Marianne Quigley, ever gregarious and cheerful, met with the RH Gazette for a brief chat at one of the best cafes on Church Street: Saint Thomas. MQ is a science teacher with a knack for self-deprecation and for mild deliverings of gentle truth bombs. She hikes, she reads, she runs, she laughs.
Distance of Choice: 800m
Favourite Audio Book: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Most Inspiring Fellow-RH Member: Pauline Lawrence
Preferred National Park: Ferny – i.e. Dandenongs.
Bird of Choice: Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo
Most Admired Professional Athlete: Jess Trengrove.
Primary Goal: Run consistently and improve 800m times.
How is your training going?
At the moment, I’m doing a lot of running by myself. My focus at the moment is to work on various aspects of my physical health. So, I’m going to a gym, I’m doing some pilates and I’m also working on swimming. I go to the local pool regularly, but I also want to learn to swim in the ocean. My partner does triathalons and I want to learn how to swim in the sea from him. How to deal with the currents etc. I had a foot injury for quite some time and I guess I’m a bit cautious based on what happened with that. It took a full year to recover from the injury. I’m in my low-30s now, and I’m hoping that I’ll be in good shape when I’m 40. So, in this sense I’m not particularly in a hurry. Running is one of the things I do. But I’d like to think I’m not at my peak at the moment. It’s not yet my complete and singular focus.
What brought you to the Richmond Harriers?
When I moved to Richmond, I was looking for a place which could help me get to know the community. I had a feeling that a lot of people were living and working in Richmond without really getting a sense of the place. I have had a position as a science teacher at a nearby school, so, living in Richmond has been strategic for work purposes, but I also wanted to be able to connect with the community in a broader sense. I have been a member for six years and even though the actual number of days I run with the club have fluctuated I always feel that the club is a regular and steady part of my life.
Tell me about your first experiences at the Club. What were your first impressions?
Tony actually helped me a lot on the first night I went down to the Club. I remember this quite clearly. For the first month or so that I was there, he was very helpful in making me feel welcomed and getting me started at the Club.
Kevin Solomon also came with me on my first run. It was something 40 degrees and there were bushfires happening outside of Melbourne. It was like you could smell the smoke in the air. I remember coming out of my apartment and thinking, “is the street on fire?” I just wasn’t used to that kind of heat, let alone running in it. And when I met up with Kevin at the club, he asked me, “Are you well-hydrated?” I answered him but at the same time I was thinking, how hydrated does one need to be in this sort of temperature? It was quite an occasion and I think we only ran about five kilometres. But I could already feel that I was moving on beyond just ‘hot’ to more like ‘over-heating’.
Who do you run with?
I do a lot of running by myself, but, the Richmond Harriers centres my running. I have had a lot of good times running with Pauline and Murray. We’d sometimes go up to Ferny Creek and go for runs around there. I’d get a lot out of running with them. They’re very accomplished athletes. Murray is quite a funny guy and I enjoy his company. My father is about the same age as him and it is incredible to see how well Murray runs. He’s very focused and he has a pleasant sense of humour, so, it is great being around at the club where there are a range of runners, all at different stages in their running trajectory, but are able to share experiences and advice with other runners.
The club has a modest culture: it doesn’t really accommodate boastful types. All runners are looked after and given equal importance. The club does a good job at looking after runners with a range of abilities and expectations. A lot of people help out to make it a welcoming place. Joji has done a good job at facilitating the relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. But he has worked on it over time.
Joji Mori sums up Marianne best. He says: “Marianne helps out the Richmond Harriers year on year, keeping our community thriving. She touches on just about every aspect of the club. This includes running in the AV cross country team in Winter, running on the track in Summer, even throwing heavy items in the field at times. Not only does she compete regularly, Marianne is the social secretary on the committee, and so organises all our key social events such as trivia night, pub nights, and other events. We’re extremely lucky to have Marianne. Marianne is also featured in one of the most loved photos of the Richmond Harrier Facebook group. (above left, with Moose)”