Running for Myasthenia Gravis

The wonderful Libby from our Reservations Team has set herself a challenge to run the Queenstown Marathon, that’s a whopping 42.2km!! This isn’t just any challenge, she’s running to raise funds for Myasthenia Gravis, a cause very close to her heart – and we couldn’t be more proud of her! If Libby’s story has touched your heart, as it has to many of ours, you can find her Give a Little page here

How has your marathon challenge come about?

My daughter Sacha was officially diagnosed with a Myasthenia Gravis in January this year. It was upsetting for me being so far away. I couldn’t go and see her so I decided I would do something impossible to show her my love – and that was to run a marathon!

What training are you doing to ensure you complete the Queenstown marathon?

I am running 4 times a week – 5, 7, 9 km runs and then once a week a longer one – up to 20km. When I decided to run the marathon I was lucky if I could run 3km! I also go to Zumba on Monday and swimming on other free days. I cycle to work occasionally. My diet is a very important part of the training process, especially cutting back on the old booze :-)

Running for MG - Blog

What is keeping you motivated during your training?

Sacha my beautiful daughter and also my adorable son Tom – he thinks it’s amazing. I also have a large support network; including my awesome WW group, my lovely hubby Geoff and everyone at work! The MGNZ support group provided me with wonderful t-shirts and a running top, so I became committed. Now I have launched my Give a Little page and the donations are rolling in, it really helps me keep going even when my legs are saying – stop now! I also have a photo of the finish line of the Queenstown Marathon at home so I can visualise me getting to the end!

Queenstown marathon

Image Credit: Queenstown Marathon

What is Myasthenia Gravis and what support is out there for people who are affected by this autoimmune disease?

Myasthenia Gravis is a autoimmune disease which affects the muscles, people have a chemical imbalance between the nerve endings and muscles. Myasthenia Gravis can come in waves which causes people to have relapses – 1 in 100,000 kiwis may suffer from MG. The people in the MGNZ support group are amazing, very caring and happy to share all their knowledge and advice. They desperately need funding which is why I decided to raise money for them.

Do you have any advice for people who are thinking of tackling a marathon?

Attitude and self belief – Anyone can do it if they put their mind to it! To keep on track with your training make sure you get good sleep and plan your training, that means ensure you have good shoes and socks, comfortable clothing and eat a balanced healthy diet (that means go easy on the booze!). During training you should always listen to your body, never push too hard and always look after yourself – lots of self-love, hot baths, massages, and relaxation after longer runs. Never compare your speed or fitness to anyone else, this is about your own dreams and aspirations.

Self belief is the biggest one, never give up and smile when you run – it makes the world of difference!