evening.

So, it has only taken six months, but finally I think I’m doing as planned – using running to meet people. And last night, I didn’t even have to get all worked up with worry over running. I might be on to something…

Race results:

WAMC Burswood Twilight 5km

Sun going down over the Swan River at the WAMC rooms in Burswood.
Sun going down over the Swan River at the WAMC rooms in Burswood.