That in itself is remarkable, but what makes it more inspirational is the fact that at the age of 71, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
'Shirley's condition meant that she started getting lost during her 25-40km training runs around her home in Victoria. Her husband says, "she still has trouble remembering how far she's run, so now when I know she's due back I go and look for her. I also write a label on her water bottle, reminding her of the distance she's planned, so that every time she takes a drink she gets a reminder".
Her doctor told her husband that it was important to let her run on her own and not go with her, because it's something she still has control over.
'Her husband also adds that there are benefits for a distance runner in having short term memory loss. "The week after the Melbourne Marathon last year, we drove to Adelaide for a six-hour endurance run, Shirley finished the run, showered and then 2-hours later I saw her looking around confused". She asked what they were doing there and when he told her that they had some for the six-hour run, she asked "when do we start?".
The interesting thing is, that her continuing to run, therefore keeping up the blood flow to her brain has meant that the progression of the disease has been slowed.
Other heroic stories in that article included runners; Ray James, Linda Barbero & Angelica Stein. All are truly inspirational and certainly gives us 'plodders' reasons to get up in the morning.
Inspirational stuff and Good Luck for your 30th Melb Marathon Shirley!!!
Edited by Wobbler, 18 September 2007 - 11:11 AM.