Gemma's marathon effort

Monday through Friday, Gemma Jenkins spends her days working as a scientist in Molecular Genetics at The Children's Hospital at Westmead. But before she puts on the lab coat for the day, she put on her joggers and she runs.

She runs every morning and most weekends, averaging 120km a week. Mostly, she runs just because she enjoys it but recently she has been in training for the Six Foot Track Marathon, a 45km trail stretching across the Blue Mountains from The Explorer's Marked Tree, near Katoomba to Jenolan Caves.

The course is tough, varying from a narrow, rocky track to meadows, sandy gravel track, and dirt fire-trail road with lots of hills and rivers in between, but it was a challenge Gemma was ready for.

"I have had a coach for just over 2 years and am relatively new to the sport [elite running] but this one was a goal race of mine for the year," Gemma said.

Last Saturday, Gemma's hard work came to fruition when she not only completed the marathon, but placed 2nd with a time of 3:55:38 and achieved the 5th fastest female time ever recorded for that event.

The Six Foot Track Marathon is only the second marathon Gemma has competed in, previously only competing in half marathons, but her love for the challenge means she will definitely be back for more.

"I am now on a mission to get quicker over the marathon distance, including the Six Foot Track Marathon. I loved every minute of it and I look forward to going back again and trying to win it and run it in a faster time."

Congratulations Gemma on this fantastic achievement.