Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Bird flying at marathons

Echuca long-distance runner Tarli Bird is targeting more marathons after an encouraging first experience in July.

ERIN LYONS August 19, 2014 3:25am

Echuca runner Tarli Bird has been in good form.

A lot can happen during six weeks, that is about how long it can take to recover from a marathon.

Early last month, Echuca resident Tarli Bird (pictured) debuted in the Gold Coast Marathon.

Bird finished eighth in the race and was the first Australian women to cross the line with a time of 2:43:58.

Following her recent success, Bird’s desire to compete in more marathons has matured.

‘‘It was the first marathon I raced in at the Gold Coast,’’ she said.

‘‘And I was really happy with my debut time.’’

Bird, 28, completed the race with a faster time than some of the former marathon winners.

However, the recovery has been taxing and the preparation for her next marathon may be even more gruelling.

‘‘After next week, I will have a two-month break from training,’’ Bird said.

‘‘Then I will start training again. I will look at doing longer runs and some more speed work.’’

The Moama Anglican Grammar School teacher has not set a permanent date for her next marathon, but has her heart set on competing in February next year.

‘‘We are tossing up between two races, but I am hoping to head to Tokyo to compete,’’ Bird said.

Bird travels to Albany in Western Australia to represent Victoria at the National Cross Country Championships on Saturday.

While Bird came third in the 8km event last year, she was concerned she may not have fully recovered from the marathon before she competes.

‘‘Last year I came third in the event, but I was in full form,’’ Bird said.

‘‘At the moment I am still recovering from a marathon, which can take about six weeks.

‘‘I’m in my seventh week now.’’

Bird works with two Melbourne-based coaches, who she collaborates with on Skype once a week.

Her coach Lesley Grimes has worked with Bird for the past eight years and is determined to have her race competitively in a marathon.

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