Just over a year ago Bec Mussared happily tagged along to the Clare Valley Running Festival, wrangling grandchildren while her daughter and son-in-law tackled runs.

She had seen them both train on their property and “it didn’t look very enjoyable”.

Earlier this month on Bec returned to the festival. This time she donned a bib and ran a “very slow” PB (personal best time) in the 5km event.

The catalyst 

Before starting running herself, Bec says she didn’t understand the appeal.

“I did try [running] once many years ago, but I really couldn’t get it together.

“I’d always heard that after a while, your endorphins kick in and it feels really great.

“That never happened for me when I first tried.”

Bec Mussared completing an event at the Clare Valley Running Festival earlier this year.(Supplied: Bec Mussared )

But watching her daughter at the start and finish line of that festival a year ago, Bec did see something appealing about running.

“I was just so amazed at how lovely and supportive everybody was, and … the different shapes and sizes of people that were running and the different ages.

“I just thought maybe if they can do that, I could give it another go and see.”

How Bec started her running journey

When she got home she googled ‘how to begin running’.

“I began slowly over short distances, running in secret in my jeans and [boots],” she says.

Bec ran slowly and purposefully every couple of days “for a few hundred metres and then walking for a minute or two”.

“It wasn’t always easy and I learnt that running is as much about your mind as your physical body.

“The first kilometre is often the hardest of all.”

After six weeks of running every other day, Bec was able to run 1km and began thinking this could be something she stuck with.

“I traded in my [boots] for a pair of trail-running shoes.

“At this point I became brave enough to tell my husband and kids. To say they were shocked is an understatement.”

However, they were very supportive.

Bec says her husband has mowed a running track through their property.

Her daughter and son-in-law share strategies with her and together they celebrate the personal wins and milestones that come with running.

Now, she says, “I just run and listen to my body. Some days are much slower than others, and that’s OK.”

Bec Mussared says she’s been inspired and helped along the way by her daughter and son-in-law.(Supplied: Bec Mussared )

‘I have more confidence’ 

Bec says she runs “first thing in the morning in all elements”.

“It’s a great way to start the day and to connect and ground yourself with the outside world.

“My kelpie joins me, and she immerses herself in the early morning scents and I immerse myself in the latest Conversation podcast.

“My mind feels so much clearer than before I ran.”

Bec says she can also play with her grandsons and jump on the trampoline with them in ways she couldn’t before.

“I have more energy and more confidence in my body and what it can do now.

“I’m 54 years old and still have to pinch myself that I’m a runner now.”

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