Runners from far and wide have been sitting on their hands waiting for an announcement about Melbourne Marathon. Unsure of what to do with their training - whether to pull back or soldier on. 

Jess Kelly on the other hand thought, fuck it, and went out and ran her first marathon last Sunday. Oh yeah, she’s only been running for 3 months as well. We love that shit. 

Tell us about yourself:
I’m a primary school teacher, originally from Bendigo but now based in Melbourne. I’ve spent the last five years travelling South America and working in London and China. It’s good to be back home in Oz, I’ve missed the fam, weather and lifestyle!

How and when did you start running?
Over the years I’ve casually been for a few runs on and off, but it wasn’t until three months ago that I started to take it more seriously.

During the recent June lockdown, I was going a little stir crazy and went out for a jog, but the legs felt good so I ended up doing 16k. Since then I’ve been pushing myself to see how far and how hard I can go. Completed my first half marathon around Albert Lake in July and haven’t stopped amping up the mileage since!

Which led to you running a marathon on Sunday, what the?
I’d originally planned to do the Melbourne Marathon in October and had been training for the past 5 weeks leading up to it. However, since it’s likely cancelled, I joined my friend who said he was going to do one this past weekend. Previous to this, my longest was 30k so I kept it pretty slow and steady for most of it. 

I felt pretty solid and didn’t hit the wall like I expected to. I’m pumped to improve my time and try out a different route!

What’d you do post marathon? 
After a shower I got myself set up in bed with a bahn mi, deep heat and a vanilla coke.

You obviously love it?
I love how the longer kms are all a mental game and the huge satisfaction you get when you smash a PB! But I also love a good hard and fast run around the Tan.

How important has running been to you throughout COVID this year?
It’s actually been a God send. It’s been incredibly helpful to have something to work towards and focus on every day. These days when a lockdown gets announced, I actually think, ‘Oh at least I’ll be able to run for as long as I want everyday.’

Your local routes?
Since moving to Richmond this year, I’m obsessed with The Tan and Yarra River. It’s a beautiful part of Melbourne. 

What’s next for you? 
To be honest I’ve been pretty obsessed the past three months and I don’t see any sign of slowing down. Maybe next time I’ll stop at 50km?

And become a full running nerd?
Hell yeah, sign me up!

Favourite beer?
Stone and Wood Pale Ale

From ERNIOLD to Jess, cheers.