RUNNING along a traffic-free Great Ocean Road has motivated Colac’s Kerri Rooke to attempt a half marathon.
Rooke, 41, and friend Lauren Thresher will join thousands of competitiors from across Australia and overseas at this weekend’s Great Ocean Road Marathon.
An annual family holiday in Kennett River sparked Rooke’s interest in running her first 23.5 half marathon on Sunday.
“This is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Rooke said.
“We actually go down to Kennett River for a week every Christmas and I would get up at five in the morning to walk along the Great Ocean Road.
“I’ve had the opportunity for an hour each morning for a week which was always a highlight of the trip – to get up early and walk along the road before the traffic starts.”
Rooke and Thresher have been walking together for the past three years and have spent the past six months preparing for the testing half-marathon distance.
Rooke said she didn’t have a specific run time in mind but wanted to make running in the GORM festival an annual goal.
“In the last six months we’ve been jogging short distances but we’re not anticipating doing a great time,” she said.
“It’s more about participation and we’d like to do it again next year to better our time.
“We won’t be breaking the ribbon or anything like that but we’d like to see how fast we can do it and then do it again next year.”
The GORM festival includes four run’s this year: the Great Ocean Road Marathon, half marathon, the 14km Apollo Bay to Marengo run and the Kids Gallop.
Rooke said she was “not looking forward to an early morning start” but running along the iconic course would be exciting.
“Actually walking along the road is something I’m really looking forward to,” she said.
“The opportunity to walk along the road without the cars is just great.”