As the Medibank Melbourne Marathon Festival’s presenting sponsor, Channel Nine is often asked to provide a few identities that will run one of the five events at the Festival.
Nine News Melbourne’s sport presenter Tony Jones regularly puts his hand up, but this year there was a bit of a shock when Postcards presenter and mum Brodie Harper volunteered for the 42km.
“Publicity said, ‘hey Brodie, will you do the 5km or the 10km?’ and I think they were taken aback when I told them to put me down for the marathon,’ Harper said.
“Every year it’s been a case of I’ll do the marathon one day, but I just felt it was time that I laid it all on the line. I’m fairly fit and my husband’s a personal trainer and he’s written a program for me to follow, so we’ll see how it goes.”
In fact Brodie’s husband, Heath Meldrum, has recently completed his own version of a marathon– covering 52km in a stand-up paddle board race in Hawaii from Molokai to Oahu.
“It drives him crazy when people don’t do things that they say they’ll do. He’s a real doer so I’m locked in for October 16,” Harper said.
But while Harper is a fit and energetic mum to two-year-old daughter Jessica, she’s the first to admit that she has no running pedigree to fall back on.
“I actually hated running at school. I was the most uncoordinated runner ever,” she said.
“I’ve always loved to walk and hike, then when you find running, there’s something very freeing about it. It clears the mind and body.”
Being a Postcards regular since 2007, Brodie will draw some inspiration from fellow presenter and Hawthorn champion, Shane Crawford, who has taken on some amazing challenges in recent years.
“He (Crawford) is definitely in my head when I think about the marathon. It’s a case of getting some perspective. All I’m doing is running a marathon whereas he ran to Adelaide,” Harper said. “I don’t even want to drive to Perth and he’s ridden a bike there, so I’m going to draw on that for inspiration.”
Brodie has previously run the Medibank Melbourne Half Marathon event in 2013, so she’s not a complete novice, but we wish her all the best for the big day.
Key running facts about Brodie
Typical training week
“It varies a bit but I usually run about three or four times a week which I’ve upped to five sessions now. I’m very active generally. I like to walk and when I walk I like to do hills and I push the stroller with my daughter, which is an extra 30kg. I also do a bit of stand-up paddle boarding with my husband and I do weights. I haven’t done any long runs yet, which I know is bad, because I should be doing it.”
The best thing about the course
“Just looking at Melbourne. The fact that so much of Melbourne is shutdown makes it a really special run … I mean how lucky are we to go for a run and see so many of Melbourne’s sights. The other aspect I like is the crowds of people on the side of the road are always so keen to give you a cheer, some take their own bags of lollies to give you as you run along. It’s just so Melbourne.”
How fast will Brodie run?
“I’m hoping to go at about 6min/km pace and just try and make the whole race at that speed. Hopefully I don’t have to walk too much.”
Editor’s note: Based on that pace, Brodie should finish in about 4hr15min. She clocked 2hr1min for the Melbourne half marathon in 2013.”
Brodie’s favourite place to stay on race eve
“It’s actually a good question because we are weighing up now whether I stay home and get a good sleep in my own bed and then get up early and drive up to the start (Brodie lives just over an hour away on the Mornington Peninsula) or whether we stay in town the night before. If we take that option, then I love staying at the Hilton South Wharf because the beds are so comfy and the staff are so friendly. It’s also is great because it’s located about a kilometre or two along the river to the starting line and I like to have a bit of a walk beforehand to get focused.”
Brodie’s favourite Olympic event
“I love watching the marathon. I find it quite mesmerising. I will never get over how fast they run. I mean I don’t think I can sprint as fast as they run in the marathon. I’m also loving the track and field, events to inspire me for the Melbourne Marathon.”
Brodie’s key weapon
“My husband Heath got me this new GPS watch recently. It’s a really huge watch … I mean it’s like the size of my whole wrist, but I wear it with everything and it’s a really good reminder that I need to have a run because I can’t help but notice it. I’ve got it set up so that I can see my speed and how far I’ve gone and also my heart rate, so it’s a really good motivator.”
Brodie’s Marathon shopping tip
“I’d say to everyone just go out and find something that makes you feel good – whether that be race day clothes or shoes or whatever. You need to feel fast. You need to feel cute and spunky and good about yourself. I know it sounds silly, but I reckon it helps.”
The Medibank Melbourne Marathon Festival is very proud to have Brodie as an ambassador for the 2016 event. Haven’t already signed up? Click here to register to run alongside Brodie on Sunday 16th October, 2016.