RACEWEAR fashionista Rebecca Lewis will step out in her husband Jarrod’s footsteps this weekend when she contests the Great Ocean Road Marathon.
After acting as the support crew for Jarrod along the 45.3-kilometre journey, there was a thought the 32-year-old couldn’t shake.
“Just watching him go off, I kept thinking ‘I could do this as well’,” she said.
“There are people of all shapes and sizes and all sorts of abilities.”
And so this weekend, rather than watching her husband at the start line, she will line up alongside him as she makes her debut in the ultra-marathon from Lorne to Apollo Bay.
“At this stage I’m excited and can’t wait to get into it but I’m sure the nerves will definitely kick in on Sunday morning,” Lewis said.
The marathon first-timer was pleased to have her husband Jarrod there for support this Sunday — at least in the early stages of the event.
“I think we’ll start out together but then we’ll just run our own race,” she said.
“He’ll probably be faster than me.
“This is the third time he’s done it.”
Lewis, who placed third in the Warrnambool May races fashions on the field contemporary ladies’ category last year, has averaged about 50 kilometres per week in the lead-up to the marathon and has based her training on a program found online.
“I want to try and get under four hours,” she said.
“But because I haven’t done one before and it’s a bit longer than a normal marathon, I’ll just have to wait and see.”
The south-west will be well represented at this weekend’s Great Ocean Road Marathon and Festival of Distance Running, with more than 60 competitors from the region set to hit the iconic road.
In total, a record 4340 entries have been received, a 22 per cent jump compared to last year.
Competitors will travel from all Australian states and territories, plus 12 overseas countries.
Other Warrnambool runners in the headline event’s field of 903 are Lisa Rhodes, Fiona Aulsebrook and Justin Harzmeyer.
Fellow south-west competitors who will test themselves in the marathon are Dion Gallagher, Brian Glover (Portland), Andrew Joosen (Port Fairy) and Kurt Schirmer (Colac).
Glover will maintain his perfect attendance rate, competing in all of the previous Great Ocean Road Marathons, as well as often doing either the 14km or six-kilometre event on the Saturday.
This year the 69-year-old has entered the six-kilometre and 45km events, with the latter to incredibly mark his 50th ultra-marathon, all of which he has walked.
The popular Great Ocean Road Half Marathon, from Kennett River to Apollo Bay, has attracted a staggering 2184 entries, with more than 20 south-west runners to cover the 23km course on Sunday.
The region will also be represented in the 14km Apollo Bay to Paradise run and the six-kilometre Apollo Bay to Marengo run.
The events, both on Saturday, have attracted 835 and 411 entries respectively.
Also on the schedule on Saturday is the 14km Wheelchair Challenge from Apollo Bay to Paradise and back, as well as the inaugural Kids’ Gallop, which will see youngsters cover a 1.5km course in Apollo Bay.
Entries for the Kids’ Gallop will be taken on the morning of the event in Apollo Bay, with all proceeds donated to the Apollo Bay Hospital in memory of marathon founder Les Noseda, who died last September.