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Home » Inspiring Story of Healing and Triumph with Deanna Blegg! Ep96

Inspiring Story of Healing and Triumph with Deanna Blegg! Ep96

#096 – How do you come back from a diagnosis or injury that prevents you from being active? Get ready to be moved by the exhilarating journey of our guest Deanna Blegg, Australia’s leading female adventure racer and the creative mind behind Bleggmit. 

We promise you a front-row seat to her indomitable spirit, from her humble beginnings as a swimmer, scaling the heights of her first triathlon win in 1984, to representing Australia in the Commonwealth Games. Deanna opens up about her battle with illness and how it rekindled her passion for sports, culminating in her triumphant return to the field post a radical abdominal hysterectomy in 2016.

Topics Covered:

  • Deanna’s journey into adventure racing and obstacle course racing
  • Rekindled passion for sports after a life-altering diagnosis and recovery
  • How Deanna turned a racing hurdle into an inventive solution
  • How Bleggmit is revolutionizing outdoor sports 

Today’s Guest

Deanna Blegg, creator of Bleggmit.

Deanna Blegg

Deanna is a mother, HIV and AIDS survivor, breast cancer survivor and adventure racer, obstacle racer, and CrossFit athlete. Deanna won the overall women’s title in the 2013 World’s Toughest Mudder, a 24-hour obstacle racing event where competitors run continuous 5-mile loops in an attempt to complete as many miles as possible. She is also the inventor of the BleggMit, a lightweight neoprene glove designed for cold-weather races. 

Follow BleggMit:


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Listen to Inspire to Run Podcast:

Richard Conner: [00:00:00] Hi, my friend. Are you currently dealing with an illness or physical challenges preventing you from running? Well today, you will hear a very personal story from Deanna blag. Australia’s top female adventure racer and founder of black men. About what she went through during her diagnosis and treatment. Why she put competing on the back burner for a period of time and what eventually sparked the fire in her to become active again in the world of sports. Hope you enjoy.

Intro: Welcome to inspire to run podcast. Here, you will find inspiration, whether you’re looking to take control of your health and fitness, or you are a seasoned runner looking for community and some extra motivation, you will hear inspiring stories from amazing runners, along with helpful tips from fitness experts.

Now, here’s your host Richard Conner

Richard Conner: hi, everyone. Welcome to Inspire to Run podcast. Today, we’re sitting down with Deanna Blegg. [00:01:00] Deanna’s running career includes triathlons, trail running, adventure racing, and obstacle course racing. Deanna has two children. She’s based in Australia and is the founder of Bleggmit. Welcome to the show, Deanna.

Deanna Blegg: Thanks so much, Richard. Thanks for having me aboard today.

Richard Conner: Yeah, I’m excited to talk to you. You know, it’s a really interesting story. How we met. So a good friend of mine, who’s also in the obstacle course racing realm, which is something I’ve been doing for a few years now, heard me kind of complaining about, Oh, my goodness, you know, I’m running out in the cold and my hands are cold.

And, you know, what should I do? As far as she’s like, you really should try these Bleggmit. So I’m like, what’s that? And I got a pair, but it was at the end of the season. So I haven’t tried them out yet, but I’m super excited. You know, winter comes back around the triumph. So, you know, that’s how I learned about the end.

And it’s so excited to, you know, connect with you here. Yeah.

Deanna Blegg: Thanks so much for the opportunity.

Richard Conner: Yeah, for sure. And I think you’re probably the longest distance guests that I’ve had on the [00:02:00] show. I think being in Australia qualifies you for that. So that’s super cool that, you know, we’re able to connect so far away. So, you know, let’s get into the conversation and just learn a little bit more about you and your, you know, running journey.

Deanna Blegg: Yeah, sure. Um, I guess I’ll, my running’s, uh, actually I started actually as a swimmer back when I was very young. I had asthma and back then they suggested swimming was very good for asthma. So I did start swimming, I think when I was six or seven, , and really loved it. And, , I think that was a great base for me for everything I’ve done in the future.

It’s just to do sport at such a young age just builds, um, a big builds your lung capacity, um, your body’s ability to and being a swimmer as well. Um, it’s not so much stress. It is stressful for your body, which is good, but it’s not so much impact. Um, and there’s a less. chance of injury, especially through your growing years.

So I [00:03:00] swam, , probably six or seven years and reached, whilst I was a good swimmer, I was never like an elite swimmer. I was good at it, but, um, I only made it to sort of state level. , and it didn’t really take me further. And that’s when I found running. I remember in my grade six cross country, I hadn’t done any running training.

But we, you know, we just did the cross country and I won outright out of the whole school. It was a small school though. And from then I went to the zones and won in the zones and went to the state and won in the state. So I obviously had a natural ability for running and backed with all those years in the pool and developing strength and lung capacity.

Put that together and then sort of set me in my Place I guess for running and through those years You know, I I did well and I was never the greatest runner in Australia But I did, you know, [00:04:00] I could compete at a serious level by the time I reached 14 or 15 Um, I started hearing of these, um, events called aquathons and aquathons were a swim, uh, no, run, swim, run.

So you run 5k, you swim, I can’t even remember, about a kilometer and then you run 5k. And that to me suited me perfectly because I was a swimmer and a runner. So I did very well in that event. And then another year or so later I heard of triathlons and this is when, uh, this is back in 1984 and it was just beginning here in Australia.

And I didn’t have a biking background. We lived, um, in a place called the Basin on Mountain Highway. So there was no side of the roads, it was going, you know, it’s a mountainous place where I lived. Um, and we weren’t allowed to have bikes as kids cause it was too dangerous cause we had a hilly property and there was no paths.

It was just. hill and road. So I like the idea of the triathlon, but I meant getting a bike. I was 14 or [00:05:00] 15 by then. So, you know, my mum, obviously when I begged her to do it, she’s said, all right. Um, and so I got on the bike and started learning to ride a bike. I did my first triathlon in 1984. Um, and I won, um, the women’s section.

And I think I was, I was very high up placed in the men. I guess. For me as an athlete, I’m never specifically great at one event, but I’m good. I’m a good all rounder and that’s where sort of I progressed in the triathlon field. And I raced up until the age I was about 23, represented Australia in the Commonwealth Games. Um, but it became like triathlons when I first started, it was fun. It was, You know, a lot of people, it’s all new sport, lots of energy, lots of connections. Um, and then over the years became a bit more serious and a bit more political. [00:06:00] And the love for me went like I lost my love for the sport and just thought, what am I doing this for?

By that age, I was around 20 or 21. , you know, I’ve done it for a few years by then at a very competitive level and, , I sort of just went up, that’s it, I’m, I’m done. So I dropped that and then took up adventure, more adventure sports. So there was at, back in the 1990s now, there were mountain bikes around, .

And no suspension, they were just rigid, fully rigid bikes. So, I played around on the mountain bikes, , did some, lots of outdoor adventure sports, as opposed to the strict regime of triathlon training. , from there, when I was about 23, I left and travelled the world for a couple of years. And came back and I, you know, I was a bit of a mess when I came back.

I’d gone through a few, , traumatic, I guess, experiences when I was travelling. And I arrived back home when I was 25 and a half and had to rebuild my life and rebuild my health. And, you [00:07:00] know, I didn’t think I would ever reconnect with sport again. , but due to, yeah, , you know, time passed and like, fast forward, I guess another 10 or 15 years, like there was a whole chunk in my life where sport, sport wasn’t even a part of my life.

, and I, I rediscovered it again in my late thirties, , when I saw, , a sign for an adventure race and I’m like, this, you know, this got my instantly excited. I saw this and I just, I thought, wow, this looks amazing. What is it? And it was a 1. 5 kilometre swim, , a 16 kilometre paddle, a, I think 30K mountain bike and a 15 or 16K run.

And it’s just like my life. It just hit me. I couldn’t stop thinking about this event. , and the, it just rekindled an energy that I’d lost and that I thought [00:08:00] I’d never find again. And like every day, whenever I thought about this event, I got this rush of rush of adrenaline through my body. And I thought to myself, you know, I can win this. I didn’t have a paddling at that stage, like a surf ski paddling background, but you know, it’s one of those things you don’t have, you sort of learn to do. And it wasn’t the first year I went in the event, I came seventh in the women, but I, you know, I was so much a beginner. I’d hired a bike, I’d hired a boat and, you know, just. muddled my way through the event, but I knew, I knew deep down that I could get there. Um, fast forward another year and I did the event again and I won it. And then I sort of just went, I was 38, 39 and I just went on this, like my body was at this peak level fitness. and I just loved adventure racing. I loved everything it bought.

So I just, yeah, just. [00:09:00] Started traveling and around the world doing these races and it was just, yeah, fabulous.

Richard Conner: I appreciate you sharing that. And I’m really curious about You know, what reconnected you to sports? Because, you know, we find that happens quite often where, you know, if we were at athletic or in sports early on, we take a break for one reason or another. And something draws us back. So, you know, I’m very curious about, you know, what was happening in your life or what were you thinking about where you saw that race and it instantly had a connection?

Because I’m assuming that those races and sports have been there the whole time, but it must have been something that was, that you were thinking about or going through that made, you know, I guess, made you more aware, um, of that race.

Deanna Blegg: Yeah, look, I, at that time, I’d had, by then, two children. , and I’d, I’d been very unwell. , and go, look, back, backtrack a little bit. , back in 1990… I was diagnosed with [00:10:00] HIV, , and back then it was like a, , a death sentence. Basically they said if I lived five years, I’d be a long term survivor. And I was 25 when I was diagnosed. So I had, there was no medications available, not much information around. , so for me. the thought of a back then, family, sport, , relationships, , future, , working, anything, it was just, there was no, in my mind, I could not see past that, you know, that five years that they’d given me. So when life, when, When I came back to Australia and, , I was quite ill for a while and then medication became available to me, which I started on.

And my body, I felt my body coming back again and felt life coming back. And then I pursued sport wasn’t on my, , number one list of what I wanted out of life because I sat down, I thought, well, you know, I may not live, but if I live longer, what do I want to achieve? What is something I want out of life?

And. [00:11:00] To have a partner and a family was then pressing. Nope. I was 26, 27, probably 27 when I was started becoming well again. it was on the list of things that I wanted to do and wanted to experience in life. So that’s what I, I guess I pursued first. , sport was way on the back burner. Like wasn’t on my radar. , so I did that. I, you know, found a partner, we had family and.

that sort of part of my life happened. Then, , I thought I was a little bit invincible when I came off my HIV medication and I wasn’t invincible and I went downhill really fast and ended up in hospital again with, , an AIDS defining illness. And it was, it was soon after that, that I saw this adventure race sign.

So I I’m guessing at the time I first saw it. [00:12:00] I wasn’t well enough to do it, but it sparked an interest. It sparked a little fire in me. And I guess through my life, whenever I’ve been in a dark place or a place of sadness or a place of help, feeling of helplessness, I’ve always pinpointed on something in the future or something that a little.

A little light of help or a spark of help or something that I can, I go that I could say to myself, like, I’m feeling really bad now or life isn’t good now, but I can see there’s something in the future I can pinpoint to. And I think that’s probably was what that motivation was. I was in a dark place. , my kids unwell in hospital.

They didn’t, they were too young to disclose to and for them to fully understand actually what was. wrong with me. , so they were very scared cause you know, their mum’s in hospital and not, not doing well. So I, yeah, it was, it [00:13:00] was my pinpoint, something I could look forward to, something I could focus on and something that could pull me out of, I guess, the dark, darkness.

Even though I wasn’t in a depressive state, it was, it’s a, it’s a scary space to be on that borderline of well and unwell and life and death, I guess.

Richard Conner: I appreciate you sharing that. I appreciate you sharing that part of your life and your story and what you said is really insightful about, you know, looking forward or having something to look forward to and having that hope because, you know, for what we’re going through, having that having something to look forward to is it really helps.

And I think, you know, Yeah, totally. Sports and running and adventure running and obstacle course racing is one of those things that you can turn to, um, to help you kind of depending on where you are in your journey. So I really appreciate you sharing that and I think it’s really insightful for our community here.

Deanna Blegg: thank you, Richard.

Richard Conner: , [00:14:00] so let, you know, fast forward a little bit. So now you’re back into racing. , you’re doing triathlons or, or adventure racing. So , you know, let’s talk about that. Where’d you go from there?

Deanna Blegg: yeah, so from the adventure racing, um, like, My body got very strong. It got very healthy. I was, I was feeling once again, bomb proof, but I didn’t, I stayed on my medication. Um, and I just had this over, like it was surreal. It was just such a surreal time and place for me. Like by this time. With my adventure racing and moving into the obstacle racing career, I was in my late 30s, early 40s, and I raced really competitively up to 45 years old.

So it was surreal. Not only was I living with HIV and taking a lot of really toxic medication for it, and , being, you know, having such a gap of, of no training. And I, you know, I put on a lot of weight too when I was not training, , you know, I was up to [00:15:00] 86 kilos and I sit at about 60 now, so, you know, I’ve carried the weight and I’ve been through so many health, , Conditions and, and, and then to be later in life and just like this amazing strength came and I don’t know, it was just a real, I’d sit back and just, I can’t believe this.

Like I’m, I’m racing, I’m in my forties and I’m racing as a pro. So I’m racing against kids in their twenties. Sorry, young adults in their 20s and all sorts of ages and, , and I’m doing well. So it was just, , it was, it was an amazing time in my life and surreal. , and especially when I started the obstacle course racing, , which started with Tough Mudder, , it was another one of those moments for me.

I wasn’t in a bad place when I heard of Tough Mudder. I was in a very, very good place, but I heard of this event where you run and go through obstacles. Yeah. And I’m like, wow, this sounds amazing. And then I looked Tough Mudder up on [00:16:00] the internet and, , you know, I was alerted to it because the race was coming to Australia.

And then when I was looking at the internet, I saw about World’s Toughest Mudder, which is a 24 hour event. And I went, man, that’s got my name written all over it. That’s, that’s where I want to go. And I thought in my head, I reckon I can win that. So I did the Tough Mudder here in Australia and loved it.

And it. I, I went in the first event, the first wave, and I just wanted to get my time in the top 5% so I could qualify for the Stuffers Mudder. That was my goal. And I don’t even know if they even looked at the results or what. There’s no really results, but anyway, I qualified for world’s toughest matter.

And that’s where my, my training and my new path took me. And once again, another event that just every time I thought about it, I get this overwhelming sense of adrenaline and excitement, and it just, it kicks another level of passion [00:17:00] into sport. So, so I went to world’s toughest matter. I was back in 2012, long time ago now.

And. It was English town, New Jersey. I think they were 10 and a five mile, big laps. And it was very cold. And, that’s, this is where Blegmitt came. So for me and for that race, I knew I could go 24 hours. No problem. I knew I could run for 24 hours. No problem. Cause adventure racing, you know, you can race up to 10 days.

So, or, you know, there’s 48 hour races where you go 48 hours. No stopping. So 24 hours, no problem. The cold. was my weakness. So, and for me in my racing, I always like, what’s my weakness and how do I improve on that? Because that’s what’s going to make it or break it for me. So I tried a lot of gear. I ended up with a, like a four mil wetsuit.

Um, you know, my feet [00:18:00] were sorted. I had neoprene socks and booties and that sort of thing, but I’m like my hands, I need my hands for the obstacles, but I need to keep them warm. If I put my hands in gloves, it separates my fingers. and when my fingers are separated they get cold. I have Raynards. I’ve had that all my life.

Um, and it hasn’t, Australia, um, and most of our racing doesn’t get that cold that it becomes such a problem. Um, and if it does, I’m running or, or, you know, I don’t need my hands. But in obstacle racing, you need your hands. So that was my dilemma. So I made a very primitive pair of blankets and I. I use them for the race and they were fabulous.

Like my hands were warm, you know, had people, you know, my hands were warm for the 24 hours, except, you know, coming out of a water obstacle or something like that. Um, but they worked amazingly and I was able to do the event. I didn’t win it. I came, um, [00:19:00] uh, that year. You do young pack, do young pack came first, Amelia Boone second and myself third.

So I was in a top three finisher and I was. Just so excited that I’ve managed to go through that event. Like when I was there, I like this little Australian girl standing up on the line, start line, there’s big army guys and there was just so many people and I felt so small and so insignificant. And I’m like, I just, when I got there, I’m like, have I bitten off too, too much or, and I, you know, I just focused and I go like, you know what you’re doing, start out.

My motto is start out at the pace you expect to be finishing at and just. don’t stop. Yeah. And that’s what I did. So it was an crazy, crazy cold race. Um, and super exciting. I loved it. And as soon as I finished, I was broken. I was totally broken, but I was thinking, right, what can I improve? Um, yeah. And went back the [00:20:00] next year and won.

Did win the females, , Millie Aboon wasn’t in it that year, but you know, I’m saying that there was certainly other competition, other girls racing, , and I finished, I think I was somewhere in the top 10, I can’t remember outright. So, and that led to, you know, World’s Toughest Mudder being my pinnacle of races.

I did do Spartan races as well, . All the Spartan races in, not all of them in America, all the Spartan races in Australia and also in America. And was once again racing as a pro in the elite categories and yeah, just doing well up to 2015. Yeah.

Richard Conner: Oh, that’s incredible. That’s amazing. And when you started the story about Tough Mudder, I’m like, Oh, we share a similar story because I didn’t know anything about Spartan or obstacle course racing. And I started to research it and I got excited about it. But then when you started talking about world’s toughest mudder, then I’m out 24 hours.

I’m like, no, that’s not for me, but I did go through. [00:21:00] Yeah, I did go through the three levels of Spartan. So the sprint super and beast, which, you know, my coach had been encouraging me to do over the years. So I finally did it in person last year. Um, which was a great experience. And I, you know, I set out on this journey to do things that I’ve never done before and overcome fears.

But, um, so that was, that was wonderful. But yeah, this whole 24 hour, uh, it’s just, yeah, not for

Deanna Blegg: Yep. Yeah. It’s not for everyone, but it is, if you ever, ever do get a little curious, it’s really worth it. You know, it’s really worth Getting your, uh, curiosity, curiosities sated, I guess.

Richard Conner: Yeah, for sure. I mean, I, I am curious in extent if, you know, one day when I want to do it, it’s just not in the near term, the near term. I have other goals that I’m pursuing and I’ve learned something over the years. Like if I just try to do too much, you know, I’m not going to do any of it very well. So I’m really.

hyper focused on some of the things that I want to do. But, um, but I love, you know, I love the story that you shared. And, you know, I think the saying goes, innovation is [00:22:00] born out of necessity. So you said, you know, you’re focused on your weaknesses. Your hands were cold. How can you solve that problem? So I think that’s, um, very ingenious and innovative that you went ahead and solve it yourself.

Deanna Blegg: Thank you. Yeah, well, , I guess, you know, there are a lot of people in the world with Raynards and we just learn our little own coping techniques for living with it in cold, cold weather.

Richard Conner: Yeah, for sure. So, you know, let’s talk about the mitts a little bit. Thank you. Um, so like an obstacle course racing, I don’t know what your philosophy on this is, but, you know, I’ve always been taught and I think a lot of folks are like, don’t use gloves, you know, it’s best that you train just going with your bare hands.

So if you use traditional gloves just to keep your hands warm, then I think it makes it challenging for you to, I guess, take them off before you go to an obstacle. So I think your mitts kind of solve some of those challenges. So, you know, talk, talk to me a little bit about that.

Deanna Blegg: Yeah, that’s right. So for me, it was like finding something where I can keep my fingers together because from your own hand, you create warmth. [00:23:00] If you separate and isolate your fingers, they, and especially with Raynards that you’ve got bad circulation as it is, they get cold and you can’t heat them up again unless you know, you use your body heat or some other, um, heat source.

So I needed to find something that allowed me to. Um, and, and like you said, with using gloves, there’s a lot of gloves that don’t grip well on obstacles, , and maybe they bulk your hands out too much. So I needed to find something. or create something that I can keep my hand, fingers together and with their hand to keep warm.

That allowed me to expose my hands when I needed to grab onto obstacles. , and that was quick and effective and that I could just put back on. Now mitts. general mitts, you had to pull on and off. So that was inconvenience. And so, yeah, I’m, I’m from a little bit of a paddling background. There’s, , a product called pogies.

So I was aware of them from paddling and you use them paddling in the cold. So,[00:24:00] , I do, yeah, so I got that sort of hand encapsulation idea and the ability to exit. So I just, you know, I got a bits of neoprene and cut them and played with them and found a very primitive leg mitt. And that’s what I used for World’s Toughest Mother up until 2000 and other obstacle course races over in like the Spartan World Championships or the OCR World Championships.

And my good friend, Amanda, she… She made some pairs as well for herself and then for friends and and they’re like these are great You should make them and I’m like no one’s gonna want to at that stage They kind of look like beer beer cozies on the end of your hand. So we’re really weird looking things.

So And also I was busy racing and not focused on manufacturing anything I was just mindset on racing internationally, Australia, that sort of thing. In 2015, I started, , becoming a little bit more, I felt my [00:25:00] body wasn’t working properly. , it felt to me, everything hurt. And that’s the only way I could describe it.

Normally when I run, I love running. It’s my go to. I love going anywhere in the world with a pair of shoes, putting my shoes on running and just waking up, you know, if I’m in a village, you can and you get up early, you see the village coming to life. , if you’re in the bush, you get up early and you see the bush coming to life.

It’s just for me, a lot of peace. I find a lot of peace and connection with running. Anyway, 2015 running hurt, like jogging, hurt, running hard work. When I hurt, when I raced, I only had one gear. I couldn’t, you know, go faster or slower or I could go slower, I guess. But normally when I race, I race at my race pace, but if I need to pull, I can get, you know, I’ve got more gears.

I’ve got, I can, I move up and down from that brace place. I was, there was nothing. . and I didn’t know what was wrong I just knew something [00:26:00] was wrong. Early, well anyway so it turns out and one, one of the things I knew about I had a , it’s called a fibroid growing in my uterus and it grew to the size of a small melon so it was 1.

6 kilo which is what that is in pounds, two, nearly three pounds I guess and , By the time I had it removed, I looked like a woman that was 20 weeks pregnant, , and the size of my uterus was that of, , someone at 20 weeks pregnant. So that had been draining my body and I was anemic. So that answered sort of that side of things.

So I had that all removed, , a radical abdominal hysterectomy in early 2016. And when I was in recovery from that, My friend Amanda said, well, we’ve got time on our hands now, let’s, let’s make these mitts. So we sat down and we started, , making Bleggmit and we, you know, with our machine and some neoprene and sort of went through a few design ideas.

And what we designed then is very different to what we have now, but, [00:27:00] um, you know, we, they worked and we got them out on the market and they, you know, were, I guess they, people heard of them and they started selling really well. Then after a while, a lot. We can make some improvements on these. So let’s get, let’s put it out to people that have bought them and are using them and let’s get some feedback.

So one of them was, , drainage once cause we had no drainage holes in them at that stage. So if you went through water or mud pits or anything like that, they would. Sort of, um, not drain well and you’d, they’d get a bit heavy. So we popped drainage holes in them. We popped, um, people wanted to be able to see their watch, which makes sense.

So we popped a watch hole in them. , and we designed a different, , hand, , how you pop your hands out for obstacles. So originally it was like a side, out the side and now we made them so it sort of fits out the top. So we put them, yeah, we got the feedback. We, , our sewing [00:28:00] machine out again and put, you know, put some ideas together and next we , have the Bleggmit.

And we also , we have two levels now, so Bleggmit Extreme and Bleggmit Light. And then depending on a, how much you feel the cold as to what product you need or how cold is the event that you’re going to as to what product. Yeah.

Richard Conner: All right. I love it. I love it. Well, I have the later ones that you mentioned where it kind of folds back a little bit and I’m super excited to try those out. But I love the innovation that you put into it and how you’re really helping the running community. And so that’s really wonderful. So, you know, what’s next for you as Bleggmit?

Deanna Blegg: Okay. For me, I’ve, , I’ve once again had a little bit of a backstep. I’ve been keeping fit, but I’ve had a backstep from, , racing. , and it’s due to, you know, COVID sort of, I guess, started that, , we all locked down. And then I kind of got, I was living in Melbourne through [00:29:00] COVID and kind of got sick of all, We were the most locked down city in the world.

, and that, that doesn’t sit with me too well. So I moved, , moved out of Melbourne, sold the business I was in at the time, and, , built a tiny home out in the country and have a, I guess that’s taken nearly two years. And I’ve, I’ve put my spare time into building and creating, , my new home. So that’s been great, but you know, that’s my sport’s been a sacrifice, , however, , and I know this has been happening in America for a while is, , I’ve heard of Hyrox

Richard Conner: Mhm.

Deanna Blegg: it’s finally coming to Australia.

So, you know, that little spark that I talk about that an event just captures me and I get this adrenaline rush, Hyrox has done it. So Hyrox is, , I think it’s eight stations and between each, like eight, , it could be a sled drag, a sled push, , rower, with [00:30:00] sandbags, all that sort of stuff.

But in between each station, you got a kilometer run. It’s got run in it. It’s got my name in it. So I did CrossFit for a while, but I was kind of frustrated. Like, I love CrossFit, but I was frustrated with it because most of the events were focused at short, sharp, There’s been no, not much running or that longer sort of stuff in it and as an endurance athlete.

I’m not a, I’m not a short, sharp person, you know. So whilst I did okay in CrossFit, I never could exhale because I was probably doing too many things at the same time. Anyway, for me, the Hyrox suits me perfectly. You’ve got your short, sharp, fatigue things, and then you back it up with a run, and then short, sharp, and then back it up in a run.

So in August, 26th of August, it’s happening here in Melbourne, and guess what I’ve entered? Pro. So, um, yeah, look, I’m 50, what am I now, 54, so I, I, I’m like, I could do my age group. [00:31:00] But I could do my age group any year. And this is like, I don’t know, I’m just excited. And I just thought, well, I’m going to go in the pros.

And I know there’s lots of good people here in Australia that do CrossFit and then good runners. You know, this High Rocks event attracts runners because it’s got a lot of running in it, but it attracts CrossFitters and it attracts all sorts of. athletes from all such different warps of life. , so I just thought I’ll stuff it.

I can, I can do my age group any year. I’m just going to enter pro and to see how it goes. So I’m super excited. , it’s, it’s done it again. Like it seems in my life that like, I sort of plateau, I find a spot where I’m just, just moving along and then something picks up my , my adrenaline or my level for excitement and, and I, and I fine tune and I focus and that’s where I’m at the moment.

So it’s a few probably six weeks out from it and

Richard Conner: Okay. Good

Deanna Blegg: yeah, thank you. I’m very, very excited about it [00:32:00] and , yeah, , that’s where I’m going. And for Bleggmit, , , I’ve since reached out and got some more feedback. So I, I will be making some more changes to the mit. , yep, but up until August, my mind’s on, on other things.

Richard Conner: Love it. Love it. Well, definitely looking forward to that and congratulations on your success. Thank you so much again for sharing your personal story and your running journey and everything that you, you know, you’ve been through to where you are today. I think it’s really inspiring and you know, just kind of as we wind down here, what would you say it would be?

The one thing to inspire someone to run, um, especially if they’re going through some sort of challenges, whether it’s health challenges or, or otherwise.

Deanna Blegg: I would say you need to find, , running is a really beautiful sport and when you first start it’s hard. But you’ve just got to push. Through and when I say [00:33:00] push through I don’t mean you’ve got to run hard or you know You’ve just got to keep at it and it might be walk, run, walk, run, walk, run And then walk and run a bit longer, walk, run a bit longer.

I’d say start out slow, start out You know in baby steps Something achievable and then you will find a time that running becomes your love And, and once you’ve found that, you don’t need motivation to put on a pair of shoes because once you’ve connected with that, it’s just a beautiful sport and it’s a sport.

It costs you nothing except a pair of running shoes. You can do it anywhere in the world. You can do it when you’re traveling. You can bush or road or trail or track, you know, it’s, it’s one of those sports that’s, you know, you just walk out the door and do. That is, um, perfect, I’d say. Yeah. So just find your love and take it slowly.

Richard Conner: Thank you so much, Deanna. I really [00:34:00] enjoyed this conversation. How can our listeners find you and follow you online?

Deanna Blegg: , well, you can find us on I’m not very good with that. Am I au I’m, I’m not sure. I think it’s au or if not, it’s Just google bleggmit. And that’s pretty much it. I, that’s, that’s the easiest place to find me. Or, and we have Facebook and , Instagram as well. You can reach out, Bleggmit, , that’s it, I would say, Richard.

Richard Conner: Okay. All right. Well, I’ll put that information in the show notes to make it easy for our listeners to find you again. Deanna, thank you so much for coming on the show and you know, good luck with your upcoming race or upcoming high rocks race and the next chapter of likement.

Deanna Blegg: Thank you so much, Richard, and thanks for having me here, and yeah, appreciate it.