“Run-crazy.” That’s how one daughter describes the dedication of Janelle Toole, who for the past eight or so years has been taking part in runs, walks and marathons after a life-altering loss.
In 2005, Greg Toole, described as a loving father and husband, brother, uncle and mate, was struck down by a fatal heart attack.
This year the City2Surf in Sydney falls on Greg’s birthday, and for the first time the whole family is coming together to take part – with a little friendly competition to keep everyone on their toes.
“I’d never run before he passed away, and I’ve done it for about eight years or so now,” Janelle said.
“Obviously it would be nice to have been sharing birthday cake or birthday drinks with him, but it’s a good way for us all to remember him and promote a very good cause.”
Daughters Emma and Victoria and son Edward have all been inspired in their own ways, and their mother’s passion has helped their own grow.
For Emma, her inspiration came out in art, with her year 12 major visual art project hanging in the foyer of the Heart Foundation’s office in Sydney.
“It’s great to see you hard way pay off, and create the awareness,” Emma said.
“A lot of the times with those kind of works the meaning can get lost due to the stress of the HSC and getting the work done to get the marks, rather than focusing on your original meaning. So I was pretty happy with the way it turned out and where it is now.”
And now the big question is: who will come out in front?
“I’m not going to be anyway near beating mum!” Emma said.
“I think the only person I would be likely to beat would be Victoria.”
Janelle says it is a bit of an unknown as to who will come in first, as she does the most training, but has the “age disadvantage” which Emma said is “rubbish.”
“Her age has never held her back before, she ran a half marathon a few weeks ago - I am going to be in her dust!”
This Great Wall Marathon in China was completed with a group of Griffith joggers, with another in New Zealand conquered two years ago.
The Heart Foundation is a charity dedicated to fighting the single biggest killer of Australians – heart disease. They fund heart research and work to improve heart disease prevention and care for all Australians.
“Going running was something I never thought I could do, I’m not naturally that way inclined… but some form of exercise is accessible to all of us, and I think it’s something we all need to be doing to look after our health,” Janelle said.
If you would like to help the Toole family in their fundraising efforts, click here.