About Me

Parkrun

Hi, I’m Kirby, a running enthusiast from Newcastle, NSW.

On my way to a 12km PB yesterday.

I started running in 2010 when I lived in Vancouver, Canada, because I was travelling and couldn’t afford to join a gym or play organised sport. All I could afford was a $50 pair of runners from a local discount store. Back then I averaged only a couple of kilometres of ‘jog-walking’ a day, and my ultimate running goal was to run the 10km loop around Stanley Park, which I achieved in August 2010.

My first half marathon was the Whistler half marathon (BC, Canada) on 4th June, 2011. After nearly quitting running that day (and walking a significant proportion of the last 5km), I decided to sign up for the full distance, and achieved that on 9th October, 2011, in Victoria, Canada.

After completing 3 marathons from July-October 2012, I set my sights on completing a couple of ultramarathons in 2013, and my ultimate goal for 2013 was to qualify for the Boston Marathon. These goals were all achieved by May, and I went on to run 10 marthons in 2013.

In 2014 I ran the Boston marathon, my first 100km race, won my first marathon and my first Ultramarathon. (Yay!)

Other races I would love to complete include the Berlin Marathon (hopefully 2015), Paris Marathon, London Marathon, Toronto Marathon and of course, the New York Marathon.

Personal Bests:

5km – 19:24, Parkrun, 22nd March 2014

Half Marathon – 1:36:46, Central Coast Half Marathon, November 2013 1:33:29, Run Disney Half Marathon, 10th January 2015

Marathon – 3:21:20, Boston Marathon, 21st April 2014

Why Marathon Barbie? 

We might both have blonde hair, and a wardrobe full of pink clothing, but that’s where the similarities end. I certainly do not think of myself as a Barbie.

Last year, just before the London Olympics, a Track and Field Barbie doll was released, complete with running tights, race number, and pink running shoes. A friend bought this ‘running Barbie’ for me, kind of as a joke. Since then, she has become somewhat of a mascot, coming along to several races and events.

Marathon Barbie was part of our supporter kit for Wild Endurance
Marathon Barbie was part of our supporter kit for Wild Endurance

When I decided to start a running blog, I jumped online, went to the website, and one of the first things I had to come up with was a name. All the names I liked were already taken. The Daily Grind, and Rise and Grind, to name a couple. As I sat at my computer trying to come up with a name, I looked up at my bookshelf, and saw my Marathon Barbie looking down at me from among my medals and old race numbers. I was surprised to find that the name had not already been taken by someone else, and my blog, Marathon Barbie, was born.

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19 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Very impressed by your drive and determination. I began running last September and fell for it big-time. Especially when it whipped me into shape so quickly. However, I overdid it and injuries took hold as I was training for my 1st half (Manhattan). I had to stop twice for 3 weeks each, but after healing I’m doing it better with days off, ice when needed and proper shoes and stretching. Well, anyway this blog is fantastic and I’ll be on the lookout for your posts!

  2. Hey Kirby!! I love running too!! I am from Newcastle, and I have to say you are inspirational 🙂 All the best for your next year of running!!

  3. Hi Kirby, I stumbled across your blog after looking for some more info on the Hunter Valley Winery Marathon (I’m planning to run it this year, it’ll be my first marathon).
    Your posts are really inspiring and a great read. All the best in Boston and the 100km! 🙂
    Amanda.

    1. Thank you Amanda!
      the Hunter Valley Winery Marathon is a great event, and small. I have done it the last 2 years, so if you have any specific questions that you can’t find the answer to, feel free to ask!

    1. I like to change it regularly so it doesn’t get boring, but I like the Fernleigh Track if I have a big distance (eg 40km) to do because it’s easy to measure your distance on the track.
      Mt sugarloaf is great for 28km of trails…
      Merewether/Foreshore/Maryville is the long run I do most often, but it’s hard to do when you need to keep increasing distance.
      Ultimate favourite long run is Stanley park sea wall/false creek to UBC in Vancouver.

  4. That is too cool!!! I love how you came up with the name for your blog, it almost sounds as if it were meant to be lol 🙂 Now I’m thinking I need to get a mascot to take along to my races haha! 🙂

  5. Hi Kirby, I saw you did 66 minutes in the recent Fernleigh 15. You are a gifted long distance runner, you can run 5km under 20 minutes, I believe you should be running this event around the 60 minute mark at least.

  6. Yeah, you don’t always get the result you’re after. In my one and only marathon, the Sydney Marathon in 2002 I was hoping to run the event in under 3 hours. I did the first half in 84 minutes, 4 minute pace, I’m on track. 30 kilometres down and it’s 2hrs and 2mins. A few seconds over 4 minute pace and still looking good. And then, the stitch from hell, never experienced anything like it before, never since. Usually don’t drink much on a long run, but here I was grabbing a drink at every drink station, every 5kms. Bad move. Came so close to pulling out. Dropped back to 5min pace but it was still a very painful last 10kms. Managed to finish in 58th place in 3hrs 2mins and 16s. At the time I was bitterly disappointed, but looking back now I wouldn’t change a thing. That’s my marathon story, a short book for sure.

  7. This is true…. Not getting the result you were after is even harder when you have done all the training and work for it, or set it up well at the start of the race. Stitches are frustrating!

  8. Hi Kirby, I have enjoyed reading your shoe reviews. I was just wondering if you had a recommendation for a good running shoe store in Newcastle. I have just decided to do a short triathlon (Pinky Tri for Breast Cancer) and have started slowly with the running. I have assorted issues to consider (not least of which is both knees with ACL reconstructions) and I am hesitant to take advice from untrained teens at the local chain sports store. Any ideas? Thanks

    1. Hi Melanie,
      In Newcastle I would definetly recommend Pure Performance, they have 2 locations, Darby St Cooks Hill, and the Esplanade Warners Bay. They have a huge range of shoes and their staff are very knowledgable and friendly. Feel free to take them any notes from your doctors/ podiatrist/physio too if you have any injuries too as they will be happy to take all of that into consideration when putting you in the right shoe. Best of luck in your triathlon!

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