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CFR Testimonials

The 2013 CFR was held at Kernot Hall in Morwell and attracted a great crowd.   It was a great success.  Check out a 2 minute video of the event Traralgon Harriers Latrobe City Community Fun Run 2013. One of the people who participated was Leigh Albon.

Leigh Albon’s Reasons for Running

It was mid 2011 and Leigh Albon was told by his doctor, and not for the first time, that he needed to do something about his health.   He had what seemed to be Sleep Apnoea and this was causing his extremely high blood pressure.  He was given two choices, to lose weight or start treatment such as sleeping with a breathing pump.

Leigh says, “when you’re only 32 and hear this you really have to come to your senses and do something proactive, so I decided to do something about it.”

Over the next 18 months, from mid-2011 to the end of 2012, he stuck to a strict diet that worked, but says it was not enjoyable at all.  “At my heaviest I was almost 120kg.  During that 18 month period I had no alcohol at all, as little carbohydrates as possible, and no sugar.  I wanted a change.”  Leigh says it worked well because  he reduced his weight to 100kg, but was not fit.

“I didn’t feel as good as I thought I should after losing 20kg.  I was not doing any exercise at all and I was extremely bored with the diet and thought exercise might help with how I felt.  I started walking around the bush tracks near my home in Hazelwood South with the idea of easing off my diet a little if I was exercising.”

“On one of the walks I felt full of energy, so decided to jog for a while.”  But Leigh was hesitant because he had previously had problems with shin splints and muscle tears when playing ball sports.  After jogging for a minute, he went back to a walk and felt ok, so jogged a few more times.  One day on his usual 45 minute walk, he realised he had finished the walk/jog in 40 minutes.  Leigh said, “The next time I did the walk, I jogged more and the time dropped again.  Over the next few weeks I realised I had started enjoying the challenge of jogging more and more on each walk so I started looking for longer tracks.”

Leigh was enjoying the exercise, so he bought some compression shorts and some new shoes.  It was February 2013 and he finally took the advice of a mate, Nick Schilling, who said people can try a couple of runs with the Harriers before becoming a member.  Leigh went to the Community Fun Run, and soon after to a Traralgon Harriers Thursday night run.    Pictured:  Leigh running at the Newborough Track recentlyleigh-albon-09012014-t-web

Leigh says he remembers well his first run, “I jogged half and walked half and I think I finished last even though I started before everyone else, but I still enjoyed it enough to come back the next week.  It is amazing how much quicker you run 5km when you have people around you giving you encouragement compared to when you are running alone, especially when you are just starting out.”

Leigh says, he loved the Community Fun Run in 2013, it was the first time that he had run with that many people and found that the competition and group energy helped him run more of the 5km distance than he had before.   Leigh says, “After that I started saying to people that I was going for a run, rather than going for a jog.  It’s a very good feeling for someone who, not long before then, was 20kg heavier and very unfit and unhealthy.”

Since the CFR in 2013, Leigh has competed in several running events including longer runs like the 10km event as part of the Traralgon Marathon in June 2013.  Leigh says he can’t wait for the Community Fun Run on 2 March 2014 and a few other runs this year.  He plans to run the 15km Run for the Kids in Melbourne in April and The Age Run Melbourne half marathon in July.   

Leigh says, “If I had not gone to the CFR in 2013 and joined the Traralgon Harriers, I may not have persisted with my running and would be much worse off.  Physical health and fitness has improved many parts of my life including self-esteem, confidence and overall happiness, but nothing beats hearing a person say, Wow! You look great!”