Ria’s Inspiring Running Story – Fast Friday

Ria’s Inspiring Running Story – Fast Friday

Ria van Wyk has an extremely inspiring running story. She started running in 2018 after watching a friend at Two Oceans. The atmosphere blew her away and she “caught fire”, realizing that if these people can do it, then so could she.

Ria was active at school, doing middle distance running and team sports, however after school she stayed fit by going to the gym, but never running.


Getting started with running


Getting back from Oceans, Ria decided to try a 21km and calculated that if she started in training in May 2018, she would be ready in to run a half marathon in October 2018.

A friend showed her a Facebook post which directed her to Coach Parry where she bought a finishers 21km programme, which took her to a successful finish in 2hrs10. 

Having no idea if that was any good or not, she went back to her running club in Kimberly, where everyone let her know that 2:10 for your 1st 21km well into your 50's is a really good start.

That peaked her interest in running and she loved the programme so much that when she received our mail launching the new Coach Parry Training platform, she joined the lifetime package!

What it took to reach her goals...


The next project was Two Oceans in 2019, armed with a new programme: The sub 2 hour.

Ria has always been a perfectionist and so she aimed to turn the blocks green on the Coach Parry training app, making sure every session was done.

A year after she got inspired to take up running, Ria finished the Two Oceans half marathon in 2 hours flat!

This is when Ria and I had a chat in the forums and I felt she could run a sub 50min 10km.

Ria was flattered and inspired and went into the 10km programme with her usual discipline, chasing the green blocks. 

Ria didn’t miss a single session in 12 weeks! She was always asking advice in the forum and giving other runners encouragement on their posts - this also helped keep her motivated.

Finally the day arrived, time for her 10km Time Trial...

... a 45:47 10km at 58 years old!


We are so proud of Ria and her inspiring running story at Coach Parry, so she is our #FastFriday today and we are looking forward to watching her grow some more.

Watch this space, future national age group champion loading 😊

I also asked Ria what she loves about the platform:

"The short answer is that I am living proof of what you can achieve by following your programme.

Other reasons being:


  • I trust you as a coach because you have a very good reputation (expertise one can trust!!!)
  • Nothing is too small/unimportant for you to receive attention. One would think that the marathon runners will get preference but that is definitely not the case. We all feel valued by you and your team which is really inspiring and motivating
  • If one follows the programme and eats healthy, you don’t get sick or tired. I haven’t stopped running since May last year and never felt sick or tired like some people complain about when they over train
  • The new platform is excellent with you, Brad, Shona and the others to jump in and help
  • I absolutely love the forum and go and read it daily. I have learnt everything I know about running from you and the forum
  • The forum encourages us as runners and keeps us in the loop of everything happening. Questions are answered in no time!!
  • I have never experienced any negativity from the coaches. You are all so supportive and encouraging!!
  • Last but not least – your programmes are for young and old (I am 58), experienced or beginners. They are simple to follow and understand as I knew nothing when I started and look where am I now!"

 About Coach Lindsey Parry

With a passion for high-performance sport – Lindsey Parry is one of South Africa’s most widely recognised coaches.

Having led a team to both the London and Rio Olympic Games as well as the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh and the Gold Coast, and coached both triathletes and runners onto podiums of some of the world’s most illustrious races, Lindsey has a unique ability to understand what it takes to succeed at any level and thrives on coaching, motivating and inspiring others to do the same – whether it’s on the track, on stage or behind a mic.

Lindsey’s 1-on-1 coaching services are massively in demand and he only takes on new coaching clients when space opens up on his coaching roster from within the Coach Parry Online Training Club.

What are you training for?

Click on any of the images below to download your training program now

+ +