Daryl Lilburn

I joined Run Down Under just over two years ago during the covid lock downs. Organised runs were going to be out of the question for a while and I needed a goal!

For background, I was a long-distance runner in my spare time up until I was 47 when, in October 2013, I had a type A aortic dissection. In summary this is a torn aorta that required 13 hours emergency surgery. I was lucky to survive and surgeons said my long-distance running contributed greatly to my excellent recovery. Unfortunately, I was told as a result I could not let my heart rate get above 120.

I decided back then to keep running with this limitation, but I also did lots of walking to help keep in shape. As a result, Run Down Under was the perfect fit! I now wish I had found it a lot earlier. I generally keep away from running groups with my slow pace but Run Down Under helps me feel part of a running team again.

I have managed to keep an average of around 400 km per month running and walking. Last year I had another setback when joints in my feet swelled up and I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. I could not run for a couple of months but kept waddling around like Donald Duck as I wanted to keep my average up. It worked - the swelling went down and I have been running and walking at full pace for several months.

So, I’d like to thank you Travis for organising Run Down Under. I have never really lacked motivation, but this makes me feel part of a running group again. I have been posting progress reports on Facebook for my friends to keep track of where I am and despite my heart rate limitation I feel in excellent shape!