You won't find them on the cover of Runners World, (although one may feature in Gardening Australia) or standing upon a dias. They WILL keep you safe day and night and when you're struggling at 30k in that marathon no doubt she'll come to the rescue, and the morning after that marathon she'll put you back together and ready you of the next one.
They sound pretty special and they certainly are. Taking into account they've played a part in so many runners journeys, you simply couldn't put a figure on the amount of kilometres they've helped others run, or the number of medals they've helped hang proudly around the neck of a runner post race. You could have stood next to them on a start line or most probably in the same port-a-loo line (oh those lines!) and had no idea the positive impact they've made on so many.
I chatted to these 4 champion women about; How they got started in the running community and Why. We chat about their personal goals and what they love so much about YOU the runners. We also find out that 80s music is the go to for a tough run!
So lets meet in no particular order;
Laura Hill, Physiotherpaist, iMOVE Physio
Sarah Lovison, Jill Of All Trades, Glimmer Gear Australia
Jacqui Nolan-Neylan, Co-Founder, Revvies Energy Strips Ltd
Lisa Heggie, Co-Owner, Kinesys Performance Sunscreen
Who are they and What do they do? A nice place to start...
Laura Hill, is a Physio to humans and plants (it seems). After having a coffee post uni days with a couple of random guys - cue the owners of iMOVE Mic and Dan and ever since the plants at iMOVE have never looked greener! Laura specialise in Women's health physiotherapy and running, and can often be found pounding the pavement at her local 440 Runclub in or around the Bay in the Inner West of Sydney.
Sarah Lovison, what a freakin ball of energy! At many a running expo I'll often hear the enthusiastic and friendly, "Hi Damon" and guaranteed that'll be Sarah in the Glimmer Gear Australia stand - usually with something glowing or blinking attached to her.
Jacqui Nolan-Neylan, I'm sure when we first met, Jac would have laughed if I said that one day she would become a runner... Now she's unstoppable! And between you and I - Jac holds all the running records in the Revvies household - sorry John...
Lisa Heggie, Passion is what springs to mind when chatting to Lisa and being the co-owner of a Sunscreen company in this harsh climate of ours, when you ask about her Why... the answer is community and safety.
What makes these ladies so special, no, lets make that more special! Like most inspiring and quality humans when you ask about their biggest or proudest achievement the answer turns to something or someone other than themselves. I asked Sarah what she loved most about the running community, "The people hands down! And their achievements - I love that I get to help them do this in some way and any advice or pieces of information I can share with them makes my heart happy. I LOVE educating, talking, brainstorming and problem solving".
The running community is a special one and I asked the ladies to describe what it meant to them in 5 words.
Jacqui pictured here with the legends from Boobs on The Run.
Passion, support, inspiration, camaraderie and perseverance.
Supportive, inspiring, healthy, focused, inclusive.
Our resident Physio with the Green Thumb Laura says no doubt it's,
Team, family, sweaty, Hi 5s, motivating.
It came as no surprise that the ball of energy Sarah replied, Sweaty, Awesome, Crazy, Supportive, Cheersquad.
Living and loving the running community life is not a 9-5 office job and having kids, partners and wanting a little of your own time to get out and run can be a real challenge. I think these 4 champs would be the first to admit they aren't natural runners and didn't grow up in a pair of spikes or racing flats, so how did they get started.
Jacqui is married to John with two kids, a boy and girl and lives in the Sutherland Shire, Sydney. Who'd have thought a husband being forgetful would be the start of something special like Revvies.. Jacqui says it all started out in London.. "The idea came about because we lived and worked in London and tried to fit in gym and running at lunchtimes.
My husband John would often forget to have his coffee in time and came up with a crazy idea of caffeine on a dissolving mouth strip so you can have it anytime, anywhere without fuss. After 2 years of research and development we launched Revvies".
I sat down with John in a cafe in Sutherland many years ago and chatted about Revvies and how the product could help anyone from the recreational runner to the Olympian, from the Crossfitter to the office worker. You'll now find a Revvies strip (which has just been launched in a 100mg strip) under the tongue of Aussie Olympians such as Eloise Wellings (middle & distance runner) and Lisa Weightman (marathon). Revvies work with over 40 professional sports teams in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. So the lesson learnt here is of course, being a forgetful husband does have it's positive doesn't it...
Nobody knows the women's body better than a women - so when it comes to looking after your body through your running journey especially if your journey has just started post kids, there's a few things you won't find splashed all over Instagram or Facebook - Laura is a Physio, Yes, but with the added bonus of having an interest and specialising in Womens Health Physiotherapy.
Laura treats and educates runners and physically active ladies in general, with a focus on womens care for example "Women and Incontinence"and "The Pelvic Floor". 1 in 3 women will experience incontinence. I'll let Laura the expert tell you more about it, so I encourage all women to give it a listen. I asked Laura what advice she'd give to all runners to help them in 2020. They're simple but oh so effective! Thanks Laura!
1. commit before you quit 2. grab a friend (its way more fun) 3. Just put one foot in front of the other :)
It's interesting when you ask a recreational runner or weekend warrior about times or personal bests. You'll often get the reply, "Oh I'm not very fast". My reply to this is, compared to whom... the person sitting next to you on the train or bus that would probably struggle to run around their own block, or your fellow runner/walker at parkrun. Anybody that puts a toe on the start line is brave and special - no matter what the stopwatch says when crossing the finish line. I asked Lisa the Co-Owner of Kinesys about her favourite parkrun and parkrun pb and the reply,"On the slower side of the ParkRun "Average"at Broadbeach Waters, QLD -
Lisa may think of herself as the average park runner but when you talk to Lisa about her brand and protecting people from Cancer and the damage the sun can cause on anyone from kids to adults especially while being active outdoors, she cares, and I know that from a personal experience.
You see my mum, Kerry, 75 this year and a very regular runner had a cancer scare and it was around the time that I'd met Lisa, so I was keen to learn more about Kinesys and how together we could help spread the word on sun protection for runners. Not only has Lisa helped spread the word on sun protection amongst the active community and continues to do so, she made a point of following up with me on how mum was doing regularly, and to me having a brand owner being so passionate about seeing such scares and deaths caused by sun damage be reduced, makes her more than just average. Thank You Lisa. My mum is all clear and back running x
Goals, we all have them and the Fab Four are no different, so what's 2020 looking like for them; Let's hear from Laura who having run a marathon in 2019 is keen to build on it after a trip to Hong Kong; "I want dive more into some trail running this year. Got a taste for it in Hong Kong and I am keen to get off the roads for a bit. Will be looking to do some of the Sydney Trail Series :) " - Give her a wave if you see her out there!
Staying on the Trail theme is Lisa who's walking 60km CoastTrek with 3 girlfriends in March.
Jac loves the roads and so much so after smashing her first marathon in 2019 is backing up with no.2 in 2020. She's not too sure about which one just yet so if you see her on your running travels perhaps you could give her a couple of suggestions. She secretly loves hills
by the way (-;
Sarah is all about SPEED in 2020 or "Turbo" as she puts it. Sarah, we suggest chatting to Jacqui about some Revvies samples - they'll get you changing gears quick smart!
Shoes.. women are often talked about when it comes to shoe selections - when we chatted shoes it was Running Shoes of course! So how many pairs on rotation and what are your favourite pair?
Take it away Jac;
"4! Two Asics, a Brooks and Topo. My favourite are the Brooks as they are the only ones I was actually fit properly for by Todd at the Running Company".
Now Laura really needs to take a leaf out of Jacqui's book - " sooooooo I'm a stitch up and I actually only have one pair (I know a lot of runners out there just died). New Balance rebel is my current fave. Maybe I should make it a 2020 goal to invest in more shoes? haha".
This is more like it from Lisa we think and no doubt the shoes will get a great workout prepping for that 60k Trek in March, "3, including a new pair of Salomon SpeedCross 5 which I'm getting used to on the trails".
Last but not least we've got Sarah and when anyone is telling you about their running shoe collection mentions "I think" you can usually add 2 more pairs to the number they actually tell you. So Sarah tell us, "2 pairs of road shoes on rotation and I think 3 pairs of trail.... I think and I am too scared to actually go and look - Lol!" She never did get back to me.. hmmm....
I've only scratched the surface when it comes to what drives and motivates these champion women and just how much they adore the running community. Rest assured when you see them out and about, be it at a running expo or start line - tap them on the shoulder and say "Hi". They love a chat and love what they do, especially when it comes to helping YOU - the running community.
Let's finish by letting them tell you the answer to this question I put to them;
You're on a looooonnnggg run, you've got a big race coming up in 3-4 weeks. You must finish the run but the mental demons are wining the battle... What song and by who will get you home;
Breathe - The Prodigy Cows with Guns - Dana Lyons 'Till I Collapse - Eminem The Heart Is a Muscle - Gang of Youths
Matchbox Twenty - How Far We've Come
Ohhhhh its tough! I have two which are on opposite ends of the spectrum:
1. We didn't start the fire - Billy Joel.
2. All I do is win - DJ Khaled.
Ahhh tough question there are so many!
But going to choose Dog Days are over by Florence and the Machine.
Thanks so much Lisa, Jacqui, Laura and Sarah for taking the time to chat. We wish you as individuals along with your businesses and passions all the very best for 2020.
Please support these wonderful ladies by following their journeys and checking out a little more about what they're up to;
Laura Hill - Insta @physiohilly @imovephysiotherapy www.imovephysio.com.au
Lisa Heggie - Insta @kinesysactive www.kinesysactive.com.au
Jacqui Nolan-Neylan Insta @revviesenergy www.reviesenergy.com
Sarah Lovison Insta @glimmergearaus www.glimmergearaus.com.au