Marathon centurion Julia Thorn – the first Australian woman to run 100 marathons – is set to chalk up marathon Number 115 when she returns to race in the Laguna Phuket International Marathon (LPIM) on 12 June.
The 53 year-old from Melbourne has completed more marathons than any other Australian woman during a 14-year history of running marathons around the world, from outback Australia to the streets of New York, from the Californian coast to Norwegian forests and at Laguna Phuket in 2006.
As an original non-runner, Julia’s first marathon was a tough challenge. But her love of distance running soon grew and gradually she notched up more and more marathons, culminating in her 100th at Rotorua, New Zealand – also the location of her very first marathon – in May 2010.
Reaching this milestone inspired Julia to tell the story of her transition from non-runner to marathon centurion.
The result is her book “Passion for Distance, the Story of my 100 Marathons” published earlier this year by Melbourne Books and telling a truly inspiring story.
On Saturday 11 June, the day before the LPIM, 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.
This year’s LPIM will be marathon number 115 for Julia and it also forms part of a new challenge, where she is running 10 marathons on 10 consecutive weekends.
“I expect this race, the fifth in the sequence, to be the hardest of the 10 as I will have to cope with the heat and sudden transition from running in the Australian winter,” said Julia.
“I’ll be taking it as easy and my aim is to enjoy the atmosphere rather than run a fast time. I previously 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 the friendly support.”
Debbie Dionysius, Laguna Phuket’s assistant vice president of Destination Marketing, said: “We’re delighted to welcome this inspirational athlete to our event. Julia has a fascinating story to tell and she will be of great interest to all our participants.”
In addition to running marathons Julia also participates in longer events and has run 30 ultra marathons, including recently running 152 kilometres during a 24-hour track race. She has also dabbled in triathlons.
Julia is a freelance writer who contributes to several sports magazines and has written seven books on running, cycling and walking. She has three teenage children and a husband who has run four marathons.
To register for the 42 km marathon, 21 km half marathon, 10 km run, 91.5 FM Phuket 5 km Community Walk or 2 km Kids’ Run visit: www.phuketmarathon.com.