Shannon Waine’s Virtual New York Marathon

10th November 2020

“With everything that’s been happening this year, I just wanted one thing to go to plan!”
Shannon Waine

By Bruna Reis

Following years of travelling, Shannon Waine has decided to take a break from traversing the globe to settle down at Cheltenham Town Ladies, but not only to concentrate on her football.

Coming from a family of many talents with both parents and sisters involved in the sport, being active is in her DNA and she won’t be limited to the football pitches of Gloucestershire.

The Australian will be participating in the virtual New York City Marathon where runners from around the globe run a distance of 26.2 miles in any location on November 28. For Shannon, this will consist of two loops of 13.1 miles around Pittville Park.

It is just in name and date that the event is called the New York City Marathon and due to the current pandemic, this is as close as many athletes will get to a major event this year.

Despite the implications that COVID-19 has brought this year, Waine did not want to let that ruin her chances of competing after previous races had been cancelled.

“I had planned on doing the York marathon in October this year as my full-marathon but obviously all my races throughout the year were cancelled,” she began.

“I’ve spent my life wanting to be a marathon runner but not actually managing to get there and I felt like this year was the perfect year to do things on your bucket list, as long as it doesn’t involve international travel. I realised I didn’t need an organised event to achieve my goal, I was just making excuses so I decided not to put it off any longer.”

The sense of achievement after ticking another goal off her bucket list was met with a joyful smile on the centre-back’s face.

“Turning 30 at the start of next year, my goal was to do a marathon before then so I’ve been rapidly running out of time. With everything that’s been happening this year, I just wanted one thing to go to plan.

“I started to look for something worthwhile to do before the year was out to make sure 2020 wasn’t a complete waste of time. I wanted to achieve something worthwhile and this seemed like a good opportunity.”

Having ran a half marathon on a couple of occasions and finishing under two hours, Waine acknowledged that this will be the most physically demanding yet.

“My training suggests I should be finishing around the four hour mark which would be incredible for my first marathon. But saying that, anything might happen on the day or in the next few weeks leading up to it.

“By the end of every half I’ve done I’ve been fairly knackered but also have managed without any formal training just my usual running. The full marathon is a whole different story.

“The planning and training required is more than double. I’m interested to see how I far beyond the 20 mile mark which is the furthest I’ve run so far.”

However, the 29-year-old feels ‘surprisingly calm and confident’ ahead of the event.

“I’m only racing myself at the end of the day so all I need to do finish and I’ll win!”

Image: Bart Day

Juggling football training and preparing for the run has been difficult for Waine.

“At one point, I sought advice from the online running community as to whether it was possible to play football and train for a marathon at the same time because a few people told me I was taking too much on.

“I feel like I’ve been training on and off for this marathon for the last two years but my actual training plan has been about 12 weeks which is relatively short. I run five days a week, have 90 minute football training sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays and have a game on Sunday.

“I do a lot of yoga to keep myself as injury free as possible and I do a strength and conditioning session once a week.”

Nevertheless, she remains optimistic to keep to her promise of running a marathon before the start of the new year.

“I’m hoping to prove to myself that I can do it, that I’m mentally strong enough to push through the physical pain.”

Waine has even been working with a personal coach to be best prepared for when the event comes around.

Dylan Jannetta, a coach from Novice to Elite Coaching has been supporting the Australian’s preparations by setting up different fitness plans.

“Dylan put together a really successful training plan with football in mind so I could achieve both of my goals this year.

“It’s been great, we have facetime chats to check up on my progress and I’m constantly messaging him to change bits and pieces or to moan about niggles.

“I couldn’t have done this without that support.”

The Survivors Trust, a UK and Ireland based organisation close to Waine’s heart, takes pride in supporting all survivors of rape, sexual violence and childhood sexual abuse. Waine hopes that this will bring more awareness to her chosen cause.

“Raising money for an amazing charity helps hold me accountable and ensures I don’t pull out at the 11th hour.”

She believes that charities like The Survivors Trust, often doesn’t receive the support it deserves.

“In my time, I’ve raised money for a few charities mostly Breast Cancer Research but I think there needs to be more recognition for charities like the Survivors Trust. The work they do – at the worst time of someone’s life – is invaluable and without it I believe there would be a great deal more trauma in the lives of women and men who need this support.

“I think it’s very important that people donate to this cause. There are some charities that generally are avoided when people are fundraising because it’s an uncomfortable topic.

“To me, The Survivors Trust is a vital organisation. Sexual violence isn’t going away and we need to make sure organisations such as this one are able to offer maximum support to as many victims as possible.

“It could be anyone’s sister, mother, son, daughter who needs to seek help and if it was yours you’d want to make sure they had someone safe and supportive to go to.”

A fundraising page has been set up in support to The Survivors Trust where contributors can leave a message of encouragement or make a donation.

D2 Interactive