Seven Years of Running

Running race medals

Some of my race finisher medals

This morning I ran the 2015 Fremantle Half Marathon, my final stand-alone running race for the foreseeable future.

Excluding Little Athletics in childhood, I only started running in June 2008. After struggling at first, running became easier with practise. Looking back, I’m surprised at how fast I improved. In September 2008 I finished my first big event, the 12 km City to Bay in 1:01:13, just over 5 minutes per kilometre.

Almost from the beginning, my main aim was to complete the 2010 Istanbul Marathon. The race was a great excuse to return to Turkey, a country I had lived in for six years. I completed two marathons: Istanbul and the preceding 2010 Perth Marathon.

Aya Sophia after the Istanbul MarathonAya Sophia after the Istanbul Marathon

Standing in front of Hagia Sophia after finishing the 2010 Istanbul Marathon

Training for a marathon (42.2 km) requires major dedication and lifestyle changes, something, after the Istanbul Marathon, I was not prepared to repeat. Half marathons are far more manageable and the City to Surf, Perth and Fremantle half marathons were my primary running goals most years.

2014 City to Surf Half Marathon Start

At the start of the 2014 City to Surf Half Marathon

I had intended to finish running following the 2010 Istanbul Marathon but I found the activity too enjoyable and a great way to stay fit.

As much as I would love to bring my running gear to South America in November, I will be travelling very light so extra shoes, clothes and equipment won’t pass the grade.

No doubt I will run races again but when that will be I cannot tell.

2014 Swan River Run

The look of determination near the end of the 2014 Swan River Run 14 km – no onesie-wearer was going to beat me!

PS: I had fun this morning at my final stand-alone race but it was not a personal best. I ‘hit the wall’ and walked most of the last 5 km, finishing in 2:01:00. Running 17 km two days earlier and a warm, sunny second half no doubt contributed to this performance.

Startup Weekend Perth

I have just returned home inspired from witnessing the culmination of 48 hours of creativity, teamwork and action at Spacecubed. Tonight was the final evening of Startup Weekend Perth. Tonight, teams formed only 48 hours earlier pitched their weekend creations.

As an Observer, I could attend the opening and closing pitches and presentations.

It is amazing to think that Friday night all of the applications and businesses were only ideas at most and the team members who collaborated on them were yet to even meet. On Friday, concept validation was promoted as by far the most important factor for the startup businesses and by tonight most startups had already received orders or gained clients!

The winning startup was EasyOT, an application that helps occupational therapists manage their client relationships. This has huge potential, not only for occupational therapists but for many other health and non-health applications. On Friday evening I was lucky enough to chat with Lain, the idea originator, and I was stoked when her team won.

Another startup, worked on by former colleague Karlo, matched personal trainers to customers. Other startups included:

Walk On By – an app that helps one save towards a goal by encouraging people to walk on by and not give in to temptation to make unnecessary purchases

Textie – crowd-sourced responses to anonymous text messages (check out the website)

Equipd – recreational experience and equipment rental

Happy Quokka – quokka selfie sticks and tshirts

Open Oceans – categorising marine images via a fun children’s game

Pitches for Stitches – an alternative to the boring corporate icebreaker activity

Wow! Seeing what can be achieved in a weekend was fantastic and I recommend that anyone with any entrepreneurial thoughts attend their nearest startup weekend.