G’day my name is Martin Brett; my dream has always been to participate in the Melbourne Marathon by the time I was 40. When I was at school running was something I enjoyed and I was part of the cross-country running team. I started working full-time and running was no longer a priority, however, the dream of completing the Marathon was still alive.
Although running wasn’t a priority I did continue playing footy until, on June 3rd 1995, my life completely changed. I was driving on a country road when a car came over a hill in the middle of the road hitting me head- on, with the driver’s side taking all the impact. I ended up in hospital for 2 weeks and unable to walk. I was married in September that same year, still needing crutches however. During my time in rehabilitation my surgeon informed me – at the age of 27 – I was no longer able to participate in sport which included footy, golf and running. I was even advised to take extra care when walking on uneven ground.
Since my rehabilitation I have had 4 more operations, with the last being in 2015 which finally left me feeling pain free. The surgeon said the best form of rehab is to walk and swim so I joined PARC for the hot pool and swimming. Going to the pool regularly and building up my walking distance, I started to then get that competitive feeling back. In October 2016 I went to a friend’s house at about 4pm to her lying on the couch so I asked, “what’s wrong with you?” and her response was “I did the Melbourne Marathon today”. It was at that point I decided, I am going to do that next year!
I was told by a friend about ‘Parkrun’ and completed by first 5k event in 40 minutes, walking the whole distance. I have since completed an additional 50 events. Unfortunately I was unable to do the 2017 Marathon as I was still not fit enough. My physio told me the only way I would truly have a chance to participate is by joining the gym and build up my strength. In 2018, I upgraded my PARC membership to a complete membership and started my weight training.
Whilst going to the gym I discovered the PARC Fit run club. My fitness has improved so much that I can now complete the 5k in 23 minutes. On October 14th, 2018 – 11 years later than I had hoped – I completed the Melbourne Marathon.
Having achieved my dream of completing the Melbourne Marathon, I want to do it again and hopefully some other marathons around Australia. I want to keep running, whether it be 5k at Parkrun, PARC Fit running club or even a triathlon. Having come so far, I just want to stay active.