Perth runner Emma Williamson, who used to run to conquer fear, is now making her way to the Melbourne marathon

A young Perth woman channels her fear into a grueling athletic performance.

Emma Williamson, a 24-year-old who grew up in Floreat, said she became increasingly anxious during the COVID-19 pandemic.

And so she turned to running.

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“The only thing I really struggled with in 2020 was getting the news of what’s changing every day with COVID because there was just so much information,” Ms. Williamson said.

“Also, I was just finishing college and felt discouraged about what I was doing and what I was aiming for.

“I was just at a loss and needed a space to think.”

Ms. Williamson started running 5K every weekend, which she slowly increased over time.

After successfully completing 80km in the Margaret River Ultra Marathon in May, Ms. Williamson now heads to the Nike Melbourne Marathon Festival in October to complete an epic six-stage run.

A self-confessed chronic overthinker, she told PerthNow that running brought her into a meditative space that allowed her to reconnect with her breathing, unpack her mind and get fit.

“Running taught me that I just had to step back and tell myself that at no point have I ever been in control of the world, which is an illusion we often have,” Ms. Williamson said.

“What I realized as a runner is that all you can control in a marathon is your attitude, your energy and your actions.

“And the more I work towards endurance and speed, the stronger I got to what my body could do.

“When I talk to people about running, they often say, ‘Oh, I could never do that,’ but you just have to get up and try and really find that balance of self-compassion and discipline.”

Ms Williamson will be looked after by her trainer, marathon prodigy Lucy Bartholomew, during the Melbourne marathon on October 2.

The pair will walk alongside Ms Williamson’s brother Jake.

Visit for more informations. Perth runner Emma Williamson, who used to run to conquer fear, is now making her way to the Melbourne marathon

Nate Jones

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