RUNNING marathons is not for the faint hearted. It takes a tremendous amount of grit and determination to keep yourself moving for long periods of time.
But 71 year old Vicki Thompson made the recent Melbourne Marathon look like a walk in the park as she completed her 20th run of the event in a respectable 6:22.47.
Hailing from The Gurdies, Vicki has been competing in marathons on and off for the past 35 years, running her first Melbourne Marathon in 1982.
Vicki has always had a passion for running despite not competing in her first marathon until her mid-30s.
Vicki credits her longevity in marathon running to hard work and maturity.
“I think maturity is a very good thing when running a marathon, young people often burst out of the gates and end up hitting the wall.”
Upon completing her 10th Melbourne Marathon Vicki became a member of the Melbourne Marathon Spartans, which is one of the Melbourne running community’s most sought after clubs.
Being a Spartan entitles Vicki to a permanent Melbourne Marathon race number, SF0010.
Vicki also has a collection of singlets marking her different milestone races with the green and blue version celebrating her 10th and 15th years competing in the Melbourne Marathon.
This year Vicki finally added the red 20 year singlet to her wardrobe which was a very proud achievement.
“I initially didn’t know about the red singlet until I attended the 25 year Melbourne Marathon celebration dinner and a lady mentioned it to me and I thought to myself, I’ve got to have one of those.
“There is a seven hour time limit for the race and surprisingly I have slowly improved my time as the years have gone on.”
It’s been a long journey to reach the 20 year milestone with full time work stopping Vicki from competing at various stages in her life, but now that it’s been completed, Vicki has her eyes firmly set on the future.
“I’ve reached my 20th Melbourne so why should I stop now. I’m still really enjoying my training and besides, what would I do on Sundays.”