Dani McLaren - Beyond The Medal Ambassador - Victoria
My name is Dani McLaren I got back into running late 2014 after 6 years off following the birth of my daughter and then a full knee reconstruction.
I was dealing with a very stressful situation in my life when I came across the Bravehearts 777 Marathons Challenge.
Bravehearts is a cause close to my heart and as a mum and teacher I wanted to raise awareness and money to help reduce sexual assault in our community. Without really thinking the enormity of the challenge I signed up.
20kg heavier than when I previously completed marathons and half ironmans 10 years earlier I could barely run 200m without stopping. Knowing I was running to make a difference to the lives of so many children I was motivated to keep running. Over the 6 months of training I built up my strength and fitness. I was running 5-6 days a week, sometimes twice a day, up to 110km with my longest training week 160km. I went from no running to running multiple marathons in 6 months, so anything is possible. Don't be affraid to dream big as if you work hard you will achieve anything.
A special and memorable running moment would be completing the 777 marathons challenge for Bravehearts. In July I was one of 10 to run 7 marathons (42.2k) in 7 consecutive days in 7 states to make a stand against child sexual assault. Over the seven days, I ran the marathon distance in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart, Canberra, Kingscliff and the Gold Coast with recovery being in transit.
I absolutely loved the 777 journey and I'm looking forward to doing it all again this June (2016). Knowing that each step I took was to help protect and empower our kids motivated me to keep going each day. I ran for the victims and survivors and to raise awareness of Bravehearts. I also raised over $11,000 which provided counselling sessions to children who had been abused.
I love running for a cause, this inspires and motivates me to keep going and to continually challenge myself.
Since the 777 challenge I have completed a half marathon, 4 marathons (I completed 12 marathons in 9 months), a100km ultra event, a 20km trail in the Grampians and the 28km Two Bays trail run. I love getting out running and inspiring others to reach their goals.
I love setting an example to everyone around me - I believe "if your goal doesn't scare you it's not big enough", "if you can dream it you can do it" and "dream, believe, achieve".
Maroondah Dam Marathon, Great Ocean Rd Marathon, Bravehearts 777 (7 marathons in 7 consecutive days in 7 states, Wonderland 36km Trail Surfcoast 100km, Melbourne Marathon, You Yangs NYE trail marathon
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