Erin Harris a Superstar runner for Salvos Striders
17 July 2017
Erin’s first fun run was the 11km Sutherland2Surf in Sydney’s south. It got her hooked on running. When a family member suggested she tackle the 14km Sun Herald City2Surf, she was keen to take on the bigger challenge – and raise funds for the Salvos in the process.
However, her first year was marred by disappointment.
“A few days before the race (in 2014) I dislocated my knee playing netball,” she said. “I had a whole lot of people behind me and had raised about $1200. I just felt I couldn’t not run, so I competed with a knee brace. I had to take three days off work to recover! I was so devastated. I just felt I hadn’t done the run justice, so I signed up again the next year.”
This year’s event, on 13 August, will be Erin’s fourth City2Surf as a member of the Salvos Striders team.
“I run with my dogs for training and I love it, but I just love the race atmosphere and being part of a group,” she said.
The 29-year-old Flight Centre consultant is excited about this year’s Salvo Striders focus to raise money for homelessness.
“I didn’t really think about homelessness when I was living in Menai, but in 2012 when I got married, my husband and I bought a house in Holsworthy,” she said. “We have a couple of guys who live in the local park and as a community we have been working together to make sure they get the help they need. I do some travel with my job and that has also really raised my awareness. Sometimes we just don’t know how lucky we are.”
This year, Erin has taken up the challenge of being a Charity Superstar runner, which commits her to fundraising $1000 for the team. However, Erin has set her fundraising goal at $2000. In the past she has used Facebook to post training updates and rally supporters, but this year she has an additional strategy.
“Each month at work we have a monthly sales meeting of about 100 consultants. On the night we bring a donation to support a team member’s charity of choice. I was successful in applying to be that team member for August. It’s not my thing to get up in front of that many people, but I am excited about the conversations it will start and being able to share about the Salvos’ work. They are one of those organisations that everyone knows. It’s such a privilege to raise money for them. I guess I do have a bit of a competitive streak,” she says with a laugh, “so I love the challenge of fundraising and I have fun with it.”
She is also hoping to achieve her goal of finishing the race in 75 minutes.
“I am not a professional runner. My goal is to finish and to beat my personal time,” she said. “When I race, I have this little phrase that I repeat. It’s from the bible - Joshua 1:9. I just repeat to myself: ‘Be bold, be brave, be courageous’. I don’t look how far I have to go, I just set my sights on the next marker ahead and try and remember how far I have come.”
Story by Anne Halliday