As most of you know from all my sweaty Instagram pics and general bleating on about it, I am training to run my first half marathon in July. The thing I’ve always struggled with about running is the solitary nature of it. The only other person I know who runs is Husby, and he is incredibly fast, incredibly fit, and has never suffered a moment of self-doubt in his life.
Me, on the other hand, I struggle with fitness and confidence and whether or not I can actually do this thing. But last year I discovered a fantastic group of women on Facebook called Running Mums Australia (now also a very cool blog)– a network of mums of all fitness levels who (you guessed it!) love to run. The support, knowledge and encouragement I have received from these amazing women has been out of this world and I have no doubt that there have been times I would have given up had it not been for the community I have found in this group.
Nicole Bunyon is the lady with the brains behind RMA – and she was kind enough to have a bit of a chat with me.
Tell us about your running journey so far. How did you come to start Running Mums Australia?
I began Running Mums Australia after I had run my first marathon in Sydney in October 2013 . I wanted a space where I could connect with other runners that were also mums as I felt that running was something that none of my friends or family were interested in hearing about. I envisaged a place where anything running could be shared, and relationships formed and where I could encourage people just starting out or learn from runners more experienced than myself. I had no idea how successful it would be. It is simply amazing and I am very humbled.
What do you love about it? What has surprised you?
I love so much about RMA. I love the women that have enriched the space. It has become an amazing place to share and connect. It is so awesome to watch these fantastic friendships form all over Australia with women who run that have connected, often out of isolation and having no running friends. The network is so special and everyone is so encouraging and there is no hostility or competitiveness at all. Everyone encourages everyone, from a mum just starting out on her first 5k to a mum who is about to compete in a marathon or even an ultra. It has grown and grown and the most surprising thing to me is that every day there is more and more amazing running mums from all over our country who are hearing about us and have taken the time to join us and connect. I can’t wait to see where it can all go.
What do you do for work – and what is your life like outside of running?
For my ‘real job’ apart from RMA, which has taken on a major part of my life, I am a Learning Support Officer in my local catholic school. I work three days a week with children with special needs. I also have a supportive husband and three gorgeous children who are 12, 10 and 8. Outside running I love catching up with friends over a coffee, bushwalking, crocheting or making things and eating or cooking yummy food.
What is your vision for RMA?
My vision for RMA is that it becomes a wider version of what it already is. I hope that one day it will attract a lot of brands who want to support our vision of encouraging and equipping mums to run and reach their running dreams. I hope for more and more opportunities for mums to connect and network at running events and I even hope that we can organise some overseas running trips! I really want RMA to be able to give back to our communities using our network and our amazing passion for running that we all possess.
What do you do to take time out for yourself?
Time for myself is generally taken out running at the moment, but every now and then I like a nice bath or to catch a coffee or a movie with a friend. A little bit of a shopping trip is also on my list of favourite things to do!
Are you a fan of champagne? Do you have a favourite champagne memory?
I do love champagne. And I enjoy a glass quite frequently. My favourite champagne memory would be on my wedding night when I was in the limo on our way back to the hotel and we opened the bottle of champagne after perhaps having a prior few glasses at the reception and I managed to spill it all over the hire car seat! Oops!
Nicole Bunyon is a Sydney wife and mum of three children. She is the founder of Running Mums Australia, an online network for Aussie running mums. Nicole is a marathoner, and is currently training for her second marathon in July 2014. In her spare time when she is not working on RMA she is working as a Learning Support Officer and enjoys coffee and crochet.