READER REPORT:

You're never running alone

SAM LEARMONTH
Last updated 12:30 31/01/2014
marathon
CHEERED ON: Despite running being an individual sport, it can have a real feeling of camaraderie.

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I always liked running at school, and it was one of the few sports where a gangly boy with glasses could do well.

At high school I did a lot of running for fitness, mainly as it was required for rowing training. I never thought of it as a particularly pleasant task, instead, it formed part of the torturous training regime that schoolboy rowing required.

As an adult, I got much more into it and realised I actually quite liked it, even if my 6'4" frame isn't really designed for it now.

I started off doing shorter runs of about 10km and then finally decided to do the Auckland Half Marathon with my colleagues. I didn't really know what to expect on the day, having had a rather sporadic training regime leading up to the day with my friend Mal, who remains my running partner several years later.

Although the actual first run was rather grueling, what kept me going was the great atmosphere along the way - Aucklanders really got out and supported the runners.

Similarly, the other runners and volunteers were great and I realised that was what I really enjoyed about running - despite it being an individual sport, it can have a real feeling of camaraderie.

I've now done more half marathons than I care to remember and every year I am always blown away by how much support total strangers offer each other along the course.

I love that people get into running for all sorts of reasons, and along the course you get to meet all sorts of people - united only in their desire to get to the finish line in one piece.


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