IN- Talk by Ann on marathons – 31st January 2024

After a 7 week break, we got started into the new year with a fascinating as well as inspiring talk by one of our very own members, Ann. The long break was unexpected, caused by a real snow day on Jan. 17. Ann proved to be flexible and was able to give the talk 2 weeks later. This flexibility may be due to her special hobby: running marathons.
Indeed, quiet, reserved Ann has been running in marathons since 2009. She’s not sure how many but certainly hundreds, and no intention of stopping. Interestingly enough she actually got started  by accident. She was running in a half marathon, planning to see her daughters along the way for encouragement, but somehow she never saw them, and just kept running. Thus, Ann became a marathon runner! Well guess it wasn’t quite that easy, she had been training for awhile, but Ann made it sound easy and natural.
She always runs in the Cologne marathon, sometimes the half marathon (21 km), more than enough for the non-runner. And always in the Ahrathon, along the Ahr valley. This route has of course been altered after the flooding in 2021 but it is still challenging and one of Ann’s favourites. The list goes on and on: London, Berlin, Athens, Tromsa (at night). Closer to home Monschau, which is very challenging, as we all know having walked or hiked around the area. Of course, in her home country of Ireland, Kilarney and Galway.
Ann’s daughters and her sister often join her in various marathons. She combines this with a holiday, a chance to be with family by tagging on a few days before or after the race.
Her talk was enhanced by photos and personal insider stories. On a persoanl note, she says the hardest part is starting in the rain. If it rains while you’re underway you learn to deal with it, but starting in the rain is very hard. 
 And once you’re at the place and have signed up for the race, you just don’t decide to give up.
Ann’s lively and humorous way of presenting her ideas made us all stop and think about how important it is to really become dedicated to a hobby. She wants to run races on all the continents, not sure how many are left but she certainly has covered most of the world. Having Ann as a Cosmo member means we can always ask her questions and keep track of her achievements. Her talk was a delightful way to begin the new year and be inspired, if not to become a runner, then at least to find a meaningful and rewarding hobby.
20 Ladies and 1 guest attended.

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