MARATHON runner Dale Murray is preparing to run his second marathon in as many months when he heads to Brisbane to take on the 42.2 kilometre course.
After tackling the Gold Coast marathon last month, Murray is in the final stages of readying himself for Sunday’s race north of the border.
Marathon runners spend months conditioning their minds and bodies to face the task of completing a course and facing such a quick turnaround between races is a tough test but Murray said he is up for it.
"I have only had five weeks between the Gold Coast and Brisbane this weekend so it is the first challenge for me, doing two marathons in quick succession of each other,” he said.
"Again in six weeks time I will be doing the Sydney marathon so it is a challenge for me but I am feeling really good.
"I am really confident about Sunday that I will do well.”
Murray ran his first marathon in 2003 and covers hundreds of kilometres to keep his body prepared for each venture.
He said training can be tough at times but he loves the sport and have the opportunity to see some spectacular scenery along the way.
"I enjoy running around the streets of Armidale,” he said.
"Over the last couple of years since I have lived in Armidale I have covered thousands of kilometres running around the south side.
"I get up early, sometimes as early as 4.30am to run in sub zero temperatures by myself, in the dark.
"It has been a real challenge again this winter, running, because it has been cold, it has been windy.
"[But] it is great, I really do enjoy it.”
Murray said the toughest challenge is not just being physically prepared but having your mind in the right place to finish the race is an important factor.
"It is a real achievement to run a marathon because I think that is the pinnacle of running,” he said.
"It is not only a physical event, it is a real mental event because your brain is telling you that it wants to stop and walk but you know you have to keep going.”
Two years ago, Murray’s passion for running led to the introduction of worldwide running event Parkrun to Armidale.
He said the event attracted many people to the sport he loves and encourages anyone to step up to the task of marathon running.
"If there is any other marathon runners in Armidale, I would like to get in touch with them because it does get lonely running by yourself,” he said.
"Even if someone wants to step up to do a marathon race and they want some guidance, I am really happy to help people in that regard.”
Murray can be contacted via the Armidale Parkrun Facebook page.
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