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Aussie “marathon centurion’ to run Laguna Phuket



PHUKET: Completing one marathon is on the “to do” list for many people, but Australian Julia Thorn has gone more than 100 times better than most: she plans to complete her 115th at the Laguna Phuket International Marathon (LPIM) on June 12.

Not content with adding another notch to her belt, the-53-year old Melbourne mother of three has set herself the joint-jarring task of running 10 marathons in 10 consecutive weekends.

The Laguna Marathon is the fifth in her sequence.

“I expect this race to be the hardest as I will have to cope with the heat and sudden transition from running in the Australian winter,” said Thorn.

Tactics are very important not just for this event, but as preparation for the next five marathons on her schedule.

“I’ll be taking it easy. My aim is to enjoy the atmosphere rather than run a fast time. I ran this marathon in 2006 and it has been my slowest so far. I suffered with the heat and humidity, but I have wonderful memories of the scenic course and friendly support,” she recalls.

Thorn’s first marathon was at Rotorua in New Zealand 14 years ago. She fittingly returned there in May 2010 to gain her centurion title, the first Australian woman to receive the accolade.

Passion for Distance, the Story of my 100 Marathons, published earlier this year, is the inspirational account of Thorn’s transformation from non-runner to marathon veteran.

She has also participated in longer events, having run 30 ultra-marathons. She recently covered 152 kilometers during a 24-hour track race and has competed in several triathlons.

Debbie Dionysius, Laguna Phuket’s assistant vice president of destination marketing, is delighted to welcome this inspirational athlete to Phuket.

“Julia has a fascinating story to tell and she will be of great interest to all our participants. The day before the marathon [June 11], Julia is scheduled to give a presentation at the LPIM marquee on mental preparations required for marathon running, and she will also autograph copies of her book,” she said.

— Neil Quail


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