Uphill battle: Running amok on the farm

Workout hits the hills

JO MCKENZIE-MCLEAN
Last updated 11:41 28/05/2014
jo mckenzie-mclean
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FARM SESSION: Jo McKenzie-McLean with trainer and Northburn Station 100-Miler race director Terry Davis doing a prone hold after a hill climb on his farm with support from onlookers Weetbix and Furry.

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Trainer Terry thought he'd be clever this week - sending me off to train while he got some work done on a bike park fundraiser.

Unfortunately, for him, I am easily distracted, especially in the countryside, and need constant supervision.

I turned up to Terry's farm at Lowburn expecting to walk across remote hilly farmland, but Terry, deciding he could multi-task, was building the bike ramps after directing me to run up a peak several hundred metres away, then return via a track until I got to a building.

This was going to give Terry probably 20 minutes to complete his work; however, it soon became evident I could not be left unsupervised.

Now, I'm a townie, so while trying to hopelessly avoid animal landmines, I darted here and there up the hill glancing suspiciously at the sheep, wondering why the fence was so high - ''Are there bulls around here?'' I yelled out to Terry. ''No, just go up the hill and don't cross the deer fence.''

Right, I huffed. I didn't quite understand how far up the hill he meant me to go, so when I got to a stream, not wanting to get my feet wet, I turned around and made my way down across to the track.

''Did you go all the way up?'' he yells, looking up from his work.

''Not quite,'' I squeaked and ran along the track.

Suddenly, a horse comes galloping towards me. I am terrified of horses. I picked up my pace and screamed out to Terry his horse was chasing me.

''Don't be silly, he's just impressed to see you running.''

I hoofed it to the building, which I took time to admire. Tucked out of sight was the Lowburn Curling Rink Club building. My solitude was abruptly disturbed with Terry running towards me asking why I had stopped, and what was I doing sightseeing.

We did a few lengths of the paddock and climbed up a hill while he talked about breaking my training into achievable ''chunks'', the first being a 5km walk/run around the countryside as part of a fundraiser he is helping organise for the Cromwell Bike Park. That sounds achievable to me.

As we walked and talked, I soon forgot about dodging poop and started to find the company of farm animals a nice distraction from the pain of exercise. So, I was quite delighted when Terry's pet sheep Weetbix and Furry ran up to us doing a prone hold to end the session.

Mum and reporter Jo McKenzie-McLean is taking on one of the biggest challenges of her life training for the Northburn Station 50km mountain run in March next year.

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- The Southland Times

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