Just imagine the results when Dr Dougal Thorburn fixes his foot.
Despite an injury the Wellington GP set a course record in winning the national marathon title yesterday in a personal best 2h 25m 33s.
Thorburn was going to withdraw from the race a fortnight ago but gritted his teeth and altered his running style to see off Auckland's Stephen Lett.
"Stephen has got quite a flat footed running style and I'm normally really on my toes," Thorburn said.
"I thought 'why don't I just shuffle along for the first 30k'. With 10k to go I just got up on my toes like normal and then changed gear."
Thorburn had ruled out a stress fracture but the injury remained undiagnosed.
"I need to see a doctor mate," the 32-year-old quipped.
"I bruised it from a rock and it hasn't recovered. I was going to pull out two weeks ago but then I just thought 'stuff it, I'm going to need a month's recovery regardless'. So why not use that to fix up my foot, even if it hurts a bit more."
It was only the second marathon for Thorburn, who often runs from home (Lyall Bay) to work (Porirua).
Thorburn reckons he can break 2h 20m when healthy.
In the women's marathon, Dunedin nurse Shireen Crumpton won a record fourth national title despite not being first female across the line.
Wellington's Katie Kemp had that honour, in 2h 53m 38, but her name won't be etched in the record books as she is not registered with a club.
"That's a good question, why didn't I register? I didn't realise I'd win," Kemp said.
"But I'm absolutely stoked. It's a personal thing and running is personal isn't it, so that's enough for me today."
It was Kemp's first marathon.
She kept waiting for the wheels to fall off but they never did.
"It helps to be on a home course with lots of people out there. My twin sister did Auckland last year so I thought 'right, if she can do it, I can do it'."
Kemp and Crumpton used to race either other regularly a decade ago and they chatted about their kids during the "battle" yesterday.
Crumpton admitted the title felt: "slightly hollow, but I'll take it."
A nervous flyer, she was pleased just to be in Wellington in one piece after the storms had threatened her participation.
"I arrived at Dunedin Airport and they said 'really sorry, we're probably only going to get you to Christchurch, or you can wait and go through on Sunday'," Crumpton said.
"I'm like 'well I actually have to race on Sunday so that's not an option'. It was an adventure but I got here in the end."
- The Dominion Post
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