Storm electrifies training run

20:13, Aug 13 2014
THUNDER STRUCK: Finding the motivation to run in the rain isn't easy.

Mum and reporter Jo McKenzie-McLean is taking on one of the biggest challenges of her life, training for the Northburn Station 50 kilometre mountain run in March. She reports on her progress.

There is nothing like a new pair of shoes to make you run a little bit faster - or a lightning storm.

I had spent the previous week and a half overdosing on Strepsils, necking back Lemsip drinks and sleeping upright on the couch to try and suppress a horrid cough.

On the Friday, though I was still coughing like a chain smoker, I was feeling a lot better and decided I would attempt a planned run with Glen Christiansen that night.

However, as the day progressed, I watched the sideways rain and gale-force winds from my window. Maybe I'm not feeling so well after all.

I text Glen: "are you sure you want to go out in this weather".


"Yes, " he replies.

With a sulky face and attitude I go to get dressed and my sulk turns to a smile as I realise tonight I will be running in a brand new pair of Asics running shoes from Frontrunner in Queenstown. I had been waiting for these purple beauties for a week because they had to order my (cough) size 11s in from Christchurch.

I glance fleetingly at my scuffed up, stretched old shoes tossed unlovingly in the corner of the hallway, and feel a slight pang of loss.

I bought those shoes when I was living in Christchurch pre-earthquake days from a shop that no longer exists. I have had those shoes nearly longer than both my children and they have taken me on many adventures.

Oh well, time to move on, I shrug, and in the pouring rain and darkness, I spring out the door showing off my fancy new footwear to Glen, who tells me he has the same type of shoe.

The rain pelting on the window and lightning flashing in the sky as we drive out to Lowburn puts a dampener on the excitment of testing out my shoes.

As we take off, I ask Glen if it's possible that we could get struck by lightning.

"Well, you're under 90kg now, so if you do I will be able to carry you". How reassuring.

He decides, after being sick and with the rain starting to come down heavier, we should cut the run short. Heading back to the car, he comments that I'm going at a good speed.

I would like to credit the shoes for my sudden surge of speed, but it was the lightning that put a cracker under me that night.

The Mirror