UPDATE: Marathon runner’s heartfelt tribute a big success
UPDATE: My Marathon runner Amy Berndt finished her 42km marathon today, in an impressive four hours and 46 minutes, including pitstops.
"The run was amazing, only one … OK, two sets of tears," Ms Berndt said.
"My knees and hip flexors are feeling it, but the rest of my body is good to go for now … Tomorrow might be a different story."
After battling the early morning winds, Ms Berndt said the course and weather conditions were fine once the sun began to rise.
But the challenges didn't stop there with the first-time marathon runner taking on the slopes of Windermere Rd and dodging two magpie swoops.
Running to raise awareness for people with heart conditions, including her mum who survived a heart attack in July, Ms Berndt said she hadn't thought about celebrating the accomplishment.
"I'm definitely getting treated to a massage before the week is out though," the Bargara local joked.
To donate to Ms Berndt's My Marathon page, visit https://bit.ly/2onGqnd
BEFORE: Heart disease is Australia's highest killer and one woman is determined to beat it, starting with a hydro-pack and pair of sneakers.
Today marks three months since Amy Berndt's Mum survived a heart attack and is also the day the Bundy local will run her first ever marathon for heart disease.
Ms Berndt said she wants to use this experience to help others to avoid a similar tragedy by raising awareness and identifying the signs.
"We were really shocked when it happened, especially because Mum had hardly any of the risk factors," Ms Berndt said.
"The symptoms to look out for can be anything from a pain in the chest, sweatiness, sore arms and a clenching jaw.
"But it does differ from person to person and even from female to male."
Ms Berndt's Mum fortunately survived the attack, which she originally thought was the cause of indigestion.
"When Mum woke up that morning, she thought she had indigestion and they were driving from the Sunshine Coast to Brisbane and had to pull over because Mum said she was going to be sick," Ms Berndt said.
"Fortunately, my aunt who is a nurse was with her at the time, recognised the signs and said 'this isn't just indigestion' and encouraged Mum to go straight to hospital."
Ms Berndt said she was full of gratitude for her Aunt and the end result, which she said was an incredibly lucky outcome.
"If they had have stopped any further down the road or waited for an ambulance, it would have potentially been very different, so we are very lucky," the My Marathon runner said.
"I wanted to do My Marathon for my Mum but also for anyone with a heart condition … my main objective is to educate people."
The Bargara resident will start running from 4.30am today, following a course through Innes Park, Coral Cove, The Hummock and Mon Repos.
Ms Berndt said she would be grateful for any support from the community, whether it be passing cars giving an encouraging wave or pedestrians that decide to start to join in and run alongside her.
"I've been training hard for it and going to the gym, but I woke up this morning feeling so nervous … nervous but excited," she said.
As for her Mum, she is feeling a lot brighter, has joined a local gym and has started slowly building up the strength of her body for her heart.
But it also means she has to forgo her favourite treat.
"She's watching everything she eats and her favourite food is licorice," Ms Berndt said.
"And here I am sitting on the couch eating some in front of her the other night, the poor thing."
To donate to the cause, visit https://bit.ly/2onGqnd.