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#whywerun | Kara Durante

#whywerun | Kara Durante

Images: Salty Films

Words: Kara Durante

"My name is Kara. Currently, most of my time is spent juggling the final year of my science and nutrition degree, playing AFL and trying to fit in a bit of work amongst my other hobbies.

I have grown up by the beach in Cronulla with my three siblings, in a very active family, playing just about every sport that got thrown at me- and I loved it all. Running was just one of those for me- beginning early on in primary school through cross country. I would train with my sister and mum and that continued all though my school years. There was a lot of competition between my sister and I, and it sucked because she was often better than me. By the later years of high school, running became more of a chore than something I did for fun, and I gave it up.

When I finished high school, I rediscovered running. Life after the comfort and security of school was exciting, but also far less structured, filled with uncertainty and I found it difficult to adjust. As someone who struggles with anxiety, running was one of the few things that I found relief in. It became part of my daily routine, as I found it extremely beneficial for my mental health. I used to think of it as an escape, but now I think of it as the opposite. Running demands a level of presence that is so often lacking in our modern world plagued by distractions, and I think it is this level of presence that brings peace.

When covid and lockdowns hit, my gratitude for running was amplified.  Escaping to my local trails each day was my saving grace and provided a sense of freedom and certainty that was seemingly otherwise absent. It was around this time that I decided I was ready for something more. My mum’s 50th birthday was coming up, so fittingly, I got my sister on board and figured there was no better present than a marathon entry (sorry mum). Together, my mum, sister and I trained and ran our first marathon together. Training for and running the marathon was a physical battle, but knowing I had the resilience and mental strength to conquer this hard thing was extremely empowering.

Running makes me a happier, calmer, more resilient and better person. I am so grateful to be able to experience the joy and freedom of running. Whilst it is largely that sense of freedom and adventure that drives me to continue running, setting goals and chipping away at them also provides a unique sense of purpose and accomplishment. Later this year I will be running my first ultra-marathon (UTA50) alongside my mum and sister. I love that running is something I’ve been lucky enough to share with them both throughout my life so far."



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