Judy Bird

Judy Bird

Age:  56

Weight: 50kg

Height: 1.7m

Where do you live? 

Glen Austin, Halfway House, Midrand

What do you do?

Self-employed – I connect small businesses with customers and non-profit organisations, for the benefit of local communities

Main Sport: Running – cross country, track and road running

Other sporting interests: Cycling

About Me: 

I am from Norwich, in England, and after back-packing around the World for a few months in 1990, decided to hang up my back pack in South Africa, to follow matters of the heart.  I live on a plot in Midrand, with husband Trevor, 8 dogs, a pig, umpteen chickens, ducks and geese!   We try to be as self-sufficient as possible – growing our own organic vegetables and of course, organic eggs, but do not eat any of the animals!!

I was not really a competitive runner in the “old days”.  I used to run on the track at school, and was one of the faster runners, but athletics was never taken seriously, and so no-one picked up that I had talent.  At the age of 25, I joined a running club in London called East London Runners, and it was here that I realised I had some potential.  The turning point was being placed in the Westminster Mile.  I remember phoning my parents from a telephone booth saying “I am going Pro”!  I think my mother had heart failure!!

However, I did not know how to train properly and was constantly injured. So never did much after that, until I arrived in SA.  For the first 10 years I ran for fun and ran once a week with RAC and then I joined Midrand Striders.  I started to take on the men (I am v competitive!!) and realised I was quite fast.  Midrand put me in contact with Dudley Hulbert, who was my first coach.  One Sunday, in around 2002, I was running a 21km club run, when I started running with a new guy who seemed to be equally as competitive as me!  We ended up racing each other.  Needless to say, this was Coach Neville!!!

Top Sporting Achievements (this can include PBs and race positions, or completing something amazing)

Back in the good old days: I did not really run competitively.  My only significant achievement was being placed in the Westminster Mile around 1987 and in local 10km races.

More recent:

I only started running seriously at the age of 40 years old.  As a veteran, I won the World Master’s 10km (37mins) and Half Marathon (83mins) Champs in New Zealand; the British Masters Half Marathon Champs (80mins); gained my Springbok colours; and won SA Champs over various distances on the track, cross country and on the road.

 As a Master runner, I have yet to be beaten.  I won the SA Masters Track 5000m in 2016; all 13 Spar 10km races I have entered in the last 3 years; and more recently managed to run a 92 minute Dis-Chem half marathon, - close to my 2014 time.

So why am I telling you all of this?  To prove that with a good coach, lots of determination, discipline and a young heart, you can still run well as you mature!

What do you love about your sport?

The fact that I can maximise fitness without spending hours training; I am not reliant on other people; it can be done anywhere and at any time; and it is highly satisfying!

Favourite Song?

Walking in Memphis – Marc Cohn

What do you have for breakfast?

Either poached eggs on sour dough bread or millet/quinoa with soaked almonds and seeds, goji berries, fresh berries/fruit, lemon juice and as often as I can – a smoothie of blanched kale/spinach, beetroot, berries, banana, hemp seed, and seasonal fruit.

If your life was a movie, which celebrity would you choose to play your character?

Meg Ryan!

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