Year 9 Learning Leader Virginia Moloney is an Elite Marathon Runner - her dedication exemplifying the Year 9 motto 'It's Up 2 Me!'. Last year, in her first ever marathon, she was the fourth female across the line, completing the Melbourne Marathon in an Olympic-qualifying time.
Her inspiring story featured on the website irun.org.au:
Farmgirl takes quick route to marathon
Eighteen months ago Virginia Moloney was your typical farm girl who had moved to the big city and was enjoying life as a young secondary school teacher.
She was also the middle child, which is quite an achievement when your parents have 11 kids.
While her four brothers played football, Moloney and her six sisters had played netball with Terang-Mortlake in the Hampden League.
“For me, running was just a way of keeping fit for netball,” Moloney said. “My family have a dairy farm in Garvoc and I grew up yarding up and milking cows and drinking Sungold Milk, which dad used to say is why I’m a good runner.”
Once she moved to Melbourne, Moloney dabbled in the odd fun run, but it was a chance meeting with Collingwood Harrier, and now coach, Liam Delany 18 months ago that changed her lifestyle. Before attaining her current full time position as a VCE secondary teacher at Elwood College, Moloney was relief teaching at a school in Melbourne where Delany happened to be instructing a stretching session for the students.
“After meeting Liam at the school he suggested I should come and join in the Vigor Health and Fitness run group sessions at Princes Park on Tuesday nights and the Collingwood Athletic Track on Thursdays,” Moloney said.
“I’d just been running by myself or with a friend, but he got me into speed work which I’d never done before. This whole 18 months has been a huge learning experience, finding out how the athletics and running world works.
“I was running 10km in 40 minutes, but I’d only been doing Liam’s sessions for about three months when I ran 36 minutes at Albert Park.
“In November I went down to Tassie and did the Point to Pinnacle (half marathon) and won that which was a surprise so we sort of thought, well with the improvement I was making, why not give a marathon a crack and see how it goes.
“I ran the Zatopek 10 000m on the track in December. My parents came up to watch me run. Mum was shocked. It was oh my goodness, what have you got yourself into? This is fantastic.”
Moloney, now 25, has been one of the big improvers throughout Athletics Victoria’s XCR season, with her first podium placing coming at the 4km Lardner Park race and ther first Victorian title coming in the AV half marathon at Burnley last month in an impressive time of 75min23secs.
“I was really happy with that. To get a 4-minute PB in the midst of marathon training was a real confidence boost,” she said.
As to what time might come at Melbourne, Moloney, who now lives in St Kilda with her boyfriend, Trent McCormick, a premier league cricketer for Carlton, plays a bit of a straight bat.
“Being the first one, we don’t want to go out too hard, it’s more a case of just testing the waters,” she said. “It’s all new and exciting for me. It’s honestly just getting out and having a crack and seeing how it goes. I’d love to go under 2:40 but this is completely a learning experience to try a marathon now and then I can work on it for a few years to come.”